As craft beer becomes more and more ridiculous, there’s now going to be one brewed from ambergris, which can loosely be described as whale puke.
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If like me you’re unfamiliar with whales, then ambergris is a solid waxy material that scientists believe is formed in the intestines of sperm whales and is supposed to aid with digestion. Once a whale dies though, it’s regurgitated into the ocean. As it’s only available when a whale dies and very rarely washes up onto the beach, it’s also very expensive – a one pound pice of ambergris sold for $63,000 back 2012.
Nevertheless, the guys from Moby Dick Ambergris Ale think that it’s a great substance to help them with brewing their beer. Maris Biezaitis, one of the founders of the company, explains:
When I heard that ambergris was used in the perfume industry, I thought ‘I wonder if that could be used to flavor or spice up a beer’.
Luckily me and some friends found a 400 gram lumped washed up on the beach a few years ago and I started experimenting with it.
Ambergris, (whale vomit), is used by perfumers to make scents last longer This 1.57kg lump was worth $70,000. pic.twitter.com/6OW6cR2bh7
— Bruce A. Brunger (@BrungerB) May 10, 2016
It was a relatively fresh piece, quite a smelly piece, so it was airing and curing in the backyard before I got hold of it.
I extracted the aroma by soaking small sections in alcohol. The result was a musky tincture that I added to an amber ale during the bottling process.
It tastes a little bit like the sea, it tastes a little bit like marine animals. It’s really interesting I think.
The beer was originally brewed for a beer festival in Melbourne, Australia earlier this months. Reviews ranged from stating that it was ‘surprisingly sweet’ to ‘absolutely disgusting’, so it seems like the verdict is out on it. Biezaitis is unruffled though and plans to brew another few batches of it as he still has some ambergris left.
After that though he’s unsure as the substance is so expensive and hard to come by. Better try and get a hold of it quick if it sounds like the kind of thing you’re into.
I think it sounds completely rank so I’m in no great rush. I’d probably prefer it to this beer that has shot of moose semen in it though.