It tends to be a good sign when the first thought to cross your mind when finishing a beer is: “Damn. I wish I’d bought two of those.” Such was the case after sharing a can of The Prince, a bergamot infused India saison from the New England Brewing Company.
This is a beer that seems to be at the crossroads of what the Uralla brewery is all about. It’s got the basic foundation of a popular style of beer, by way of the heavy hopping regime of an IPA. It also plays to their preference for producing lesser appreciated styles, in this case saison where their open fermentation allows more scope for the yeast to have an influence. And it’s got a slightly oddball addition by way of the citrus fruit bergamot, an ingredient more people will know through its association as an oil used to impart Earl Grey tea with its unique loveliness.
The end sum is a beer that’s brilliantly hoppy and utterly resplendent with citrus zest. It has a striking bitterness yet also a tender softness. It pairs the smooth characters of wheat and banana with sharper sprinkles of pepper and clove. It’s just a joy to drink. The only downside is that there’s not much of it about, thus The Prince’s reign will be short. So, if you see it, perhaps buy two.
- India Saison