A year ago, Otherside released Sabbath, a beer which seemed, at the time, to be a new seasonal in a developing portfolio. With next to no promo, the beer then labelled stout, wandered into fridges and waited quietly for a moment of revelation - this was not a stout. No, Sabbath ‘19 was a mid-strength version of what Scandinavian beer confectioners were doing with double digit ABVs, but instead with a four-pack purchase in mind. Word of mouth grew.
A year later and the brewer-cum-pâtissier adjunct game is now peak hype – yes, we see you, mixed ferment barrel-aged beer projects, but you're a whole other hype, and probably require an annual Society invite. We’ll wait for the Bakers Guild membership programs of 2021...
However, not everyone is a fan. Let’s consider that grumbles about "things were better when" or "I remember a simpler time" are mostly founded on nostalgia from the last decade. Granted, it was a simpler time but also one with fewer options, less education, more quality issues, less venues and greyer imports. So, dear beer drinker, we should collectively rejoice for, in 2020, there is a beer for everyone and some of them begin as concepts in the cake aisle.
Asides aside, and back to Sabbath 2020 – now labelled pastry stout. Dialling back the hazelnut vibes of last year, this mature coffee and dark chocolate-themed affair teases with a Mr / Mrs Whippy soft serve vanilla ice cream topped with crushed nuts aroma before a descent into cocoa nadir – deep, rich, dusty, oozy and bitter before Sabbath’s smooth palate ebbs through the final third, resolving bitter and with lasting dryness; the thinking pâtissier’s dessert stout.
This year’s edition comes wrapped in a complex Rorschach-esque design by Tapped by Otherside winner Madeline Beech, something to get lost in as the dark chocolate layers envelope the tongue.
Published May 18, 2020 2020-05-18 00:00:00