Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Beers Of London Series: 41. Ellenberg's Brewery - Black Ale 5.7%

Beers Of London Series
41. Ellenberg's Brewery - Black Ale 5.7%. Ellenberg's Brewery - Black Ale 5.9%
As you will know if you've read my previous post, Ellenberg's Brewery, founded by Mike Ellenberg from whom it gets its name (did I hear you whisper eponymous?) share premises with Weird Beard Brewing Co. in Hanwell, London W7.
Mike, like Bryan and Gregg, is another successful home brewer turned professional brewer and worked closely with his weirdly bearded compatriots to find a suitable brewing facility that they could set up home in since 2011, finally signing the lease in October 2012.
A variety of bottle-conditioned beers have been produced so far, a stout, an Altbier, Dark Smoky Wheat a smoked wheat beer, a red ale called Ale No.1 which I'm guessing by the name was the first beer, a Bock that I have in reserve for a later review, and Black Ale a schwarzbier that I'm drinking tonight.
Pouring so dark a brown you'd swear it was black, with a tight creamy beige head and a divine aroma of blackcurrant and lightly whipped chocolate it smells almost good enough to swim in. Prickly over the tongue, it tightens the taste buds as it flows across them, constricting, choking almost, before releasing them slowly. As it does so, it allows the flavour to rush in. Chocolate, blackcurrant, touch of espresso and a twist of black pepper all combine in what is simply an absolutely stunning beer. I've had schwarzbiers produced outside of Germany before but I honestly cannot remember one with this complexity and depth of flavour. It's rich, creamy and deep whilst still being light, an absolute joy. The finish has coffee with a hint of vanilla, bourbon biscuit malt and possibly the merest hint of damson. Fantastic.
You might well have discerned from my description that I was more than a little delighted with this beer, and to be totally truthful I didn't really know what to expect as this isn't a style I'm particularly enamoured with. I picked my bottle up from Ales By Mail last week. They still have some.

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