This beer is a collaboration between Nomad Brewing and Jester King in the US.
This beer is the bastard son of Nomad’s Long Trip Saison. In this form there’s added Manuka-smoked malt from New Zealand, and it’s been fermented with Jester King’s own yeast, cultured from their sour Gotlandsricka beer.
The aptly named Cultural Exchange was then aged in Australian Chardonnay and Shiraz barrels for eight months resulting in a crazy, multi-cultural, complex beer.
Sydney beer drinkers are benefitting from the friends that Nomad has made around the world.
Smoked Meat And Smouldering Campfires
Pure clarity is the order of the day for the amber liquid. It’s low in carbonation thanks to the 8.5% ABV but this seems to work with the flavours and aromas that come through.
As soon as you pop the cap, the smoky aroma floods out and into your nostrils. It’s smells like bacon being fried over a smouldering campfire. There’s a meatiness to it, similar to a rauchbier, but more like cured or smoked meats.
If you get your nose deep into it, you’ll pick up some malt sweetness underneath the prominent smoke and the phenolic spice. There’s a touch of clove in there, as in a spiced Christmas ham, but there’s a layer of soft brown sugar in the aroma.
Sipping it, again the smokiness fills your palate, rushing to the roof of your mouth and through your sinuses, swirling around your nostrils and deep onto the back of your tongue.
But the smoke isn’t a burning, lingering smokiness. Nor is it like peated malt. It’s a light and whispy smoke that makes way for a malt body that’s light on the tongue and showcases a caramel sweetness.
The taste on the finish is bittersweet, as the bittering hops take hold. It culminates in a dry mouthfeel, suggesting Jester King’s yeast is pretty hardcore if it’s dried up an 8.5% ABV beer to this extent.
And on the subject of the alcohol, it’s barely present while drinking it. But have no doubt, it will kick in after a glass or two.
As with Long Trip Saison, it features wattle seed, coffee and Tasmanian pepperberry. While these don’t come through as they do in Long Trip – here the smoke and the barrel are far more prominent – they all add together to make a complex, multi-layered beer.
From: Brookvale, NSW
Beer style: Smoked saison
Pair with: Sweet and spicy rubbed roast chicken basted with the beer
Did you get your hands on Nomad Cultural Exchange? Leave a comment below to share your experience of the beer.