Native to the Moluccan islands – a group of islands in Indonesia also known as the spice islands – these buds give our Winter Ale a strong aromatic scent, a slightly sweet taste and produce a pleasant warming sensation.
Is it a seed? A fruit? Bark?
Cloves – known for their strong aroma and equally strong flavour – are none of that: it is actually a tightly closed flower bud, carefully handpicked from the clove tree and spread out in the sun to dry. It is not an easy feat: the buds have to be harvested at the very precise moment the buds change colour from green to light pink.
The clove tree has a long blooming cycle: from its sixth to sixtieth year of life the flowers are picked eight times in a season, yet yielding only about 3kg of cloves per year. Once dried they turn brown, leaving a strong aromatic scent and a slightly sweet taste.
In the western world we associate the taste with Christmas and gingerbread, or of course speculaas. No wonder we used it in our warming Winter Ale.Clove produces a pleasant burning sensation on the tongue. The flavour works wonders in combination with other spices; it amplifies other flavours and adds a level of complexity.
Clove, and its oil, has been used throughout history as a dental anaesthetic because of its numbing effects. Did you know that distinctive dentist office smell in fact partly comes from cloves?
Luckily there are much more pleasant ways to enjoy cloves, why not try our warming Winter Ale?