When I first paid a visit to SixTwelve at their St Agnes brewpub, fully two brewery expansions ago, the highlight of the beers I sampled was a red rye IPA. It felt pretty fitting that such a beer – big on hops, malt, body, you name it – was the standout given the brewer behind it is a genuine giant of a man. Big Fella now sits as the heftiest offering in their core range and, as winter 2023 rolled on, it was joined by an imperial version called, of course, Really Big Fella.
What's perhaps most notable about it, however, is that even though every element has been ratcheted up considerably, it's almost subtle – if any 10 percent ABV beer can be called subtle... Pouring the colour of a silk smoking jacket, thus bringing to mind Hugh Hefner or a Hollywood comedy of the 70s that probably wouldn’t pass muster today, they've done a grand job of not turning this into a sticky, sickly monster.
The dark citrus rind meets red berries meets light treacle aromas are there but don’t assault you from the glass, which is an indication of what’s to come. All the goods you’d expect from such a ten percenter – featuring no less than nine malt varieties and three US hops – are there (cola, chocolate, treacle, light spice, berries and a refreshing, liquorice-tinged bitterness) yet they're presented with less weight than the name would have you believe. (Although my eyelids did seems to get weightier with every sip…)
Published August 3, 2023 2023-08-03 00:00:00