I first tried this at Brothers Beer a few months ago mainly out of curiosity. I always like to try beers that look a bit different or do something a bit outside the standard mold. Rosemary and liquorice certainly fits that description. Then again I do like spiced beers just because they offer a different taste. This is by The Herbalist, who at this stage only have two beers, the other of which is sitting in my fridge and I will have to have a go at one day soon.
The nose is sweet with a lemon note to it, but also the unmistakable smell of liquorice. The taste is rosemary, you wouldn’t think that a beer could taste just like rosemary, but it does. The finish is sweet and again with the rosemary, and a bit of liquorice. There is also a slightly bitter note at the end, but the finish is overall quite fleeting, as most spiced beers are.
This beer tastes exactly as it sounds, which is nice in some ways. What you see is what you get. The flavors could be assumed as quite overpowering but they are not, they are well balanced and provide gentle notes of rosemary and liquorice without making you feel as though you are chewing on either. Overall it is very well done, and I am looking forward to trying the Manuka Ale, and hopefully what will be more from this brewery.
Who: The Herbalist, New Zealand
What: Herbed/Spiced Beer
Nose: Sweet, lemon, liquorice
Look: Clear gold
Finish: Rosemary, sweet, slightly bitter
Form Tried: 500ml bottle