Monday, 16 January 2012
Kelpie Seaweed Ale
Upon seeing this in the shop I was immediately excited! Being a fan of all things marine a seaweed ale seemed right up my street. The beer is a old recipe from Scotland, back when it was first made the hops and barley they grew were fertilized with kelp seaweed now though they add fresh seaweed to the mix and it shows. I didn't know what to expect from this ale and when I poured it out I was pleasantly surprised to see it come out so dark, my love of dark beers has been mentioned in this blog several times but I really thought this beer would be lighter. As you can see from the picture it is a lovely deep brown and when held up to the light there were some lovely red ruby hues coming through. The first smell didn't give the seaweed away except for maybe a touch of sea air, I was shocked to get chocolate and malt on the nose and the minerally edge that I would expect from porter or stout. This beer was a real learning experience for me, I don't claim to be an expert on beer I have lots of learning and tasting to do, which is brilliant but I'm not an expert maybe one day if I keep on drinking and blogging! The first taste put one word in my head, seaweed. Uninspired perhaps but they set out to make a seaweed ale and they damn well did it. Seaweed isn't something I've had lots of experience with but enough to know what I was tasting. The chocolate I anticipated came as an after taste as well as some maltiness. The thing that surprised me most was the sweetness of the it, not a chocolatey sweetness but a lighter less creamy sweetness. The fizz was excellent nice and strong and frothy, complementing what was a very smooth and well rounded beer. For only 4.4% it was quite warming as well which I enjoyed. After finishing the beer though I couldn't decide how to recommend it, it was certainly enjoyable and interesting and I have no complaints. I did feel decidedly like I wouldn't want another, at least not straight away and that for me is the mark of a good beer not a great beer. Yes they have succeeded in making a very drinkable beer with an ingredient I wouldn't expect and it surprised me which was great but I can't shake the feeling that I probably won't seek it out again anytime soon. Like I said, a good beer but not a great beer and with so many great beers out there waiting to be drunk I can't give it my personal high recommendation. Should seaweed beer sound particularly exciting to you though this is a fine example and worth adding to any beer enthusiasts list of beers they have tried.