Upton Cheyney continue to expand their hot sauce range with new tasty ideas recently asking Bath Ales too collaborate by making chilli sauces made using chillies from their farm. The result was Brimstone, a flavour-packed steak sauce made using oak-smoked chipotles and its much hotter sibling is Firecore, made with Bounders and the Dorset Naga. As tasty as these sound, today I am here to review the result of this collaboration. The spin off idea that Bath Ales thought things would work in reverse too and fine chilli ale could also be produced! Its ‘time to turn up the heat with Ghost Hare’, a spicy porter that bites back brought to you by a collaboration between the Upton Cheyney Co and Bath Ales.
I no longer knock back the beers like I used to, but still attend beer festivals and always try a local brew to find new tastes and flavours. These days with micro microbreweries popping up everywhere the choices are seemingly endless. I have found however as I have mentioned in a previous review that a good chilli beer is still harder to find.
I love the design of this bottle and the label, the picture of the hare on the front does give me flashback to the movie Watership Down but in striking red on a black label this is a well designed modern label compared to some ales. The bottle is even topped off with a red cap too.
This 500ml bottle of Ghost Hare has been kindly supplied by Louise Duck from Upton Cheyney Chilli Co.
Ingredients: Top secret but the label description gives you a hint “We brew Ghost Hare using chocolate malt and Challenger hops, which mingle perfectly with oak-smoked ghost chillies.
With the satisfying sound of opening up the bottle you are left in no doubt by the aroma that this is a porter and it smells a good one at that. There is no hint of a chilli aroma or the potential power of the ghost chilli at this stage. The first mouth full is just wonderful, I admit I did brace myself for an after burn but no pain came. This is a good thing. There is a description printed on the label reading “Rich dark chocolaty flavours classically combine with a subtle hit of ghost chilli heat” This a perfect description the infused smoked ghost chillies do not overtake the mild porter and only give you a gentle little kick after every mouthful. The result is you get to enjoy both a good porter and a good chilli, it is a perfect flavour combination!
At this moment in time the sauces and Ghost Hare are only available to buy in the brewery shop and selected outlets. They were also be on sale at the Upton Cheyney Chilli Festival. After the festival they will be available to buy online so look out for more details on Twitter and Facebook. Even if you are not a beer drinker I highly recommend picking up a bottle just to experience the blend of flavours. If you have never had a porter before then this can be an acquired taste for a few people but something you need to feel rather than read about. Keep checking the websites above and try some when you can. You won’t be disappointed.