08 November 2010

Brett and Buddha

We've already had one new pale ale from Franciscan Well this year -- the rather wonky Golden Otter, a beer with more than a hint of wild yeast in it, plus oodles of possibly my least-favourite hop, the sickly Styrian Goldings. Well, they're at it again and the new one is called Smiling Buddha. I went to The Bull & Castle to give it a go.

It arrived a slightly hazy dark orange colour, giving off a mild aroma of spicy hops. The first taste gave me a big hit of yeasty flavour -- maybe not the farmyard of Brett, but definitely in the Marmite zone. The malt layer is slightly musty, reminding me of certain full-on German pilsners, and from behind this peeks some fresh English hops, tasting of jaffa oranges and cedarwood.

It's streets ahead of Golden Otter in my book, but I can't help being distracted that yeastiness. Yet the beer isn't actually all that hazy, so I don't know if something like more time in the bright tanks or a stronger hand on the filter would turn it into the clean-tasting bitter I'd like it to be. It's all very confusing. But the Buddha just keeps on smiling.


  1. Are they adding bret to it?

  2. I can't believe its not Buddha.

    I really liked this beer. There is a yeast fuzziness that probably means it is not sessionable but for a pint I really enjoyed it.

  3. I doubt it, Oblivious.

    Dave, it seems to be one of those beers everyone likes but me.

  4. Funnily, I'm not a fan of Styrian Goldings either.

  5. Like Styrian Goldings. Didn't like the Smiling Buddha that much.

  6. I enjoyed it but I did have it fresh from at the Well a few weeks back.