One of two beers brewed for The Mill's second birthday and one that's been underway since the first, this is a strong ale that spent a few months ageing in keg before spending a further six months in Lark Distillery whisky barrels – the last two of those months with ten habanero chillies for company.
The rich malt character of the base beer – originally as a US-inspired strong ale, but with time having softened the impact of the hops and boosted its sweet toffee and biscuit side – provides a pillowy home for the whisky character; the barrel's previous inhabitant makes itself known, but it's a juicy, fruity whisky aroma rather than anything spicy or packing heat. The chillies, on the other hand, pack a fair bit of potency, serving up some prickly heat on the palate, albeit without getting out of hand.
Special occasion beers should be a little out of the ordinary and, with the Grapefruit Paradisi there to provide sessionability, Chilli Willie plays that role: a beer to roll around the palate slowly at the end of the evening.
Published March 28, 2019 2019-03-28 00:00:00