Vibrant Forest Dark Beer Box 2019
Vibrant Forest Brewery
6.6% - 11%
6 x 330ml
Untappd Rating: TBC
Osedax Fields, a 6.6% Black Cranberry Saison
We wanted to work cranberries into this year's box. They're seasonal, evocative, and quite tasty. Their flavour is also unique, and overall quite drying, so we had to brew a beer that'd support these qualities. We eventually landed on a black saison recipe. The dark and roasted malt flavours marry well with the drying quality of cranberries, whilst the spiced and humic qualities of the Belgian yeast blend well with their earthy characters. Osedax Fields carries a lot of diverse flavours that marry well and create a truly unique brew.
Azure Ediface, an 8.4% Blueberry and Blackcurrant Stout
We wanted to include quite an unsubtle, up your face, fruited number in this box. Given the theme, we decided to combine tangy fruits with a fairly dry, roasty stout. Azure Ediface takes a traditional strong stout base, heavy with roasted malts and earthy coffee, and blends this with extreme levels of blueberry and blackcureant purees. A real juxtaposition, with an aroma dominated by tangy berries and stolid Belgian chocolate, a surprisingly juicy mouthfeel, and a long tannic and dry finish, redolent of heavy red wines and chocolate puddings.
Darkened Ardour, an 11% Tonka and Coffee Stout
Earlier in the year, we hased out Collabfest 2019 brew plans with Brewdog Southampton. They were all very passionate and a lot of madness flew between us both. We settled on Tonkaccino, a stout full of coffee and tonka. We were impressed with their ardour for the project, and decided to imperialise the brew into this year's DBB. Expect a complex imperial stout, all dark chocolate, espresso and heavy roasted malts, married with a serious amount of coffee beans, and lashings of tonka's complex broth of cinnamon, cherry and vanilla.
The Islander, a 7.5% Grappa BA Black Gose
Last year we emptied our Grappa barrels of their baltic porter contents. The aging of that beer, Svalbard, had tempered the firey maelstrom of the parent spirit, resulting in a couple of smooth and sensible oak vessels. Into these, we interred a strong black gose base, a liquor full of rich and tart sherbert notes, with a creamy saltiness, and finished with light chocolate and roasted flavours. Grappa aging has added flavours of warm oak, apples, and sticky grape skins that locks this complex beer together.
Crystalline Anomaly, an 8.4% Whisky BA Orange and Chocolate Stout
This is the fourth beer of the Midnight Anthracite series. Four barrels: two peated whisky, one rum, one bourbon...a long and silly history. Crystalline Anomaly takes Cacaophony's base beer, and ages it in the oak for 10 months. This embued the liquid with a delightfully complex and smooth smoked character. Once extracted, we conditioned it on fresh seville oranges and cacao nibs to enrich the brew with deep and rich orange and chocolate flavours.
High Elan, a 9% 3 YEAR Bourbon BA Cherry Stout
A beer three years in the making, an effort of patience and craft. High Elan is the product of a single barrel of Black Oktober Imperial stout, aged for three years in 1st use Bourbon barrels. The barrel has added oak and vanilla characteristics, and the sands of time have rounded this off with a complex smoothness, that takes its constituent parts and renders a perfectly balanced broth. Onto this venerable liquid we added fresh cherries, to further enhance the quality of its native sweetness, and to add further layers to this complex and respectable beer.