Yellow Belly by Buxton & Omnipollo

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Beer Name: Yellow Belly

Brewer: Buxton Brewery, Derbyshire, UK in collaboration with Omnipollo, Stockholm, Sweden

Date Sampled:  20th November 2016

ABV: 11%

Serving Type: Bottle

Location Sampled: Home

It was way back in 1988 when Public Enemy first implored us not to believe the hype; well if they were talking about Yellow Belly they were very wrong.

I first heard about Yellow Belly in early October. I had just posted a review of a peanut butter stout that had failed to live up to my expectation and Instagram user formerginge1 mentioned that he hoped to see some Yellow Belly around soon. I'd never seen, tasted or heard of this Yellow Belly! Unfortunately I soon discovered that whilst it had a great reputation, it was seasonal and there were no bottles to be found.

Then around ten days ago Buxton announced that it was back and scheduled for initial release from the Buxton Tap House. I frantically searched for friends or family who might be able to pick me up some bottles and got very lucky when a mate revealed that he would be in Buxton last weekend. So off he went with my shopping list in hand and happily, he was successful!

Based in the heart of the Peak District, Buxton are a hugely popular brewery with a great reputation. I've liked everything I've had from them so far, especially the Guatemalan Coffee Extra Porter.

Their collaborators here, Omnipollo, are one of the hottest European breweries around at the moment. Based out of Stockholm, they work with breweries around the globe to bring their recipes to life. Priding themselves on unusual taste combinations, Omnipollo's list of flavours across their eclectic range reads like a stockroom from Willy Wonka's factory.

Yellow Belly is a peanut butter biscuit stout that Omnipollo and Buxton say is designed to be open minded and progressive. The symbolism in the packaging is completely deliberate; the name Yellow Belly being used as a metaphor for the cowardly nature of racism and prejudice. Deep stuff.

Well I'm not going to get into a socio-political commentary on this blog, but I have no problem with breweries using their products to spread a message, especially one as important as battling prejudice.

So what about the beer?

In the glass it appears jet black, with a small caramel head which does not last long.

The aroma is amazing, full of biscuit sweetness reminiscent of a jar of Biscoff Spread, along with peanut butter, vanilla, toffee and a hint of dark chocolate.

It has a smooth, creamy luxurious mouth feel.

The flavour is immense. The biscuit follows through from the nose, there is an element of natural tasting peanut butter, then it all smooths away into a satisfying boozy bitterness.

It is an incredibly enjoyable mouthful of beer which, whilst being incredibly well balanced, packs one hell of a punch.

Sometimes these limited edition seasonal beers generate so much buzz that the drink itself can never live up to the expectation. Yellow Belly is not that beer.

I'll cherish and savour the bottles I have left and will count the weeks until it's with us again. Believe the hype.

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