Unity Brewing Quorum Brune (330ml bottle, 5.5% ABV, vegan)
There are plenty of breweries in Britain devoted to US-style craft ale, but Unity of Southampton is the only domestic brewery I can think of that’s devoted to that other bastion of world beer: Belgian ales. Given the rarity of some of the Belgian stuff, it’s welcome to have a brewery dedicated to bringing it to a wider audience.
That’s not to say that Unity are bound by tradition – they do like to mix it up a bit. Their Quorum Brune is, at heart, a brown abbey-style beer, but revved up with the addition of cacao nibs and cardamom.
Some people like to fish the cardamom pods out of a curry (along with bay leaves and any excessively hot chillies), but I prefer to leave them in. I like the explosion of fresh, resinous flavour as you bite into them, which is why they’re called ‘cardabombs’ in our house.
It’s this unique flavour that features so heavily in Quorum. It’s there in the aroma, which also features brown bread maltiness and black pepper. It’s there in the taste, which also showcases the chocolatey cocoa beans. It’s there in the aftertaste, accompanying a sweet finish.
Put aside any qualms that it might be weird; instead it’s a complementary flavour – unusual, but not unwelcome. Brussels by way of Bangalore.
Written by Richard Salsbury
Click here to order a few bottles on our wesbite