Roos & Blad (Rose & Leaf) is the lightest beer I’ve seen from De Molen in a while, and it definitely feels like a transition (or at least the hope of one) into spring. Sure, our gardens are all a bit ice-y now, but if anyone has green thumbs you can already imagine how it will bloom in only a few months. Now, as I don’t have green thumbs (or a garden), I just look forward to visiting gardens and reaping the rewards of someone else’s labour of love.
But, since we’re still firmly in wool-coat-and-scarf territory, I’ll have to make do with this beer to bring some floral life to my winter existence. It’s a NEIPA created with rose and rosewater, which sounds strange (and it is) but is brilliant.
To me the predominant initial smell is rosewater which I found intriguing, though a tasting buddy noted that it just smelled like a ‘normal’ NEIPA. We agree to disagree, (but we have to keep in mind which one of us was asked to write beer reviews..ahem). The smell of the beer itself reminds me of dark pink and red, and while it pours like a very pale and light-bodied NEIPA the first taste proves it packs a punch. The initial taste is…quelle surprise, rose which is actually juicy and connects well with the playful haziness of the IPA. It is, characteristically of rose, a little funky and bitter- like chewing on a rose petal, which adds depth to the initial taste before the hops come to the fore and the rose becomes a little sweeter and the texture lighter and bubblier. The aftertaste is, for me, 100% rosewater.
All in all, it’s a lovely fresh, floral take on a NIPA, but I have to say that the marvellous thing about the beer is, again, the texture (I know, I’m a broken record, sorry!). Especially in the first to mid-tastes you can feel the velvety rose petal texture in your mouth, which is wonderful, and less alarming than it sounds if you’ve never tried it before(we should actually all be eating roses, they contain more vitamin C than oranges)!
So, contrary to popular opinion, this is a rose without its thorns- cheers!