White Rab­bit beer grows cu­ri­ouser and cu­ri­ouser

Life & Style Weekend - - TASTE - with Si­mon Ir­win

ACHANGE is as good as a hol­i­day, they say.

Some­times, how­ever, one does have to won­der if “they” have any idea about what they are say­ing.

Hugh the Neigh­bour and I cast a fair net when look­ing for new beers.

Thus, it was with great joy that I opened an en­ve­lope from Un­cle Dan’s show­ing new and ex­cit­ing things to drink.

While pe­rus­ing the glossy pages of gins and wines and ciders and beers, my eye was taken by a new brew from one of my favourite brew­eries – the White Rab­bit Sour Red Ale.

Even on pa­per, this did not look like a beer to be taken lightly.

A sub­stan­tial 750ml and near enough to $24 per bot­tle and the fact that I had never had a Sour Red be­fore made me think this was not a beer for the faint-hearted.

And I was not wrong. It pours a beau­ti­fully rich red in the glass, with creamy head and be­guil­ing bou­quet, the la­bel promis­ing “a bal­ance of tart cherry and red wine-like flavours”.

Even, now, six days after HTN sat down to crack the tal­lie, I am still un­sure if I think it is in­no­va­tive and chal­leng­ing; or just rub­bish and al­most un­drink­able.

Hugh, who has had a life­time in the le­gal pro­fes­sion, was more cut and dried than me.

“I don’t like it at all,” he said, “It tastes nei­ther like wine or beer, and while you get the sour­ness and cherry over­tones, it is just not en­joy­able.”

And I can see his point. The words I would usu­ally use to de­scribe the taste don’t seem to ap­ply, nor do the tra­di­tional terms you would use to de­scribe a wine.

White Rab­bit claims to of­fer fer­men­ta­tion with imag­i­na­tion, and they have lived up to that in spades.

I don’t think I liked it, but it was strangely com­pelling at the same time – and un­for­tu­nately, at nearly $24 a bot­tle, I was un­likely to have enough to see if it grew on me.

As they say on Star Trek, “It’s beer, Jim, but not as we know it”.

If you do try it, I would love to get your thoughts, be­cause I must ad­mit, this one has me stumped.

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