Prologue: Spain is not a country that one immediately associates with beer. It is commonly seen as one of those hot Mediterranean wine producing countries, yet it seems to pop up regularly in these reviews. It is never really on purpose, I seem to just stumble upon them at various Spanish themed establishments.
This one was no different, I saw it on a menu and thought, hmm, never heard of it, better give it a go.
The beer is a collaboration between Estrella Damm, which is a relatively mainstream brewer in Spain and the sommeliers at El Bulli restaurant. What’s so special about El Bulli? Well it was a Michelin 3-star restaurant (one more Michelin and it could shod a car which would be useful) and has been named the world’s best restaurant five times, although it’s just closed down. In the press release announcing the closure it stated it had ‘completed its journey as a restaurant’, which is nice for them.
It is specifically designed to drink with food, and specifically Spanish food, so it seems apt that I drank this with tapas at a Spanish restaurant.
Packaging: This is really the thing that will re-enforce your beer wanker status. The bottle is stunning, it even comes with a little booklet hung from the neck by a red cord like it’s a bottle of Moet. This is a beer specifically designed to make other diners oh and ah and for you the recipient to feel proud; and it does just that. All the goodness of beer, with all of the wanker creditability of wine.
Appearance: After all of this marketing bravado and the shiny special bottle what’s inside is actually a pretty standard looking Witbier or Wheat beer. It’s a dull light yellow colour, hazy with a big frothy white head.
Smell: It also smelt like a good wheat beer (minus the banana), quite sweet from the malts with just a hint citrus and spiciness, although it’s all quite faint.
Taste: It’s a good beer, a very good beer, like a classic German brew, but a lighter interpretation of the style, with a medium body. Some might even say a touch thin, but I don’t think this is meant to be a meal in itself, it is meant to complement food flavours, and it does that very well. You could easily down a few bottles of this whilst grazing your way through a good tapas menu.
In conclusion: I really liked this beer. It was an interesting take on an old world style, beautifully packaged, and created conversation about beer amongst the mostly wine drinking table – so it did its job perfectly.
Ranking: Let’s have a Pint
Long Bow Youtube Clip: This promo video is worth watching just for the English voices they have chosen, Juli Soler sounds like he has smoked a pack and half of Winnie blues before sitting down for the interview.