My second beer from Summer Wine Brewery is Cohort. I think they were going for ticking every hipster beer box going right now. It’s Double. Black. Belgian. Rye. IPA!
Cohort (7.5%) comes packaged in a 330mL bottle and opens with a very loud hiss.
It pours black with a massive dense tan head, reminiscent of something off a trappist quad, it stays there meringue-like and not wanting to leave. Where it can, it sticks to the side of the glass.
On the nose there’s a very interesting aroma: exotic spice, almost like damsons, blackberries, with a background of roastiness behind it. I’d be interested to know what hops impart that first aroma!
Taking a taste, theres a medium, slick body and a steady carbonic bite. The flavour, like the aroma, is interesting. There are cleanly defined flavours in here, a peppery, spicy hop bitterness, with very little in the way of sweetness.
I can’t really taste any of the fruit character I’d expect to be carried over from the aroma, but there are definite malt-derived flavours of black chocolate. There are some astringent bitter notes as the beer is swallowed, with a tingling alcoholic feeling on the back and sides of the tongue.
I think, buried away in there somewhere, there might be a glimpse of some of those character belgian yeast flavours but the other flavours are quite powerful and you get hints of it as you swallow… or maybe I’m dreaming them.
I have to admit my first sip of this had me scratching my head. It’s an interesting flavour, even in this odd realm of BIPAs. That said, it has grown on me and as I work my way down the bottle, I find I really quite like it.
I’m not sure if that’s an endorsement as I am only partial to a couple of BIPAs out there
Rating: 4/5 (now find me a keg of this please!)