Basant is a 6.2% Passion Fruit and Tamarind Sour. After the success of Treat Yo Self! (the heavily dosed blackcurrant sour), I got to thinking about what to brew for a Spring release. I’m a big fan of Fresh N’ Fruity, Mount Florida’s wonderful grocers. Shahida has always put me on to wacky, never-before-seen exotic fruits, and has even supplied me with fresh fruit for pilot brews. And this time was no different.
In the darkest depths of a Glasgow winter she had some delicious ripe tamarind’s on the shelf and that was it, I was hooked. Combining the tangy-sweet pulp of these funny wee peanut-looking pods with passion fruit was a real treat. The sourness of each fruit complemented the other. Passion fruit pulls you in an exotic tropical direction while the tamarind balances the puckering sensation with a sweetness that is almost chocolatey.
The tamarind’s also have this earthy nuttiness that is hard to pinpoint, but ever so delightful. Anyway, it got me inspired and really reminded me of my Grandad, who grew up in the Punjab, and used to take me out for sweet Indian treats, lassis and the freshest fruits from his local green grocers. Hence the name! Basant is a Springtime kite flying festival and according to the Punjabi calendar it celebrates the coming of Spring. Saskia Singer’s stunning artwork for the label reminds me of a swirl of kites too! I’m not even sure if this is intentional. In style this beer is a fruited Berliner Weisse with added oats for body and a higher proportion of barley to wheat for a higher ABV. I naturally soured it in the kettle using the leftover pilsner malt, bringing the pH of the beer just below 3.9 before firing up the kettle again.
This allowed the fruits to bring more tartness later, giving us a beer of 3.16 pH in the end. That’s pretty sour! As much as I love the tamarind flavour, it is dark brown in colour, so it was added sparingly to give the beer a golden orange hue overall. It’s all passion fruit on the nose and in the initial taste. The tartness of the passion fruit puree and ripe tamarind paste integrates nicely with the sharp sourness of the beer giving the palate a zingy-tropical punch upon first sip. The puckering sensation, however, isn’t overpowering. As it mellows a sticky-sweet and nutty flavour from the ripe tamarind arises, eventually giving way to a medium dry and vinous finish. Best served chilled (6-8C) on a warm Spring day.
6.2% / 330ml