Golden barrel-matured Australian Wild Ale aged with Muscat of Alexandria (Zibibbo) skins after six months in terracotta amphora from our friends at Brash Higgins, McLaren Vale SA.
Instead of marrying fresh fruit and aged beer, I decided to experiment with the pressed skins out of the amphora, after that 6 month fermentation/ageing in clay. So, when time came to empty the amphora in late August 2018, Brad put the pressings into sealed containers that were gassed and immediately sent to Sydney. Upon receiving them a few days later, we transferred the skins to a stainless steel vessel and blended in a barrel of 8 month old Gold (#1770) and an equal volume of freshly fermented Gold. By adding young beer, I wanted to give some food for fermentation by the diversity of living microbes on the skins, even though they had been under wine for some time. The beer then aged and slowly fermented, getting drier for 4 months in contact with the skins. It was packaged on 3 January 2019 with a small dosing of sugar for natural carbonation through refermentation in bottle for 11 weeks.
Upon release, it's nose is dominated by the Muscat skins. Hop-like aromas of citrus, ripe peach, musk/perfume and earthy spice. The palate shows strongly of the gold beer base, focussed and taut. Strong pithy citrus fruits drive the palate along, keeping the beer fresh and energetic. Subtle vinous elements add to the beer's length and overall acid drive. In time expect the palate to soften and gain texture from the skin component. - Topher Boehm