Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Xingu Black Beer

The Brazilian beer Xingu (pronounced shin-goo) is quite fascinating, and unlike any other beer I've tried.

It's 4.6% ABV and sold in small bottles (12 fl oz US), and I came across it on the back of a shelf in Tesco. The label mentions the beer is inspired by brews first made by Amazonian indians from manioc root.

When they say black, they mean it - no light at all passes through this and it's akin to staring into a scrying mirror. On pouring a brown head forms which lurks around in a threatening fashion.

The nose is sweet and malty, with a handful of chocolate and a pinch of fudge.

With my UK experience of black beers limited to porters and stouts, I was expecting a heavy viscosity, but the beer is surprisingly light. It's very lowly carbonated, so the thinness never feels gassy. This is essentially a black lager.

The sweetness intensifies slightly on taste, this beer is all about the malt and I can't really detect any hops at all. The bitterness, for what it is, seems malty too. The end notes are faint plum and butter.

I checked only slightly at the start of this drink as it was so different, but I'm warming to it with each sip. If you don't mind your beer slightly sweet then I'd recommend giving this a try. It's not dessert-wine sweet, but for a light imbiber after a meal I could think of a many worse options.

This is different, but certainly not some madcap speciality blend. To the end of the glass this turns into an easy-supping but exciting drink that any beer fan ought to try at least twice.

7/10 - I may have to get another of these…

- The Broadside

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