With all the crazy beers Tumut River have brought out in recent times (WHO PUTS BLACK GARLIC IN A BEER??), I thought this one was going to be relatively simple by comparison, and that I would come through this process confusion-free. Alas, I was wrong.
First up, I have to confess: I’m baffled by the way the English use the word "innit". In my mind, it’s a simple contraction of the words “isn’t it”, and I’d understand it being used as such. But I hear it replacing other words as well (like “doesn’t it”, as in, “That looks good, innit?”) and as a general call for acknowledgement (as in “Check out the new wheels, innit?”). So it seems to be part of a dialect beyond my grasp, stirring up my confusion before I even open this beer.
To be fair, the usage of "innit" here is far more straightforward – this is an English brown ale with English tea… in it.
But the flavours! I expected the impact of the tea to be minimal, but the flavours here are quite unexpected. At a passing sniff there’s a general black tea aroma, but sitting with it for a minute reveals berries and florals… I’m not exactly sure if those notes are coming from the tea itself, or if the tea is bringing out some of the more delicate notes of the malt. But it’s complex and layered like I didn’t anticipate. A light, dry mouthfeel can sometimes frustrate me in a beer like this (I always want more body, more, MORE!), but here it’s welcome as a way of allowing these subtle notes through.
The richer notes that come through as the beer warms up, though? Now that’s definitely the Voyager malts pulling their weight, offering a flavour of chocolate ganache, or that rich praline inside chocolate truffles.
Eventually I began to get sarsaparilla, and again I’m not sure what ingredient is to credit. So it may be a good idea for me to stop now before I get more confused.
Published June 8, 2022 2022-06-08 00:00:00