Happy tuesday again, everybody, and welcome back to another Gingerbeard review.
This time, we’re taking a look at their Ale and Chilli Piccalilli – A product type that I’ve never featured before and one that they make in collaboration with Electric Bear Brewing Co.
Both company logos adorn the label of this jar, along with a bunch of chillies dancing to the boom box from Electric Bear’s Werrrd ale, but that’s about all the visual indication we get of what goes into it.
Unlike on their bloody mary salsa, Gingerbeard do a pretty poor job of conveying what today’s product is, without words, despite the busier design. I’m not too impressed with its outside but let’s see what their picalilli is like within, shall we?
What I see on my spoon are large chunks of crispy vegetables – Carrot, cauliflower, courgette and onion – all drenched in a thin, golden, lightly chilli-tinged sauce full of mustard seeds. And, upon closer inspection, a few bean pods and peppers show up, too.
The scent of this piccalilli holds the same light, floral, mustard tang that I’d expect but also a smoother, golden spice note from its turmeric and even tiny touches of vinegar and light malt.
In both aroma and appearance, I’m finding it far more enticing than its label let on but it’s the taste that will really make or break Gingerbeard’s creation. And I’m thoroughly planted in the make column.
That blend of turmeric and mustard provides a delightfully smooth, spiced flavour, without completely masking the veg.
It has a
that’s really very throaty from the combination of mustard and chilli. And it definitely hits the top of that number in the mouthfuls with pepper pieces – Those are bird’s eyes, not bells.
And the little hint of smoked paprika adds a little richness and depth.
But what really makes today’s product is the ale that was used to make it. One with absolutely nothing special to its ingredients list but plenty special to its actual ingredients.
You see, its list looks like any other pale ale but it does so because it doesn’t mention the types of hops used. Centennial, citra and mosaic hops make up the herb-base of the beverage and, while I can’t say I have any direct experience with them, I can definitely taste what they’re doing here.
It’s absolutely nothing like what they did for Hop Burns and Black’s sauce.
“Bright aromas of pink grapefruit, mango and orange rind” are how Electric Bear Brewing Co. describe it but, personally, I think of yuzu – The unusually warming, japanese citrus that’s part grapefruit, part lemon and just a tad orangey. It’s one of my favourite fruit and that same citric warmth really brings today’s piccalilli to life. Even if it does come from a different source.
Of course, the ale does also add a dry, slightly bitter finish but, given how moist and smooth the initial taste is, that only serves to make the product extra moreish.
I’ve had chilli piccalilli before but this one is on an entirely different level and I really love it. Especially with cheese, ham or on the side with a tuna pasta bake.
Here’s what goes into this smooth, lightly tangy, crunchy delight:
beer – Electric Bear Brewing Co’s Werrd (water, malted barley, wheat, hops, yeast)(28%), cider vinegar, cauliflower, courgette, onion, carrot, sugar, mustard, green beans, birds eye chillies, turmeric, sea salt, smoked paprika.