Friday, May 25, 2012

Estrella Damm Inedit

In the culinary world, Ferran Adria is something of an icon.  The head chef of El Bulli, a restaurant in Spain that, until its recent closure was considered one of the best restaurants in the world.  El Bulli was a pilgrimage for chefs and foodies alike. Many of those journeys were recorded and broadcasted on television channels like the Food Network and the Travel Channel.  

While Chef Adria made a name for himself in the culinary world, he has also left an impression upon the craft beer world.  Working with Estrella Damm, a Catalan brewery, Adria worked with a team that included Juli Soler and the sommeliers from el Bulli to create Inedit.  This beer is described as a "unique coupage" of barley malt and wheat, brewed with hops, coriander, orange peel, liquorice, yeast and water.  I recently found a bottle of the beer, packaged in its own box, at a local grocery store and decided to give it a try.

It is not often that a beer comes in a box that proclaims the beer as being created by Ferran Adria, "The World's Most Awarded Chef."  Estrella Damm adds to the hype, describing thebeer as having a "high intensity and aromatic complexity."  The Inedit is brewed in the style of a Belgian White Beer or Wit Beer, which I do not normally associate with "intense beers."  Indeed, these beers are probably more notable for their subtlety, with light to medium aromas and smooth, sweet flavors. 

The Inedit  pours a nice orange color, more reminiscent of a pale ale than a Belgian Wit or White Ale.  There was a thick foam gracing the surface of the beer, almost a nod to the molecular gastronomy movement of the culinary world.   Underneath that foam, there was the complex aroma of the beer.  Thanks to the coriander and orange peel, the elements were fruity and floral, with some spices in the background.   The taste of the beer follows the style of a wit beer, although I think it also may cross the line into a saison.  The texture of the beer was very suprising, as it was creamy with a light volume and, of course, that a milky foam. 

Given Adria's primary occupation, it seems obvious that there would be some recommended pairings.  According to Estrella Damm and Adria, the beer was specifically created to be paired with any dish and compliments even challenging dishes such as asparagus, artichokes, salmon, tuna, cheeses, as well as dishes that include citrus and bitter notes. 

Even though el Bulli may no longer be in business, the beer is still available.  It sells for about $16.99 a bottle. 


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