“Let ur love unfurl with The Earl of Swirl, our Berry Cream Sour. Hang on to your neckerchief and lose urself in the rapturous additions of over a 1,000L of blackberry, 400L of raspberry and vanilla bean, balanced on a pale malt backbone, a lactobacillus pitch and one risqué ABV. Enjoy The Earl of Swirl, the ninth release from Counter Culture – beers that go against the grain.”
Appearance: Kinda light crimson with a pink two and a half finger head which holds up nicely. Thick, blotchy lace clings to the glass as it ebbs.
Aroma: Literally smells like we’ve opened a punnet of fresh raspberries. Then add a touch of strawberry sweetness, whipped cream and vanilla/lactose. The tartness is quite mild and feels mostly natural (from the fruit). It seems like a one trick pony though…maybe a hint at other mixed berries like blueberry/blackberry but that’s about it.
Flavour: Smooth, creamy and chock full of mixed red berries. But…erm…where’s the sourness? It may as well be a mixed berry smoothie…with a shot of booze! It all seems to drop off like a bad habit too. Not much pulling through other than some mixed berries and lactose.
Mouthfeel: Creamy, mineraly and well rounded. Medium Co2, mild-moderate body. 6.9% ABV is well concealed.
Overall: We feel they’ve kind of lost their way with this Counter Culture series. Take Sticky Nectar and It’d Be Rude Not To (and G3) and put them against the last couple of releases and it’s chalk and cheese.