The Celt Experience, Wales – Ogham Oak, 8.5 %
Not ones to shy away from this sort of thing, we took it on, and sure enough it was fantastic stuff. So good, in fact, that we had to get it in bottles so we could continue to enjoy it, unable to guarantee a steady supply on tap for the staff.
Our Welsh section instantly doubled in size, as we took in their other Ogham series (read: strong, experimental beers); completed by Willow, and American-style India Pale Ale, and Oak, a spiced Tripel-style ale, inspired by the Belgian brewing tradition.
Brewed with cinnamon and orange peel, Ogham Oak pours the colour of golden syrup; brassy gold with copper edges, underneath an audibly fizzing white head that soon diminishes to a delicate white collar.
The aroma is pure nostalgia-fodder; pineapple cubes vie with orange pop, foam bananas, and sweet, bready yeast for your attention, underlined by a bitter, dusty note from the cinnamon.
Light bodied and dry, with a spritzy carbonation, a traditional Belgian tripel soon gives way to pineapple juice and banana sweetness. A cinnamon swell rises with the dry finish, its punchy earthiness further drying the palate as an even, but firm, hoppiness brings freshly cut grass and lemon zest to the fray. Complex, innovative, and ultimately fun, Ogham Oak is experimental done right.
Recommended by Michael Bates from Trembling Madness, Stonegate, York