Todays Advent Calendar beer was created (2008) specifically as an accompaniment to food by Spanish brewers Damm and Ferran Adriá, the chef patron of the intergalactic restaurant that was elBulli who at the height of their vogue, received 1 million bookings per year for only 8,000 covers! There’s a cynical Guardian article of July 2010 article which suggests the financially struggling Señor Adrià was only in the collaboration for the money? That may well have been the case, as the restaurant closed it’s doors 12 months later in June 2011.
James Clay who import the beer into the UK say it’s brewed with wheat and barley malt, accentuated with coriander, orange peel and liquorice. What did I think? Well it’s definitely interesting. In my simple terms, it’s some sort of hybrid Lager/Wheat beer. For a Wheat beer it’s very clear, a slight haze at best. It’s very pale in colour too. The nose is gently aromatic with a hint of citrus sharpness which carries through into the taste. Amongst the lemony oranges, I also got a bit of banana, a gentle spiciness, maybe a hint of cloves and a honey like maltiness at the end. It carried a nice head as well which laced down the glass.
It’s quite a light refreshing sort of drink, and it has a gentle acidity that would work well with food, the same sort of acidity you would get in a dry white wine. I did wonder when I saw Ascorbic acid (antioxidant) was one of the ingredients on the bottle label? In small quantities it may be imperceptible, but I reckon the acidity running through this beer might owe something to this additive?
I get the food accompaniment thing, but they’ve overplayed this with the, obviously designed to look like a wine bottle, bottle, the 750ml one even more. It’s a bit like a Sam Smith’s pub, in so far as they’ve removed all the branding and it’s only when you look closely that you see who the brewer is. Clearly they wanted to distance this product from the mass produced Estrella Damm Lager. Having said that, out of all the Spanish mass market Lager beers then I would go for Estrella Damm every time, when in Rome and all that. I wouldn’t pay the premium they put on a pint of it over here though.
Verdict – Apparently Inedit means, ‘never been done before’? I think this one falls into the category mentioned yesterday; weird stuff they couldn’t shift.