I ordered a couple of T-shirts from Williams Bros Brewing Co a few weeks back (which are quality items), along with a their “Historic Ales” collection. On arrival I was delighted to find that head brewer Chris Williams had slipped in a couple of surprises in my parcel.
I’d met Chris at the European beer bloggers conference earlier this year where WBC were one of the host breweries, they have a massive selection of beers most of which were available to taste with Chris and co on hand to chat to you about each as you chose. Amongst those were the delicious Nollaig, plus new versions of aged Fraoch and a spiky little IPA called Double Joker.
Anyway in the box I was happy to find a prototype bottle of Double Joker (yum) and a new beer called Prodigal Sun.
Described as an aromatic golden ale it’s a light amber beer that is really fruity and refreshing. Whilst not as aromatic as I was expecting (may have been too cold) it had a light fruity nose which reminded me of candied apples with a touch of cinnamon.
Lively in the mouth the taste reminded me of candied or roasted orchard fruits, it’s quite sweet with hints of ginger and a nice peppery bitter edge to the finish. Well worth seeking out to try especially while the weather is warm as it would be perfect chilled down to drink should you ever be lucky enough to break out the barbecue.
Double Joker is Joker IPA‘s big rock hard Scottish cousin and he’s out to take you by the scruff of the neck and give you a kicking.
I’ve no idea of the ABV (from memory it was 9%) as the bottle was a prototype version with no label, but before I’d opened it I remembered how good at had tasted all those months ago, albeit in a pretty rough form back then and couldn’t wait to try it once more.
The picture on the left here does the colour of Double Joker no justice at all as it’s a much deeper glowing amber-gem orange.
Aroma Instructions: Wander down to your local woodland and cut yourself a swathe of fresh nettles, take them home and chop roughly and place in a mixing bowl.
Then take really fresh lemons and grate off all that lovely aromatic citrus peel over the top of your chopped nettles, drop in a few cloves and stir.
Close your eyes, dip your nose into the bowl and imagine you are sniffing a lightly chilled glass of Double Joker….
In the mouth the flavour-fest continues, POW, a huge fruity fizz bomb explosion blasts across your tongue, like a fist-full of fruit sour sweets all fighting it out for your attention. Grapefruit begins to win the flavour battle, it tries to dominate but is tempered by a toasty caramelised sugar sweetness. In the end a truce is struck and both sides join forces to give you delicious tastes of grapefruit citrus marmalade. The finish is long lasting fresh and dry in the throat with the odd burp bring reminders of those initial lemon-nettle hop aromas.
Looking on the website there’s no sign of when this will be available so sign up for the newsletter from Williams Bros and jump on it when it is, I’m telling you this will fly off the shelves.
A big thanks to Chris for the pre-release tasters, cheers.