It’s been far too long since I last enjoyed one of the big beers lurking in my beer fridge, and this is certainly one I’ve been looking forward to trying.
Weird Beard have blown me away with their beers before, with the mighty Holy Hoppin’ Hell, and Northern Monk have more than proved themselves capable of producing some remarkable brews too. So the thought of a collaboration between these two heavy hitters is mouthwatering.
This is Bad Habit (or, as their website calls it, Bad Habbit) – an 8.6% ABV US-hopped Belgian Tripel. It’s a bright, orange amber coloured beer, with a deep, billowing white head on top.
The nose is properly Belgian, spiced with overripe bananas and just a touch of alcohol heat underneath. The Cascade hops are almost lost, but as it sits in the glass there are some sweet citrus notes that start appearing, and a suggestion of green leaves.
On the tongue, the first impression is of bubbles – not the fizzy, belch-inducing kind but a soft, foamy texture like a fine mousse. As is slowly dissolves in the mouth, an initial sweetness is quickly joined by a rich, warming alcohol and a spicy sharpness.
As the mousse fades, a stronger fruit flavour starts to come through with sweet dates and peaches, and all still nicely overlaid with spice so that it’s like some sort of heavenly spiced peach tart.
The finish has a lingering, alcohol sharpness and you can feel the warmth of it slipping down your throat. Despite the sweet tones on the first sip, it leaves your mouth dry and your hand reaching for another sip.
Magnificent, powerful and unusual – I’m happy to say Bad Habit comfortably lives up to my expectations; 4.5 stars.