First things first, an apology. I’ve not been posting very much lately. Sorry about that. It turns out doing a Masters degree is a LOT more time consuming than I’d envisaged, and alas Beeson on Beer has fallen by the wayside a little over the last couple of months. However, at the weekend I went to visit my brother in Cardiff and we decided to crack open a couple of beers I’d been waiting rather a long time to try. I decided it was finally time to get back on the bandwagon, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to write about a rare and interesting set of beers.
Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde are the result of a very special collaboration between Tottenham-based Beavertown and Danish brewery To Øl . The concept behind the beers was to create a pale base wort, before splitting it in two to create two very different styles of beer to represent the duality of human nature (yes, it sounds pretentious, but bear with me!)
First up is Dr. Jekyll. This 8.1% Belgian Pale was created by fermenting the pale wort from the original mash with Brettanomyces yeast and the addition of Lactobacillus bacteria, before being barrel-aged in Muscat wine barrels. It pours a light, golden amber, with little-to-no head and minimal carbonation. The aroma is pure funk, with huge amounts of bretty, dry fruit character.
Taking the first few sips of the beer, I am blown away by the similarities it shares with this year’s batch of Wild Beer Co.’s Schnoodlepip; it is extremely tart, with subtle hints of orange and gooseberry. Extremely drinkable for a beer north of eight per cent proof, I find myself quaffing it far too quickly and would have quite liked more than half of a bottle.
Mr. Hyde, however, is an entirely different proposition. Although rumoured to be fermented with the same yeast strain as its counterpart, the original pale wort has been blended with another wort produced from beech wood smoked malts, chocolate malts, roasted barley and cassanade sugars. The resulting beer was then aged in Speyside Whisky casks to create a monstrous 13.7% Imperial Stout.
Mr. Hyde glugs out of the bottle and into my oversized wine glass a silky jet black colour, devoid of any head or carbonation. It smells as you would expect, with lots of ripe fruit character and more than a whiff of peaty, almost tobacco-like notes. The taste is both intensely rich and unsurprisingly woody. I was a little disappointed not to get a bit more of the flavour from the Whisky in the finished product, but it still made for a fantastic nightcap, and unlike with Dr. Jekyll, half a bottle was more than enough to send me nodding off in-front of the TV...
Beer Name: Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde Style: Muscat Barrel Aged, Gooseberry Belgian Pale / Scotch Barrel Aged Imperial Stout ABV: 8.1%/13.7% Brewery: Beavertown & To Øl
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