Food & Drink

Craft Beer: Let me guide you to the purple rain

Rainin Purple is a 7 per cent fruited milk stout from Third Barrell
Rainin Purple is a 7 per cent fruited milk stout from Third Barrell Rainin Purple is a 7 per cent fruited milk stout from Third Barrell

2016 was a thoroughly horrible year. The twin electoral disasters of Brexit and Donald Trump made it bad enough, but there seemed to be a merciless slew of celebrity deaths.

Muhammed Ali, David Bowie, Terry Wogan, Paul Daniels and Johann Cruyff were just some of the names from across many fields who left us that year.

Music was particularly badly hit. Apart from Bowie, George Michael, Leonard Cohen and George Martin were among the big names who bowed but the hardest one to take for me was Prince.

The musical genius was just 57 when he played his last chord and his influence is still strong to this day.

  •  Craft Beer: I discovered a previously unheard of five-letter word not through Wordle – but through beer

I listen to a fair bit of Prince from time to time and his music is never too far from my mind, but one of his all-time classics came to mind when I came across the not-too-subtley named Rainin Purple, a milk stout from Third Barrell which features can art which is more than a hat tip to the Paisley Park maestro.

Rainin Purple, like the song it draws it’s inspiration, is a hefty number – clocking in at 7 per cent.

It is flavoured with raspberries, lychee and rose water, so you know sort of what you’re in for – kind of like the song too I suppose, but you just go with the flow anyway..

It pours a black colour with a slight tan head and there are some fragrant aromas from the addition of the fruit and rose water.

It is a milk stout, so you get a fair bit of smoothness and hints of chocolate and caramel. The raspberries nicely balance that sweetness with a sharp tartness and bring an element of luxury to this one.

It really is the kind off beer you can pour and sip along to a vinyl copy of Purple Rain for the ultimate indulgence.

This wasn’t the only heavy hitter from Third Barrell I sampled this week. Juice Bigalow is a 7 per cent pale made with Galaxy and Mosaic hops.

It pours a hazy amber colour in the glass and is crammed with sweet and juicy stone fruit flavours of peach and mango.

It also has a nice, piney bitterness to it which makes for a sharp and refreshing finish and it goes down rather too well for the strength of beer it is.