For those of you unfortunate enough not to have tried or have heard of SK1, you’ll need to know first of all that SK2 is the second beer in hopefully to be a long running, annual series of collaboration beers brewed at Stockport based Quantum Brewery. Thus combining the skills of one Colin Stronge once of Marble Brewing fame and now head brewer at Black Isle and the other Jay Krause, owner and head brewer at Quantum, hence SK1 and 2.
I was lucky enough to acquire a couple of tasters from Jay at the recent 2nd anniversary bash at Port Street Beer House. As you can see these are pre-sale items, with the real labels still being printed. Personally speaking I’m not sure why they are bothering with expensive label production costs when such an elaborately hand drawn item is readily available and does the job admirably. As some folks quite rightly commented yesterday when I posted this on Untappd, surely this identifies “craft” in its purest form..
Here’s what Jay wrote himself about creating SK2 on the Quantum website:
‘With Colin down from Black Isle for a couple of weeks, we thought it only fair that we make SK2. Pale malt, wheat malt and a bag of VERY finely milled Cara-Pils (Cara-dust more like) went into the mash, with lots and lots of Summit, Kohatu, Chinook, Cascade and Bramling Cross added to the boil means this Double IPA should top out at around 8.0-8.3%. Some of it may even go into a couple of barrels for ageing, but the ‘straight’ version will be around very soon as it’ll be best drunk fresh.”
You heard what the man said, drunk fresh, so I did and cracked a bottle open last night (the other destined for some mystery tasters).
To begin with it was a little restrained on the nose which surprised me with these two guys chucking in the hops, subtle hints of pepper, ginger and a little fresh strawberry was what I pinned down, but something else eluded my deeply sniffing hooter, I’d be interested in anyone else’s thoughts on what that could be?
Taste though is where this baby really brings home the bacon and comes well and truly into its own. We have more of that strawberry and freshly cut root ginger, fresh leather, crunchy dime bar butterscotch brittle, hints of liquorice and grape with a dry tannin-like mouthfeel that peaks with an orange zesty finish.
It’s a great beer, or at that’s what my nose and taste buds thought about it, but then I’d expect nothing else from these guys. If you see it, grab yourself a couple (at least) to try for yourselves, there’s not going to be many about and they won’t last long I assure you.
A massive thanks to Jay for the bottles, much appreciated.