Australian journos Rick Bannister and Nadia Saccardo achieved quite the coup when they enticed Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head to help them launch their thinking drinker's beer mag Pallet last year. The pair brought Sam to Australia for a couple of events either side of Christmas and, while here, lined up a brew day with Nomad Brewing in Sydney's Northern Beaches, to which were invited a bunch of Pallet mag subscribers.
With so many people involved, cross-pollination was the only way, so the Aussie contributors put forward local hops Vic Secret and Melba plus wattleseed and finger limes, while Sam added American maple sugar and mesquite malts; the final element was a yeast from Italy's Birra del Borgo, whose founder Leo di Vicenzo is an owner of Nomad and also involved in joint ventures with Sam. A lot going on, no?
Indeed, it's the sort of melange that could be a recipe for disaster. But, with a man who has specialised in pushing the flavour envelope involved, that's far from the case here. First up, the beer brings back memories of the spicy beer and maple candied bacon chef Billy Law presented at an event promoting 150 Great Australian Beers a couple of years back – a dish we paired with an amber ale. Here, you get pretty much everything that was on offer then without the need for the bacon: sweet, nutty smoke aromas; a thick, layered body that delivers rich, chewy malts, more sweetness and smoke yet without creating any overt sticky sweetness thanks to a quite pronounced and broad drying spicy finish.
A voluptuous, complex warmer to wallow in.
- Spiced, Smoked Amber Ale
- 20 IBU
Find it at specialist bottleshops