We made champagne cocktails for New Year’s Eve – sugar, bitters, gin, bubbles – but we could just have easily celebrated with the new Level Beer/Ex Novo beer. ExEx is a hoppy farmhouse ale aged in Sauvignon Blanc Barrels with Buddha’s hand citrus.
Have you ever seen a Buddha’s hand? It looks like cross between an tangerine and a squid. They’re weird, but hide lots of zest in their folds, or so I’m told. I’m not sure you can taste it in ExEx, but you can taste an awful lot.
This is an aromatic ale. The nose is herbaceous but fruity. On the tongue, notes of thyme and basil are shot through with a citrusy tang. The backlend is full of very spicy yeast. The famous Dupont strain if I’m not mistaken. Picking out any individual addition – the barrels, the fruit, the hops – is nigh impossible. But that leads to a balanced, delicious beer.