Did anyone else ever eat Bubble Tape as a kid? No, it’s not a packaging material – it’s a six foot strip of bubblegum that comes in a round plastic container. Before you eat it, you can pretend it’s a measuring tape, and use it while your dad is using his measuring tape to measure spare tires or power drills or whatever it is that dads measure with measuring tape. (Does it show that I’m not a very handy person?) Anyway, when I poured a glass of Bubba Gum Sour, it may have looked exactly like a rosé, but the smell was a trip back to the days of Bubble Tape. Of course, as you may have guessed from the name, it wasn’t the sticky sweet of the childhood candy but a more of a fruity tartness – a little sweet, a little acidic, a little funky. A dry, bitter finish said this was a grown-up’s drink, but that smell…
And that’s not the only confectionery-based beer Tumut River have made recently. When you make a popular Bounty-inspired chocolate dark ale, it makes an awful lot of sense to start playing with other chocolate bar flavours. Enter Ripe Cherries, Tumut River’s dark ale stuffed with chocolate, coconut and cherry. I’ll leave you to figure out what chocolate bar inspired it, but I will say you can certainly pick out the impact of the added ingredients – the foam is a deep brown from the choc black malt; a huge whiff of maraschino cherry hits you like you’ve just opened a bottle of cherry liqueur; the cocoa bitterness of 85 percent dark chocolate brings an almost savoury chocolate character to the palate, set against the cherry sweetness and acidity and a background presence of coconut. There’s also an interesting texture to the body of the beer, like cherry skin in liquid form. Let’s hope TRBC don’t stop making chocolate bar beers any time soon!
If you’re after a sweetness from more familiar beer ingredients, Voodoo Child Amber Ale lets the malt and hops do the talking. A gorgeous deep crimson body releases aromas of dark honey and molasses joined with orange peel oomph. But when you sip, that sweetness transitions into an earthy bitterness with a little roast and a hint of caramel – less confectionery, more complexity.
Published September 17, 2021 2021-09-17 00:00:00