As we all know, brewing is a traditional process involving malted barley, hops, yeast, water, lemons, and ice cream.
This week I’m drinking dessert. I’ve picked up a can of Original Lemon Meringue Sorbet, a collaboration between Derbyshire brewers Buxton and cake enthusiast Swedes, Omnipollo.
We’re greeted here by a pale yellow can emblazoned with a reflective, silver…I’m not sure what this is exactly. It looks distressingly like it might be the poop emoji but with feet. Given this is from Buxton and Omnipollo’s original ice cream series, I imagine it’s meant to be ice cream but it’s definitely ambiguous.
The blurb on the can label promises us a refreshingly sweet and tart lemony ice cream pale ale. As we know from the ingredients list, it contains wheat and lactose, as well as lemon and oats.
We’re faced here with a hazy, yellow beer. The haze certainly makes sense: we’ve got a whole load of wheat and oats in here clouding things up. I don’t think they can possibly have put enough lemon juice in this to make it that yellow on its own, can they?
It smells sour. I get the lemon juice, perhaps a little lemon zest, but ultimately there’s a high level of acidity in here if it’s coming through on the nose. There’s also pale malt, giving a wheaty, bready aroma.
As this beer hits my tongue I feel like I’ve been slapped across both cheeks in quick succession. The tartness, the sourness hits first on the one side, and the intense, sugary sweetness on the other. Arguably that’s an attempt to make it balanced, but the timing is off. Instead, I feel dizzy from dashing between very intense flavours very quickly.
There’s a layer of vanilla in the flavour too, which is just weird: not something I’d pair with lemon at all. I wonder whether this is a hang up from brewing their other ice cream beers – I note from looking at some of the other beers in the series they’re generally pretty vanilla heavy, so I wouldn’t be surprised.
The mouthfeel is middle of the road, not to thick or too thin. And on the finish you get those lemon and vanilla notes lingering on in a very distressing way.
Lemon Meringue Sour is a certainly an interesting beer, but I’m not convinced that it’s a good one. I’m certain the other, chocolatey and cakey beers in this collaboration series are excellent, but this one is just a little too strange for my tastes.