Review #94 – Hawkshead/Wild beer cask aged oat wine – 85/100
Unfortunately, I haven’t had the pleasure of sampling many expressions from Hawkshead brewery, I have however had my fair share of brews from Wild Beer and had an informative chat with one of their brewers during the Liverpool Craft Beer Expo. When I saw this particular bottle in the local beer shop I thought it sounded pretty interesting and worth a punt and I am pleased to say it was.
Out of the bottle and into the glass, this oat wine pours a vibrant peach colour with generous amount of haziness to it, the beer produces a medium off-white head which sticks around for a good while.
On the nose, the up-front aromas are that of dank, ester dominant Belgian yeast, plenty of overripe banana, caramel, cereal and fruit cake. Considering the strength of the beer the alcohol aromas are rather subdued allowing the more delicate notes of oak, hay and pine resin to come through.
This beer is one that requires a little concentration to get the most out of the palate, there is certainly a lot going with this complex beer. The flavours that initially grip the palate are characteristically musty – think damp barnyard hay, rich game and old oak; these flavours quickly take on a more rich and succulent character, similar to that of a sweet orange cake. The hop character is quite citrusy reminding me of preserved oranges, candied peel and lemon zest which I find compliments the rich backbone of this beer nicely.
For a strong beer I found this to be one of the more well balanced expressions I have tried, I find quite often that when high alcohol yield strains have been used too much of an ester character is produced in the beer, with this beer I found the ester presence to be pleasant and not at all overbearing.
A great beer and a very successful collaboration in my opinion.