More often than not when you come across vanilla in beer, you'll observe that it's in something dark - think along the lines of stouts and porters which tend to have a bit of chocolate malt character. It kinda makes sense since chocolate and vanilla is one of those heaven-sent pairings for which humanity can be so grateful. But what the folks from Young Henrys and Heilala Vanilla have done for this collaboration is almost the exact opposite; adding vanilla - and lots of it, several times - to a comparatively unforgiving four per cent Belgian witbier recipe. Without a big, dark malt body or big booze to hide behind, it makes this a fun but also fairly brave brew. There are classic elements of a witbier here - coriander, orange peel, lots of wheat malt - plus the interesting addition of star anise, but it's vanilla that's the star of this show. Filling your mouth with its smooth, creamy and long-lingering character, you're left with the impression that this is a beer that'd go down pretty damn well with dessert. So it's all rather convenient - dare it be said serendipitous - that ice cream makers Serendipity, based just around the corner from the brewery in Enmore, have also put out a Vanilla Witbier sorbet. Ice cream float anyone?... NO
- Vanilla Belgian Witbier
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