Zephyr to be Bottled!
12 March 2009
The long awaited Zephyr is being bottled at the brewery today. This will be the first bottling from our new piece of equipment for filling champagne bottles which are to be bottled conditioned. Zephyr started off life as a 9% Double IPA which has spent 21 months in a 1965 Invergordon whisky cask which was stuffed with fresh strawberries. It is now a 12% translucent pink strawberry infused Belgian inspired wood aged ale.
We are expecting a yield of around 250 bottles. The label has been designed by young Scottish designer Johanna Basford and is stunning. The beer will also come packaged in a presentation box.
These photos were taken as we were filling the casks.
Here is some more information on the project:
We are fortunate enough that Martin's grandmother owns a lovely little Scottish strawberry farm, we decided to take full advantage of this.
We also had a Invergordon 1965 whisky cask. Invergordon is a fantastic grain whisky with amazing coconut, vanilla and toffee flavours. The fact the whisky had been in the cask for 42 years prior to use getting it made it even more special. We decided to combine 3 of our favourite things; old whisky casks, Martin's grandmother's strawberries and IPA.
We filled the cask with our 9% Imperial India pale ale along with a whopping 30 kilos of fresh strawberries, or maybe 29 kilos - James seemed to eat alot of them.........
After the beer had been in the barrel for 2 months we decided we could no longer wait to sample the beery treasures held in the oak. And what better time to open them than when 2 of our customers came to visit? James' gently tapped the cask only for the bung to explode skywards followed by a 6 foot high volcanic eruption of strawberry beer, completely soaking everyone in the vicinity with sticky strawberry seeds and hoppy ale. It had been fermenting in the cask - allot! The sugars in the strawberries had triggered the yeast still in the beer. It continued to ferment away slowly for another few weeks - this time with a proper pressure release fitted to ensure no more strawberry showers.
It looks and tastes amazing. It is a bright, translucent, fluorescent almost transparent pink colour - it is unlike anything I have ever seen in a glass. The hops of the India pale ale have died down a little but still give it a reassuring bite, the strawberry flavours dominate the nose and the coconut, vanilla and oak flavours of the cask hold it all together.