Today is the 1st of November – the Day of the Dead in Mexican culture.
A year ago, Garage Project released a beer inspired by the holiday at Hashigo Zake, as part of their 24/24 series –Day of the Dead. It was a strong black lager, brewed with smoked chipotle chilli, refermented with blue agave syrup and conditioned over raw cocoa nibs
It was one of the most popular of the 24/24 series – so popular I didn’t get to try it because it ran out within hours and I was working that night. Because of the popularity, the Garage Project guys decided to re-brew it for the Great Australian Beer Spectapular in Melbourne earlier this year – only they doubled the recipe.
Even more popular in its imperial form, the Garage Project guys brewed a batch especially for the 2012 holiday. Double Day of the Dead (8% ABV)is available all around Wellington, and some lucky spots elsewhere in the country, tonight, and I’m guessing it’ll be the drink of choice for most of the beer drinkers who are lucky enough to work regular hours.
While I’ll be at work until the late hours of the night tonight, I was lucky enough to try some of the Bourbon barrel aged version at the recent Pacific Beer Expo at Wellington’s Boatshed, with the beer running out within two-and-a-half hours on the Sunday session.
It pours an almost opaque black with a brown head, and smells of coffee and chocolate. The flavours were big and rich – coffee, chocolate, roasted malt, with a lovely vanilla character. The beer also had a bigger body than the non-barrel aged version. While the beer was delicious and scored one of my highest marks of the festival, it actually tasted even better with some of the caramello chocolate brownie on offer at the food counter, and the match received my people’s choice vote.
Look out for its release in the not too distant future (I hope), and in the meantime,enjoy your Day of the Dead!