When someone mentions raisins to me I always cast my mind back to the 80s and the California Raisin adverts with the singing raisin characters. I’ve never associated raisins with beer. There’s a good reason for that, as raisin beer just doesn’t sound like a good idea to me. After all, raisins are dried grapes and I don’t fancy trying beer wine. Having said that, if Cinabar found some beer wine I’m sure she’d enjoy torturing me with it. She certainly has found the next worst thing. This beer, brewed by Cains, is made from Californian Raisins. On the label it recommends trying it with “cheeses, red meat or game – or on its own.” On opening the bottle I noticed the strong smell of raisins. The beverage tastes of a fine raisin wine mixed with a light beer. You get a strong taste of raisins to start with, then the light beer taste and back to raisins for an aftertaste. The more I drank of this raisin beer the stronger the raisin taste became until towards the end of the beer it was almost overpowering. The beer flavour disappears and is replaced by raisins, then raisins and more raisins. I’m sure they liquidised a whole raisin singing group to fill each bottle. In retrospect I think this beer would have tasted great with a strong cheese and some crackers, or a medium steak or roast beef, or a nice pheasant, but I made the mistake of trying the later suggestion on the label and drank it on its own. This is a beer to be savoured and enjoyed with a good meaty meal or a cheese platter for pudding rather than on its own, and I can’t see youths drinking it from the bottle at parties raisin’ hell (sorry… had to get that one in)!