The Mussell Inn ‘spring bock’ colonial ale


image“Put a Pale Whale in a pinot barrel for 9 months, stick a Monkey on it’s back, run a Dark Horse past it and then give it a good kick with an Ass. Bringing back the flavours of our forebears. A funky barrel aged semi sour – tasty as!”

Strange one here folks, it’s described by the brewers as an Eisbock (which is a style we’ve never tried before) so we’ll see how we go by the end of the review. Served in a shaker glass the mahogany brown pour shows deep tawny red highlights when held against the light. Crowning it off sits a big, fizzy 3 finger beige head which retains really well leaving thick bubbly lacing clinging to our glass. Onto the aroma. Now this is where we were thrown off, initially we picked up a complex funky sourness. A slightly musty/earthy characteristic is spruced up by a citric splash of lime juice together with hints of oriental-style spice and caramel malts, that add much needed balance to a very loose and erratic aroma. The mouth feel is quite frothy with medium carbonation. Following on from the aroma, the flavour profile also packs a lot of funky/bretty sourness, though the sweet malt presence is brought up to balance it out. Soft bitterness from the hops plus a hint of dried fruits, clove and a very faint warming from the ABV (7.2%) rounds it off. In parts they have it right, maybe we don’t know enough about Eisbock’s but for us it was more like a sour or a wild ale. Just too funky and muddled up for us.