Bands, festivals and the lot are releasing branded booze by the dozens these days. GRIMM makes it its mission to get to the bottom (of the bottle) of this trend with insightful reviews and extra backgrounds. So sit back, PICK YOUR POISON, and discover all you need to know about your favorite band's alcoholic brands!
While Clouds might not be the biggest band out there, we do have a great appreciation for their atmospheric funeral doom. This became quite clear from our review of their latest Destin EP. To our great surprise this international band suddenly announced they were about to release a tripel beer in collaboration with the Belgian brewery De Glazen Toren. A smaller brewery but one with a respected range of quality beers. We have a lot of respect for brew master Jef Van Der Steen, a school teacher turned politician turned brewer. Their "Canaster Winterscotch" is still my favorite scotch ale up to date. Since we were aware this was a very limited deal (480 bottles!) we did our best to hunt down a 75cl bottle to experience this unique collaboration!
The advantage of a 75cl bottle is that there is more to enjoy and share! So we were happy to see our glasses fill up with thick white lasting heads. The beer is hazy light yellow in colour. The aroma is very neutral, except for maybe a slight whiff of orange. A more pronounced aroma would have been welcome to lure us more into the tasting. This is something I clearly missed to start with. The mouth feel however compensates for any past flaws. We get a nice a creamy sensation. The first thing that comes to mind to compare with regarding mouth feel is the blond Averbode by Huyghe brewery (Delirium beers). While the aroma was simple, the flavours are quite complex. There is definitely a pronounced peppery taste adding a certain spiciness to the beer. While the beer also has a yeasty character (specially with later glasses from the bottle), fresher esters complete the palate as well. We notice grass, white grape and subtle hints of green apple. The finish is dry and slightly bitter, evolving towards grapefruit esters. The 8,5 alcohol percentage is present in a refined way and definitely not over-pronounced, making this a brew to enjoy slowly over a longer time. Which is of course a perfect fit with Clouds' musical style. For those who are familiar with the beers of De Glazen Toren, I would argue the recipe feels related to their "Ondinneke Tripel". However, the "Drown Your Sorrow" is a less outspoken tripel and comes closer to a saison in its taste sensation.
Normally, none of De Glazen Toren's beers have a label on it. Instead, their 75cl bottles are all wrapped in a paper wrapping. This gives it a very authentic feeling and distinguishes it from the rest of the beer market. While some readers might associate paper wrappings with hiding your alcohol due to public laws, it's worth noting we don't need to hide our beers in public in Belgium. The "Drown Your Sorrow" tripel, however, has a label on it that seems done by hand. On some of the bottles it's attached more crooked than on others, which is quite understandable regarding the DIY attitude of this product and the fact only 480 bottles have been commissioned.
The label is dominated by an impressive fields of clouds over a dark landscape. Across this scenery the Clouds logo is written in large. Everything is in a shade of grey, giving the whole thing a very melancholic feeling, fitting for the band's style and music. You have to look closely to the details to discover the beer's name "Drown Your Sorrow" written at the bottom and the mention of "triple beer 8,5%" in the bottom right corner. Notice the misspelling of the beer style as 'triple' instead of 'tripel'. Beside these small words there is no further info to be found on the label, not even the brewery's name or any other legal information. This gives the whole product an immense authentic and underground feeling.
We have heard the first batch of 480 bottles is completely gone! A second batch is in the making, though, together with a whole new dark beer. You better be fast if you want to get your hand on them! For more information and ordering go to the band's official Bandcamp page. More information on the release of their dark beer will also follow through the Pick Your Poison Facebook page.