Tamar CreekSeptember 16, 2014
St Austell Brewery
The cherries used by St Austell Brewery in Tamar Creek were handpicked at an orchard at Bohetherick Farm in the Tamar Valley near Saltash, Cornwall, before being mashed entirely by foot and added to the barrels, where the kriek aged for six months.
ORIGINAL GRAVITY: NA
St Austell – town and brewery – are in the deepest south of England in the rocky, sea-girt county of Cornwall. The family-owned brewery dates from 1851 and, in younger hands, has broadened out from a base of traditional pale ales and bitters. Tamar Creek is a Belgian-style fruit lambic. The finished beer is cloudy red/brown in appearance with an acidic aroma of cherry fruit and almonds. The sour palate is dominated by fruit and nuts while the shatteringly dry finish is packed with more tart fruit and nut character.
- Roger Protz
Drinking more like sour red than lambic, this is nonetheless an excellent addition to St Austell’s already noteworthy beer selection. Striking a balance between the sweetness of sumptuous fruit and challenging acidity is always tricky in this sort of beer, but the team has done a fantastic job. Juicy Cornish cherries are immediately evident in the slightly earthy, cidery aroma, and they lead in the taste, too, but always countered by mouth-puckering sourness, along with an acetic zing that leaves a gentle burn. Woody notes emerge in the softly warming, acidic finish, but the fruit lingers on. Very impressive.
- Jeff Evans
Author of 300 Beers to Try Before You Die and 300 More Beers to Try Before You Die. Respected beer authority and editor of the CAMRA Good Beer Guide and www.protzonbeer.co.uk.
Jeff Evans is author of the Good Bottled Beer Guide, The Book of Beer Knowledge and Beer Lover’s Britain. More of his writing can be found at www.insidebeer.com.