Beer is an interesting beverage, at its essence it is somewhat akin to oatmeal simple, comforting, comprising of a few basic ingredients and open to any manner of sexing it up with the addition of any combination of foodstuffs.
Beer, in this analogy, is like the tabula rasa of the alcoholic beverage world.
Unlike vintners or distillers, brewers really embrace this versatility and seem unabashedly willing to add pretty much anything to their brews. I have seen mushroom beer, spearmint beer, acai beer, beet beer, chocolate mint beer, maple bacon beer and the list goes on and on and on.
In past posts I have written (perhaps ad nauseum) about my reservations over this endless experimentation with craft beer but somewhat hypocritically that does not always deter me from picking up a beer that seems to be an irresistible collision of flavours.
This was the case with Bourbon Peach American Wild Ale from Unity Vibration Kombucha Beer. Oh yes, you read that right. This is a wild ale brewed with kombucha tea and peach then fermented with bourbon barrels, and did I mention it is organic, raw, vegan, gluten-free and bottle conditioned? I can hear the collective gasps emanating from foodies everywhere.
For those who do not keep abreast of the latest foodie objects of affection, kombucha tea is a living brew made from friendly (not adversarial) bacteria, sugar, water and tea. Like most foodie foods it is actually a rather ancient drink that has come back into the limelight. As kombucha tea is a fermented beverage a minimal amount of alcohol is the result of the production and you just may get i.d’d for the equivalent of a non-alcoholic beer.
But enough of that let’s get back to the beer.
Bourbon Peach American Wild Ale 7% ABV
Bourbon Peach American Wild Ale pours a very pale straw colour, a lot of cloud and very little white head that almost immediately dissipates. As would be expected with a living beverage there is an obscene amount of carbonation. There is a sour funkiness to the nose, typical of kombucha tea, but at the same time there is an underlying sweetness and a slight caramel note. First couple of sips, this ale tastes like a peach cooler, bubbly, sweet and light-bodied. As you drink, this ale changes to a smoother almost buttery like mouthfeel. At the same time there is tartness that cuts through all the other tastes reminding you that this is indeed a wild ale at heart. The peach-ness of this ale is impressive; generally, I find peach to be a flavour that does not come through strongly but it really does here. The finish alludes to the bourbon barrels imparting a bit of strength to this wild ale and a sweetness. Overall an interesting, if challenging, take on a wild ale.
Perhaps the highest compliment I can pay this ale is that I have honestly never had a beer that tastes quite like this. In fact, if you did not specifically tell me this was a beer I may have guessed it was some type of cocktail or beer blend. For those that like to drink outside the box I highly recommend giving this beer a try!