Review: Wild Beer Iduna Cru

Review of Wild Beer Iduna Cru from Wild Beer Co. in Somerset, England.

Beer Type: Saison  ABV: 9%  Tried on draught.

Their Description: “Named after the Norse goddess of youth and apples, this is an equally divine Belgian-style saison with a copious amount of New Zealand hops, freshly harvested Somerset apple juice and wild yeast added to the mix. However, we like to take things just that bit further (it’s the Wild way!) – once bottled the beer undergoes a secondary fermentation with champagne yeast giving it a brisk spritziness on the tongue. Serve chilled in a champagne flute to allow the bouquet of playfully aromatic notes to be fully appreciated. Take a sip to enjoy a further cascade of striking and sensuous flavors alongside the carefree champagne-like spritziness. The long, dry finish is both refreshing and complex.

The Reality: Has a nice head with a citrus tangerine scent. There are floral and peppery notes with a mild tang up front that subside and reveal a flowery honey sweetness balanced by the alcohol. It definitely has a dry finish that is refreshing and decently complex, with very little aftertaste. I didn’t find it to be hoppy or have any taste of apples. Does it have a “brisk spritziness on the tongue”? I’m going to say yes just because I really enjoy the phrase “brisk spritziness” and will probably steal it to use in future reviews. On the other hand, the phrase “striking and sensuous flavors” overstates things a bit.

Final Verdict: I found it really interesting that a beer made with “copious amounts of New Zealand hops” and “Somerset apple juice” did not taste hoppy or like apples. That doesn’t mean there wasn’t several layers of flavor, because there was. It also doesn’t mean this is a bad beer, I actually found it quite tasty and a bit unique. I have to assume the hops and apple juice are morphed by the wild yeast and then further transformed by the secondary fermentation process before arriving in the final product. It’s probably similar to the way Apple Jacks cereal doesn’t taste like apples, but yet I still enjoyed eating them as a child. For some reason my parents just didn’t get it…

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