Every year the gang at Lost Industry create something a little bit special for their Annum range, and this year is no exception.
In fact it feels really important this year to have something a bit special to enjoy, given what a grim slog the twelve months have been for all of us.
This year’s Annum range is a triumvirate of beautifully brewed and Bordeaux barrel aged fruit sours, something that Jimmy and the crew are very very good at.
Pouring as thick and creamy as freshly pressed peaches, this is a big juicy beer that starts with an almost vanilla ice cream and farmyard aroma.
The body of the beer is full and round and rich, a thick peach juice bolstered by wheaty biscuits, honey and pancakes, while the hops add a green herbal spark to the mix.
The Brett yeast does what it does so well, adding a steely metallic dryness and a fug of warm sweet silage as the barrel ageing builds, bringing damp tannin rich oak and a hint of damsons and cherries to the superbly dry finish.
This one pours a deep pinky purple and shines in my glass, it’s a clear beer rather than the soup of the peach, and the aroma is a woody red wine.
Where the soft fruitiness of the peach meant that the barrel ageing added subtle extra layers, the raspberries bring out the wine and wood of the ageing process, with the malting providing a subtle toffee and waffle backbone.
And so, as well as a deliciously fresh and juicy raspberry flavour, and that hit of Brett yeast bringing its earthy tang alongside the rush of the freshly chopped herbal hops, you find that the barrels are thrust to the fore, all lip puckering boozy plums ad damp woody goodness.
This for me is the best of the three, as the balance is absolutely perfect.
The Peach, while lovely, only let the barrel ageing peep out from behind the fruit, and the Raspberry gave too much space to the barrels, whereas the Cherry allows everything the time that it deserves.
The fruit is dark and rich, juicy and round, the malting is a soft caramel brioche, sweet, doughy and light, and the hops add their sharp herbal tang.
And then there’s the almost sweet woodiness of the barrels, slightly musky, slightly damp, and a wash of lip drying wine that brings warmth and elegance, and more than a hint of booze filled raisins to the superbly dry finish.
Source: Lost Industry Brewing Co.