Beau’s The Spice Principle Spiced Weissbier, Van Kleek Hill, Ontario, Canada (Alcohol 5.6%) LCBO : Available as part of the Beau’s Fall Mix Pack. $21.95 for the 4 x 600ml Mix Pack
Looking at the label and the name, I had all sorts of Frank Herbert-esque thoughts swirling around my head as I enjoyed this leftfield brew.
I’ll admit that coriander, turmeric, cumin, fenugreek, cayenne, black pepper, yellow mustard, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and nutmeg are ingredients that I’d usually expect in my kitchen rather than in my beer, but after a couple of sips I found this relative oddity to be most to my liking. Coming as part of the Beau’s Fall Mix Pack, I had left this one until last, thinking of it as the veritable red-headed-stepchild of the foursome. All of those curry spices in a Weissbeer? Surely not? It was getting a bit late in the evening and my fridge was looking rather empty beer-wise, I thought “Alright, necessity compels me to do this thing.” And what a delightfully pleasant surprise it was.
The Spice Principle pours a hazy golden into the glass, with a pronounced thick, white head. The complex aromatics are quite something, which should come as no real surprise knowing the multitude of ingredients at play here. Every time I went back to it, as the beer warmed up, I discovered something new, with the clove, nutmeg, and ginger giving the baking spice side of things the dominant profile. Upon returning to the glass, the turmeric and cumin came to the fore, giving the beer a distinctive curry twang. With this in mind I thought I’d try it second-time-around with a delivery curry from Toronto’s Banjara and it worked a treat. I worried perhaps that this combination would simply be way too much curry spice, but no, it worked extremely well, the low carbonation, mild spice-driven warmth, and black pepper finish only adding to the breadth of spices on the palate.
Whilst not for everyone, I certainly recommend the more adventurous of you to seek this out, and remember, he who controls the Spice controls the universe
(Four and a half apples out of a possible five)
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Edinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution… And this certainly grew on him. The Worm is the Spice! The Spice is the Worm!