Red Duck have always displayed a love for diving into the history books when it comes to devising beers, and there's likely there's no better example than the godly Ra. The first release came out close to a decade ago and took inspiration from Eqyptian bread beers from the earliest days of agriculture, and each release brings its own unique character.
For 2021, the ingredients list features barley, raw wheat, spelt, oats, dates, raisins, plums, dried orange peel and spices, while the beer is unhopped, unboiled and was wild fermented for close to a year before being barrel-aged for a further six months.
The result is an incredibly complex brown and cloudy ale that has a quality akin to fortified wine, contains a rich mélange of dark fruits– plum, prunes and raisins – and softer notes of candied citrus. Alongside those are straw, an earthy funk, a sharp and tongue-coating sourness that's in turn balanced out by more rich fruitcake, and a floral, spiced finish.
With Ra coming in a 750ml bottle, it's the kind of beer born to be shared and dissected and (although it might not be historically appropriate) shared with a French cheese platter.
- Wild-Fermented Barrel-Aged Sour