I was eating blackberries we picked from the park back in Summer (yes, we are heatens and we refridgerate those we don't eat or turn into jam) and I was thinking, hmm, I likes me fruit beers, like Fruli and I likes me beer generally. I know, I shall have a fruity beer.
Cue tonight's ale: Forest Fruits by Wychwood brewery. It was in a very attractively dark bottle (do I detect a note of red in the glass?) and was attractively priced at the supermarket of choice for picking up nice beers.
It said it was best served chilled. I obliged and had it in the fridge for a good long while before opening it. I almost forgot about it and so it did not accompany a meal or any food, rather coming soon after it into the evening. This is not necessarily a bad thing, Riggwelter does better this way and Leffe Blonde can have its moments too. It was a respectable 4.2% ABV too.
But I'm not a fan of this. Perhaps it has been too long since I had a fruity beer or perhaps I have become too much of a CAMRA styled beardy-ale-drinker or perhaps work is getting to me too much. I don't know. There was a definite fruity taste and smell to this. A sickly-sweet hint of cranberries on the nose and an attempt at blackberries in the taste. They claim to have added berries to the beer to give it a distinctive taste and maybe they have but they have also added copious amounts of sugar to it. It obscures what should have been a good tang and some sharp berries. I like my blackberries slightly sour and I like them picked freshly (I remember eating them in the park back in August with the Boy). I do not like them when they've been drowned in sweetness and light in some badly made crumble. It is the crumble that has the sugar in it and the filling that is there to contrast with that, it's the whole point! Other writers point to the overpowering taste of strawberries, but I'm a great fan of Pegasus strawberries so, being sour, I did not make that association, but they may be right. Willow tasted strawberries.
As a consequence I couldn't quite bring myself to like this beer. Willow is more of a fan and I suppose it would have its place. Drink this with a dessert rather than the main course and drink it after something like Thoroughbred Gold too, it is a dessert beer in all senses of the word. I can't imagine having more than one in a sitting and I can't imagine having it with anything other than a meal. Drink last and not to get drunk.