Stone SCRÜ WIT

Total Score: 7.8/10 Coriander1Clove1Bananas1Tulipglass1

As you all well know – my modus operandi when choosing which brew to review generally goes like this: “What is the craziest beer that I can get my hands on?”. The answer once again lies in a Stone beer (these guys can’t seem to hold themselves back now can they?), in this case SCRÜ WIT, which is a delightful sounding mixture of 3 of the most random and my favouritest styles: Sahti, Gruit and Belgio Imperial Witbier. Yes, it sounds like a party in my mouth that SCRÜ WIT is invited to. Now if you are yet to try the styles of Sahti or Gruit (both of which date back to the middle ages before hops were used in brewing) my suggestion is to seek them out as they are the bomb.

Poured from a 650ml “bomber” bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Cloudy amber body with a few suspended particles of what is probably yeast, and a thin off-white lace ring (which is pretty acceptable for an 8.% ABV brew). Looks pretty tasty, interestingly very amber for a Wit though. 8/10.

S: Aroma of pickles (I kid you not!) comes through on first whiff. Second whiff is definitely more in Wit territory with clove and cardamom spice, a touch of banana bread as well. Dry cracker and pepper notes come through with further whiffs. That pickle note is one of the oddest aromas I’ve ever detected in a beer, and I’m guessing it must be from the wormwood. 7/10.

T: Juniper and wormwood come across with a green herbal flavour that carries throughout this intriguing palate. However a bulk of the flavours are typical Wit flavours: Clove, cardamom, banana bread, dry cracker and pepper. The finish has a light but sharp bitter herbal character that balances out all that Wit sweetness. There’s some nice fruity esters coming through too. Damn there are almost too many flavours vying for my taste buds here, enjoyable though it be. 8/10.

M: Medium bodied with a nice creamy carbonation – excellent body that works well but also makes the sugars in this brew cloy a little too much. 8/10.

D: Bizarre and herbal with a strong Wit base, this is indeed quite an idiosyncratic brew from Stone that manages to showcase why they are up there with the best of craft brewers – because they take risks. They could easily rest on their laurels and churn out the same stuff again and again, but no: They throw three disparate styles together and say “drink this!”. Granted, the Wit flavours dominated the other styles, however this is still a beer I would try again. 8/10.

Food match: Pickles! Or hamburgers with pickles (not Maccas you heathen!).

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Dupont Cervesia

Total Score: 9.7/10 Pear1Orange1Coriander1Tulipglass1

Brasserie Dupont brew my all-time, indisputable (at least until another brewer bests them) favourite Saison – their eponymous Saison. So when I found this corked/caged 750ml bottle of Cervesia at Plonk I was at first intrigued “Do Dupont do anything apart from Saisons?” well apparently this one is a Gruit (before hops were mainstream beers were finished with herbs and spices – Gruit is the name for this mixture) with sweet woodruff (known as Galium Odoratum or wild baby’s breath) and bog myrtle along with a dozen other spices. I do like a good Gruit.

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Fully cloudy, I may have stirred up the yeast somewhat, tangerine body with a 2 cm dense white head that soon reduces to a thin blanket of snow on top. Closer inspection reveals suspended yeast particles – I love those guys. 8/10.

S: Sharp sweet spices: Coriander along with cardamom especially, infused with a musty yeast, overripe pears and big floral note… hint of bubble gum coming through too, this is one hugely complex fragrance sitting in front of me. Notes of concentrated orange juice coming through too… damn! 10/10.

T: Sweet upfront, not sugar bomb overly but noticeable, then the spices hit and mid palate everything balances with a citric note… this is a fairly sublime balance. Flavours noted (I need a list): Orange peel, overripe pear, coriander, cardamom, clove, something else bitter and herbal, something coppery/earthy and musty yeast. Aftertaste brings back that orange concentrate noted in the aroma. Flawless taste? Pretty much. 10/10.

M: Medium bodied with creamy almost Weizen-like carbonation. Hard to find faults with this brew. 10/10.

D: Wow. It’s been a while since I’ve had a brew this good, once again Dupont have hit the proverbial nail on the head with this fantastic Gruit. In fact if I had a bottle of this and Duvel (my favourite beer) sitting on a table in front of me I would reach for Cervesia, perhaps I’ve had my fill of Duvel – which is a brilliant beer no less, who knows maybe these spiced brews hit the spot more in my old age? [35 atm btw]. Regardless this is one fascinating beer from Dupont deserving of a place in my beer pantheon, no two ways about it. Better than their Saison? For me: Shit yeah! 9/10.

Food match: Beef bourguignon or steak frites, or if you’re less meat-inclined: Cheese platter with some Bleu de Bresse.

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