Tea is a wonderful thing. You'll be hard pressed to find any Englishman who disagrees. When you mix tea and beer you are playing a very risky game indeed.
Early Grey is one of the tea styles that is more of an acquired taste. The floral, fragrant bergamot mixing with quite a strong, bitter tea makes it delightful with a slice of lemon, but this is the first time i've tried it with an IPA.
Wild Weather have made this a truly global effort, with tea inspired from China, English malt and hops from the edges of the world in America, Australia and New Zealand.
The result is an IPA that I didn't hate, but I also didn't love either. It's an unusual taste that takes the 'acquired taste' element of Earl Grey tea and ramps it up a notch.
The scent and flavour profile of this is all about the Earl Grey which, if you like the tea, you will enjoy. The bergamot is just about all you get from the aroma with a touch of hops in there to round it out, and the pour releases more of the floral fragrance.
The initial taste, too, is all about that bergamot with a little bitterness from the hops, there's also an earthy tea flavour that works well with the malt to make it a very smooth, rounded drink.
The aftertaste is unusual in that it's similar to after a cup of the Earl, but not quite as fragrant and there's more of a clear finish where the bergamot ends and the taste of the beer begins, despite it being the aftertaste.
It was quite enjoyable, but very unusual. I'm a little undecided on whether I over-rated it or under-rated it, but I know for sure that I would try it again. There's a few other Earl Grey IPAs on the market at the moment, and if they're all like this then there will be a few more additions to the cupboard.
The can is a little plain, despite being very busy to look at. The silver can coupled with the silver colour of the main wrap does nothing to help with this, and it's only really the high definition Wild Weather logo and the large bold beer name that stands out at all.
It's difficult to decipher the can label really, but I have taken the trouble to decode it and it is (somewhat) clear that it is an octopus in a vessel of some kind, under what I assume is tea as there are open cans around.
I can't tell you what this means, only what I see. So I guess it's very much open to interpretation. Something to ponder whilst you sup, at least.
You can add your name to the waitlist on Honest Brew for a 330ml can of this stuff or you can get it from Wild Weather's site directly for a 440ml for £2.50.
Despite the name, I would suggest drinking it out of a glass rather than a teacup. I know it makes it classier, but that's just odd.