Beer Review Special! Rainbow Project 2016...

Saturday, 1 October 2016

At what point can beer drinking become a chore? That may be a little over dramatic but ploughing through the 2016 Rainbow Project Beers was the first time in this blogging adventure that I found myself struggling to finish what was in front of me.

It's not that these are bad beers. Far from it in fact as all seven have been put together wonderfully. But by the nature of the project, the brewers taking part are looking to push the envelope and in doing so have produced beers with some interesting flavour profiles to say the least.

2016 is the fourth annual rainbow project, which aims to team seven UK breweries with seven others from a specific region or county. Then each pairing is allocated a colour of the rainbow and tasked with creating a beer to represent that country.

This year the partnership country is New Zealand and the beers were launched with much fanfare on 17th September at various events around the country, before being made available from approved stockists. The full case, which I picked up from Honest Brew, came complete with a Rainbow Project 2016 glass; I think these complete sets are now sold out everywhere but the individual beers are available from the relevant breweries and some good stockists.

So what about the beers then? Well if you like sours then this is the box for you, with four out of the seven falling firmly in that category. That made it tricky for me, as whilst I have been pleasantly surprised by some of my forays into the world of sour beers (Magic Rock's Salty Kiss for example) there is no denying that it is a brewing style that is far from my favourite. When it comes to sour beers, those in this Rainbow Project case are far from delicate.

Descent into the Maelstrom worked for me, the Burning Sky/Liberty Brewing collaboration offering a beer that was difficult to pin down but delighted with its fresh fruity dryness.

But by far my favourite was Siren Craft Brew and Garage Project's Blacklight Banana. This banana infused coffee stout tapped right into what my autumnal taste buds were craving and is possibly the only one out of the set that I would actively seek out again.

So my overall view? All seven beers are great examples of the innovation that is driving the international brewing scene forward. It's just a shame that by thinking so far out of the box, they've produced a range of beers that on the whole just don't suit my tastes. But then the world of beer would be a boring place if we all liked the same things, I'll just keep my fingers crossed that next year's Rainbow Project produces at least a few more 'crowd pleasers.'

The full range are listed below, along with a seven word review;

Universal Mild
"Looks stunning, fruit cake richness, smoky finish."

Burning Sky/Liberty Brewing
Descent into the Maelstrom
"A spoonful of fruity, boozy, marmalade tanginess."

Hawkshead/Yeastie Boys
Kai Moana Gose
"Like sucking a thunderbuster whilst sea swimming!"

Magic Rock/Fork Brewing
The Upside Down
"Sour  fatigue! Left me flat, expected more."

Wild Beer Co/8 Wired
Black & Blue
"Amazing nose; super sour taste, peppery finish."

Siren Craft Brew/Garage Project
Blacklight Banana
"Velvty banana coffee cuddle in a glass."

Partizan Brewing (Panhead were unable to fulfil the collaboration)
Royal Ale
"Nobles can keep it; not for me!"

1 comment:

  1. Love the imagery on this & despite the majority not being to your taste, it's great you've reviewed this box & found one you like.


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