Right, I’m getting back into my epic list. I feel like I’ve neglected it a bit this year, so it’s time to do the good old ‘make up for a year of laziness with a mid-December flurry’ trick. Today I’m trying a beer from the Uncommon Brewery in California, USA: the Siamese Twin Ale. I have huge hopes for this beer, mainly because it has a lime pictured on the front of it. I was a cocktail bartender in a previous life, and my mantra was ‘everything tastes better with lime’…which should make this ale sensational! Beer number 111 off the epic list is the Uncommon Brewers Siamese Twin Ale.
What’s in the name?
I’m not certain, but I don’t think Siamese twin is politically correct; maybe it needs to be called conjoined twin ale instead? Anyway…this is a beer in a can; I mentioned my aversion to canned beers before, so I do hold some concerns. But this can is silver and has bright colourful pictures of limes on it, which gives me the impression that the beer contained within is something light, fresh and tangy…maybe a lambic or a hoppy pilsener? However, the description on the can makes me think otherwise; it’s described as a Belgian dubbel that is ‘seasoned’ with Thai flavours, including coriander, lemongrass and kaffir lime. What?!
What’s in the bottle?
It pours out of the can thick, and has a pillowy head that shows off the ales Belgian heritage. You can’t see through the opaque brown/orange body, and the tiny bubbles racing up the glass give it that feeling of uneasy motion. It smells candy sweet from the start, so much so that I can even smell it while it’s resting next to my computer. The initial flavour is sweet, which turns into a solid bready aftertaste that’s sticks to the mouth. Slowly the spices start to show themselves; coriander first, then a little lemongrass…I swear there was even a point that I licked my lips and tasted some sour lime. As it warms, the lime and other spices become very obvious. There’s definitely lime in the aroma (anyone who has had lime Solo will understand what I’m on about) which is coupled with that typical ‘Belgian candy effervescence’ that I always find. What results is an aroma that’s sweet, spicy and sour…just like a great Thai dish. This is also noticeable in the lengthy aftertaste; it’s at this point that you really get the lemongrass, coriander and kaffir lime leaf in the flavour.
This beer is a total tease! The can screams out ‘light refreshing beer that is perfect to smash on a hot summer day’…but the beer that comes out of the can is nothing of the sort. This isn’t bad, but it does take a while to get used to the fact that you have an ale with some real depth and complexity to contend with. The good thing about the can is that the text found on it isn’t marketing spin at all; every flavour that is described can be found with relative ease. It really is a Belgian dubbel accentuated with Thai spices…and it really is pretty amazing. I can now officially say that I have tasted a good beer out of a can.