Christmas Day: a 6% Spalter Select pale ale fermented with clove-studded clementines in Rioja casks. Spalter Select is sort of a pet hop of mine – it was bred in the 1970’s from Spalter and Hallertau Mittelfruh and has a beautiful noble hop character all of its own. Lots of this was added in the boil and then as a dry hop as the beer underwent its first aging in neutral oak. Once the beer was mature, it was transferred into Rioja casks and onto clementines studded with cloves until a delicately aromatic character had been extracted from both barrel and spiced fruit.
It is golden, foamy and bursting with zesty orange, noble hops and Brettanomyces funk, with the barrels adding layers of berry fruit, mint, ginger cake and allspice. It’s fresh and racy on the palate with loads of orange mingling with hop bitterness in a Spalter Select marmalade of drinkability. Truly sessionable festivity.
375ml bottle, 6.0% ABV