I love it when a beer makes you stop and completely rethink what you’d already assumed. I love it. That moment of ‘wait a minute...’ or that ‘holy shit’ reaction that just gets you excited. That’s what happened with these St Peter’s beers – The Saints and Suffolk Smokey.
They arrived in the post way before Christmas. It was probably October. It got bundled up in starting a new job and trying to move house and it got added to the list of beers to be drunk when I got the chance (even if they did look great and included peated malt and whisky. I love the peaty flavour in whisky – I can’t get enough of it, I want it to be pungent and intense and to sear through my sinuses).
They are both a modest 4.8% and both are deep gold in colour, so not your usual black beer with whisky. The Saints includes ‘a measure of whisky’ from the English Whisky Co while the Suffolk Smokey is made with peated distilling malt.
The Saints has that background and edge of whisky and smoke. There’s a big apple note, and stone fruit, some tutti fruity cheekiness, then a wisp of smoke through it all adding a brilliant depth and interest to it. As it warms the whisky gets more intense, more in your face, and I love that – it gets rougher, peatier, less fruity. It surprised me in the best of ways.
Suffolk Smokey is all about the smoke and peat – bonfires and earth. It’s more smoke in the nose than in the flavour, but it adds that back-of-the-mouth roughness of peat, an earthiness that mixes with the bitterness. It’s fantastic – the only problem was the lack of carbonation in the bottle (it didn’t pffft when the cap came off and felt flat, which dulled the flavours for me).
I couldn’t get enough of these. I love how the whisky in put was pungent yet still refined, I love what the peated malt added to it, love how the glug of whisky in The Saints gave a fruit depth you’d never get in beer alone and love how the beers were pale which allowed the whisky to play the starring role without the charry, dark notes of roasted malt. Whisky and beer done well.
I tried the Suffolk Smokey last year down at the Jerusalem Tavern - very odd but very tasty.ReplyDelete
I think I prefer the Saints, which I picked up recently in the supermarket - has a brilliant whisky kick to it. Two seriously nice beers for sure!
I found them to be almost undrinkable, Suffolk Smokey being particularly unpleasant. But your mileage may vary, as they say.ReplyDelete
Don't think they're for me, I can't stand the phenolic flavour from peated malt.ReplyDelete
I was very impressed by The Saints, really took me by surprise.ReplyDelete
Yep, the Suffolk Smokey took me by surprise when I tried it on draught at the Jerusalem Tavern. I'd tried a few UK smoked beers in the past and they had generally been relatively subtle, to say the least. The full-on character of the St Peters was certainly unexpected. Whether you like that or not depends, of course, on your personal tastes.ReplyDelete
Being a New Orleans Saints fan, I feel obligated to track down The Saints and try it. We get a fair share of St Peter's stuff stateside, so maybe I'll be able to find it.ReplyDelete
Ive got a bottle of the saints and a bottle of the whisky in a gift set that my brother got me for christmas, not tucked in yet...ive been impressed with the english whisky co beers i've tried so far so looking forward to this chapter 9ReplyDelete
I too find the Suffolk Smokey completely undrinkableReplyDelete
The Saints tasted of burnt electrics and barbecue sauce and the whisky had walked through on stilts, not great.ReplyDelete
I found the St Peter's undrinkable. It's taste and smell reminds me of those days when I used to drink canned beer, left it out at a party, and resumed drinking only to find that someone had used the can as an ash tray.ReplyDelete
I've tried an enormous number of different beers and this is the only one that I just could not drink...