#54 Three Boys – Wild Plum Ale

Three Boys Wild Plum Ale Name: Wild Plum Ale 2011
Brewery: Three Boys (Christchurch, new Zealand)
Style: Fruit beer
ABV: 7.7%
Source: On tap at Galbraith’s Ales

I thought I was going to drink a barley wine last night, but decided that on a grey Saturday afternoon the best place to be was Galbraith’s. Of course, the rest of Auckland had decided that when Scotland and England are playing rugby the best place to be is Galbraith’s, so when I got there I found I could barely breathe for orange wigs, facepaint and kilts.

Me and Olivia headed outside and found a nice spot by the fire, taking with us a Coronado Islander IPA and a Three Boys Wild Plum Ale. We drank the IPA first which was like a luscious summer dessert – sticky tropical fruit, toffee, a creamy mouthfeel and sharp bitter finish. Olivia actually declared it to be the best beer she had ever tasted which is a big call, but not undeserved…

I had planned to post the IPA as my beer of the day, but after tasting the seasonally-released Three Boys Wild Plum Ale we both agreed that it was so interesting that I had to write about that one instead.

It looked fairly ordinary really – by which I mean it wasn’t bright purple, as you might expect for a beer that’s made with plums. The smell didn’t give too much away, either. I could sense a bit of stonefruit – not necessarily plums, a little alcohol, and some malt. I have to agree with Olivia though, who said “mostly it smells like beer.”

That’s why we were so surprised when we took a sip. A sour bomb went off instantly, followed by a burst of ripe plum, maraschino cherries, a little caramel sweetness and a bitter (not hoppy, but tart) finish. The flavour is really quite incredible – so intensely plummy that it’s almost a caricature… like sour, plum-flavoured boiled sweets.

I really enjoyed the first 3/4 of the beer -we kept marveling at it’s individuality with each sip – but after a certain point  it seemed to fall apart a bit. By that time the poor beer had been near the fire for about 45 minutes, and the sour plum flavour seemed to get thinner and a bit unpleasant as it got warm.

If I had this again (and I plan to), I would have it chilled (obviously), and in a smaller, more elegant glass. In the summertime at my mum’s house we’d sometimes have champagne flutes of Moscato d’Asti (cheap but delicious sweet, sparkling Italian wine) before dinner, and I fancy the idea of drinking the Wild Plum Ale like that. I’d also like to get it in a paper-wrapped bottle next time, because it looks so beautiful – see!


so damn fancy

Published in: on October 2, 2011 at 11:18 am  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I agree that the pint glass is not the best glass for the Wild Plum. I love this beer, but it’s a sipping beer, rather than a quaffer. I particularly like the almost almond-like notes which come through late for me.

  2. I love Wild Plum. Awesome with Japanese food, reminds me heaps of Japanese Plum Wine.

    I have some of last years in the Regional cellar.

    The Coronado Islander is probibly the only US IPA to really excite me in along time. Awesome original hop character and great malt body that does come across abit like a citrus liqueur.

  3. Yeah that IPA was incredibly delicious. I’ll have to have it again soon so that I can do a proper write-up.

    I agree the Plum Ale is like a plum wine, and I think it should be drunk in the same way – small glasses, chilled, sipped slowly. I’d like to try last years if you still have some at Regionals when I’m down.

  4. its in cellar for a future tasting but if you ask really nicly I might be able to sort something out. 🙂

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