Thursday, 25 September 2014

Feral Brewing: Barrique O'karma (Black IPA)

Two Row Bar, Fitzroy (Melbourne)

Without any doubt, Barrique O'karma is a triumph in the black IPA genre.

Here we have a handsome face, but not one that is at the head of an ugly empire.  Feral Brewing have truly outstripped themselves with Barrique O'Karma: a limited edition, one-off batch release black IPA that heads up the WA stable's Brewpub Series.

Talk of the beer's head, it is beige in colour and dissipates significantly before leaving solid lacing. The appearance is as black as black could be, however the tonality leaves one in no doubt that Barrique O'karma is a black IPA, not a stout or porter.

The aroma here suggests billy tea with abundant  notes of pine and grass.  Green tea, in fact, is present in tannins and the long-lingering aftertaste.  A very complex brew indeed!  Coffee sweetness dominates on entry prior to a big, bitter, slightly astringent finish; a beer to present to wine connoisseurs, perhaps?  Even the mouthfeel is slightly reminiscent of a good Shiraz (minus the carbonation factor, which itself is on the subtle side).

Barrique O’Karma is a truly unique black IPA, for which the Feral brewers ought to be immensely proud.  It speaks of and for the Swan Valley from whence it came, owing to its black swan colour and vino-esque tannin; not to mention the ingenuity and creativity that can be found within this utterly beautiful part of the world.

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