I'm a bit late to the party on this one. I received a bottle from the hands of Alain, the brewer to get my opinion. It has been sitting in my fridge for a few weeks waiting for an opportunity to get cracked open. It was too cold when I took it out of the fridge so I left it out and had a Dungarvan Helvick Gold instead. This particular bottle of Helvick was a little yeast heavy so I decanted it in to a second glass after the yeast had settled, really I was just biding my time while the Radical Brew got closer to cellar temperature.
One delicious and refreshing bottle of Helvick Gold later, it was time to try the Alain's beer. First, I had to move the two cats that were occupying my lap. This was much to their distress and protestations but needs must.
Radical Brew is a sort of collaboration between RadikAle and the Blackwater distillery. Specifically, the beer uses gin botanicals from one of the Blackwater gins. They use these botanicals in place of late aroma hops. The beer was called Curious Brew when it launched late last year but a cease and desist was issued by a small UK brewery. You can read more about this and about the collaboration itself on Peter Mulryan's excellent article on the Blackwater Distillery blog.
Moving along, how's the beer?
Well firstly I should admit that I don't like gin very much. The reason for this? Well, it's something about the botanicals, perhaps I just don't like juniper very much. That's not a great start when we consider that the main selling point of this beer is the use of gin botanicals.
On the other hand, Radical Brew is quite strong at 6.6% so it grew on me. Underneath the plethora of juniper and something peppery, there was a pretty decent beer. The use of rye added a sweet and spicy dimension but there also must be a load of hops because it was quite bitter. In fact, a look at the deceptively informative label showed an IBU of 55 so a fair but more bitter than the likes of Sierra Nevada pale ale.
As it warmed up, so did I. This increased my appreciation of the beer and by the time I was half way though, I was really starting to enjoy it. More than that, perhaps I was learning to appreciate gin botanicals too. I'll have to put that to the test and try some more gin some time. Follow my blog with Bloglovin