For my second beer I am heading to Wales. Back in the 80s Welsh beer was either 'Feeling Foul' (Felinfoel) or Skull Attack (Brains SA). I actually liked Double Dragon but today I wouldn't cross the road for it. Nowadays it is Tiny Rebel and The Celt Experience that I get excited about when it comes to Welsh beer. When I saw this 10.5% ABV Celt Experience Imperial Russian Porter available from Ales By Mail I knew I had to try it.
Ogham is some secret code initiated amongst the druids of Gaul it seems, bestowed upon the poets of primitive Ireland and Wales. The transcription reflects tree folklore where the sequence of the letters reveal the archaic 'seasonal calendar of tree magic'. Ash is a tree whose mass, height and deeply imbedded roots are all metaphors for the spiritually minded reflecting mastership and power. I don't really understand it but a beer has to have a name and they managed to fit all of this information onto the label which is quite a feat in itself. More interesting perhaps and something it doesn't mention is that the ash gives off a sugary substance and it has been suggested that this was fermented to create the Norse Mead of Inspiration,a mythical beverage that bestows knowledge and intelligence. Ha! That will do for me.
This particular beverage I'm sure can do all of that. It is rich, black and potent. A boozy inherent sweetness that comes from the strength but does not totally dominate over the rich flavours of coffee, dark chocolate, dark fruits and liquorice that come from the hops and seven malts that are used to create this magical beer. Yes it is boozy but it is also flavoursome and warming and I wish I had a couple more bottles of it. This beer easily scores top marks from me.