What's this? What IS this? A philosophical question that requires serious refreshment, and this delicious saison from Abbeydale is the perfect accompanyment to pondering life's questions.
Or it could just be a cool reference from Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas from when Jack Skellington experiences snow for the first time, making it an ideal seguey for a Halloween beer.
What's This? comes from Abbeydale's Funk Dungeon, an arm of the brewery that focuses on experimenting with mixed fermentation techniques and flavours to create incredibly niche and funky beers that are as much a curiosity as they are enjoyable.
In this Halloween edition, Abbeydale have introduced pumpkin into the mash along with adding hundreds of peaches and several varieties of rye. Their house yeast and custom Brettanomyces strains add the funkiness and mixed fermentation that brings all these flavours together to make them work.
There's a fresh, fruity and sour aroma from the can pop, with a pour that is quite a big darker than I expected form a pumpkin and peach beer, but this could be down to the addition of the rye. As you pour there's a definite sourness to the beer that tinges the nostrils with a fruitiness that makes your mouth water.
s a subtle sweetness to the flavour which is very peachy, with the pumpkin adding another, more subtle fruit flavour that balances it well. The beer is tart and sharp throughout, but not in the obvious way that you get with fruit sours, this one being a saison makes it much subtler on the pallette and adds a really interesting angle to these flavaours.
If you weren't convinced that this was a Halloween beer by now, then the can design will leave you in no doubt. Don't let the skeleton fool you as Funk Dungeon beers always have a skeleton on them in some way, shape or form; but the one with the carved pumpkin on it's head and another with a Witch's hat makes the theme a little more obvious.
There's loads of fun things on this can to get your eyes stuck into, it's one you can really enjoy looking at as you drink the glorious insides of it. The style of Abbeydale remains the same with the scroll and type style on the front along with the information on the back, but it's denoted as being from their Funk Dungeon by a black ribbon around the front and sides and the spooky font style on the back of the label.
Being a seasonal special you'll need to try your local beer shop first of all to find one, but you can also get What's This? online from Craft 'n Berry for £4.73 a can. Not a bad price to pay for a spell in the funk dungeon.