Beer of the Week

Five Things About … Hop Nation’s Black Rhino Cherry Lips

1) When you pick up a beer you’ve never had before, it’s generally pretty easy to form some mental expectations of what it will taste like. You don’t have to work hard to conjure up some sort of idea what a new lager, pale ale or IPA might taste like. One of the few beers that totally stumped me was BrewCult’s Acid Freaks.

2) That was a porter with balsamic vinegar. The very idea of vinegar in a beer just messed with my head too much. How the hell would taste? I had no idea – beyond expecting it would be a gimmick thing I’d only ever drink once. I was wrong there; it was a marvellous beer where the vinegar folded in the beer perfectly. I bought more than one bottle of that; bought one every time I saw it in a bottle shop.

3) A new Hop Nation beer called Black Rhino Cherry Lips messed with my head too. The description of a smoked black gose didn’t really help. It was the name that had me confused. Is the “Black” in the title a reference to the rhino or the cherries? And does the name mean there are cherries here? And WTF are “cherry lips”? So much confusion.

4) But at least it tastes good. Which is no great surprise; I’ve been impressed with the other Hop Nation beers I’ve had. There is some definite cherry flavour there – which I think is a by-product of the tartness of the gose style mixed in with the dark malt and the smokiness. I don’t reckon there are actual cherries in here; I couldn’t find any mention of them being an ingredient on the can.

5) When I poured the beer into a glass, it gave me a big flashback to the old Colgate ad where Mrs Marsh shows how fluoride works by dipping a piece of chalk into a glass of black water. You know, this ad.

The beer reminded of that glass of black water. But now that I’ve watched the ad I can see the water in the glass is actually blue. I’m pretty sure I’ve used the Mrs Marsh/black water reference to describe other dark beers. Guess I’ll have to stop that now.

Free or paid for: I bought myself a can of this from Crown West Cellars.

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