It may have come to your attention that I have something of a soft spot for Berkshire’s Siren Craft Brew, relative newcomers to the relatively new UK craft beer scene and champions of special releases, seasonal brews, experimental beers, and style twisting collaborations. More on the collaborations in the next few weeks, for now I have a trio of their latest seasonal IPA’s to play with, ‘tis a hard life.
First up is Ryesing Tides, a 7.4% abv rye IPA packed with Simcoe and Mosaic hops.
It pours a dark caramel colour, the head bubblegum white and long lasting. The aroma is toasty and spicy with citrus, tropical fruits, and a hint of old pine needles. Lovely.
It tastes like… You can’t decide on mixed citrus marmalade or peach and papaya jam to smother on your toasted rye bread so you put a bit of both on. You then garnish it with random dried flowers and drizzle it with caramel sauce. Aww yeah. 'Tis smooth as my pert derriere, medium bodied and has a long bitter finish. Great stuff.
Next we have Rainbow (Red) IPA, an entry into a competition with six other UK craft brewers where everyone was asked to brew a beer inspired by a colour of the rainbow. Siren went all Biblical with this, a Belgian style golden ale brewed with Duvel (Devil in Flemish) yeast that’s been hopped to IPA levels and has added apple juice to represent original sin. However they got there, I gotta say it sounds interesting.
It pours a rather beautiful burnished amber with a huge “Mr Whippy” ice cream like head. The aroma is yeasty with lemon and orange zest sprinkled on cookie crumbs.
There’s the heady, spicy, dry hay and wet mouse-like Belgian notes that are expected, but with a big hit of fruity, citrus flavours that add a delightful complexity. If your average field mouse knew how good this was they’d all decorate their nests with orange and lemon peel. It’s bittersweet, has a perky carbonation and a lingering dry finish. I do rather like it.
Finally there’s 7 SeasIPA, a black wheat IPA loaded with seven different “C” hops from the US and Germany.
It pours an entirely predictable black, the head beige as, whatever. The aroma has comforting, dark roasted malts, spice, and sharp citrus fruits.
“I’m an alchemist so I am! A good splash of cold brew coffee, a bar of milk chocolate, a chunk of Turkish Delight, a string of licorice, some liquid smoke, lemon zest, a segment of tangerine, and a squeeze of fresh grapefruit juice all go in the cauldron. Alacazam! I got beer!!!” FYI that’s exactly how Siren make this smooth, roasty, citrusy, bitter and easy drinking brew. And yeah, it’s every bit as good as I think that sounds.
So there we have it. Three really rather successful and entirely different spins on the IPA wheel of wonders. Siren didn’t disappoint with any of these and I’d recommend any of them to those willing to try something a little different, but then if you’re reading this I think it’s safe to say you like beer that’s a little different. If I could have another of these right now though, I’d pick the 7Seas. I love the combination of roasty, hoppy flavours in a good Black IPA, and this balances them quite wonderfully. 'Til next time, cheers m'dears.