Friday, 26 April 2013

Beers Of London Series
25. Brew By Numbers - 01 02 Saison Amarillo & Orange 5.4%

Twenty-five beers into this series and I've hit a bit of a watershed, albeit a temporary one. You see, I currently don't have any beer in stock from London breweries that I haven't already included in this series right at this moment. Next week I shall be venturing into the capital from my perch high above the London Basin here in sunny Essex to remedy that situation to sample beers from a few of the other twenty-or-so other breweries therein. I'll also be at London's Brewing for the evening session on Saturday 4th, so if you happen to be there then please stop me and say hello.
I have to confess that actually I'm not too worried about not having any new breweries wares to sample this evening as it gives me a chance to sample another beer from Brew By Numbers. I took a look back at which of my posts in this series had been the most viewed thus far, and the winner by some margin, and to be fair it was number six, was this one. Brew By Numbers beers are intriguing to me. I mentioned their labels before, but it was the use of Amarillo and Orange in this one that had me salivating as soon as I saw it. The Amarillo hop is well known for its distinctive orange aroma and citrus flavour, several breweries have used it in a single hop beer for exactly that reason (Mikkeller, de Molen and Crouch Vale spring to mind), so combining it with orange (whole or otherwise) gets my pulse quickening just thinking about it. The more eagle-eyed of you will have spotted that this is numbered 01:02 and follows my previous review of 01:01. They're called Brew By Numbers so it's only fair that I drink them in numerical order, well certainly on this occasion if not the next. Time to open that bottle.
It pours a pale and cloudy lemon colour that reminds me of white gold with a beautifully light and fluffy bright white head. The aroma is astonishing. It smothers you like a juicy floral pillow with a huge bouquet of elderflower and orange blossom combined with peach juice, mango and crushed coriander seed. It fizzes pops and bursts over the tongue with little pockets of juicy flavour appearing here and there followed by a sharp dry rasping bitterness at the back of the throat. Up front flavourwise there's the sharp bitterness of grated orange zest folowed by a wash of freshly squeezed orange juice mixed with orange pips and coriander seed, it's almost bordering on the bitterness you associate with Curacao, before in comes some floral peachiness, filling the nose with a heady fragrance and leaving a slightly oily but delicately and deliciously juicy film on the tongue. The finish is big with orange blossom and even though it's quite dry it still leaves a lasting impression of just having eaten a bowl full of satsumas.
This beer promised orange and it delivered it in all its varieties, from bitter laraha through to juicy sanguinelli, all wrapped up in a zingy floral saison package. I'm absolutely convinced that it must be one of my five a day. Delicious.

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