Beer #339 - Whistling Sisters / English Bitter
BREWERIES // Russel & Elwyn Scott have been stalwarts of the Wellington hospitality industry since the 1980’s when they created The Backbencher pub (along with Wellington’s most fun political party). Whistling Sisters honours their daughter Karen Louisa with profits going to a foundation in her name to support research into advanced breast cancer. The Scott’s partner is Bede who had spent many years at Lion Nathan where he witnessed first hand the changing tastes moving away from bland, soulless macro beer toward more refined and flavoursome brews. Head brewer is Padmal, a qualified Master Brewer who has brewed in Sri Lanka, Germany, Japan, India & Australia. He is ably supported by Logan, an extremely hard working and enthusiastic young brewer. Their central Wellington brewpub is the best place to find their frequent new releases.
BEER // Extra Special Bitters are all about balance with big malt flavour and sweetness meeting the hop bitterness head on. Whistling Sisters' gloriously copper-coloured take on the iconic English style has toffee, nutty, biscuit malts, a bitter finish and a creamy full mouthfeel. It is made with the quintessential English hop - East Kent Goldings. EKG were first grown in the late 1700s and quickly became prized for their marmelade honey sweetness with earthy, floral lavender notes. The hop is genetically identical to Golding hop variants grown elsewhere but tastes different purely due to the unique terroir of East Kent with its loamy chalk soil and the salty wind which blows off the Thames estuary. In common with the Ordinary Bitter style, it has low carbonation, is well rounded and is best drunk at cellar temperature but the 'Extra Special' take has a much bigger flavour profile and higher alcohol making it more suited to sipping than quaffing. Bitters may by rather unfashionable in today's beer climate (especially outside England) and they certainly aren't the bitterest style out there but overlook them at your peril- there are few things more enjoyable than a pint of the stuff accompanied by a pie and the Sunday papers.
We look forward to seeing what you all think in the Beer Jerk Members Facebook Group. If you enjoy the beer, be sure to check it in on Untappd!
BREWERIES // Whistling Sisters
BEER // English Bitter
STYLE // Extra Special Bitter
ORIGIN // Wellington
ABV // 4.9%
TEMPERATURE // Cellar Temperature. 10 - 13C
FOOD MATCH // Lentil Shepherd's Pie. Bangers & Mash. Fish & Chips
GLASS // Dimpled Mug. Pewter Tankard