MELBOURNE, May 26 (UPI) -- An Australian brewing company has incorporated rare and expensive "whale vomit" into a special new beer.
Robe Town Brewery's limited run "Moby Dick Ambergris Ale" features hints of ambergris or "whale vomit" which is excreted by sperm whales and most commonly used in perfumes.
"The result is a pungent, animalistic aroma, musky ethereal perfume, full body, caramel malt and fruity flavours, very balanced bitterness," the brewery's website states. "Though the aroma may not be for the faint-hearted, and the beer isn't exactly vegan-friendly, the ambergris perfume adds another dimension to this unique tasting experience."
Robe Town brewers Maris and Kristi Biezaitis told ABC News that the idea for the beer was inspired by a friend's discovery of a lump of ambergris.
"When I heard that ambergris was used in the perfume industry, I thought 'I wonder if that could be used to flavor or spice up a beer,'" Maris Biezaitis said. "It was a relatively fresh piece, quite a smelly piece, so it was airing and curing in the backyard before I got hold of it."
Kristi Biezaitis said the beer has a "challenging" taste and stays true to its ocean roots.
"It tastes a little bit like the sea, it tastes a little bit like marine animals. It's really interesting I think," she said.
The unique beer was crafted for Melbourne's Great Australasian Beer SpecTAPular where it was met with a "mixed reaction."
Maris Biezaitis said the brewery has enough ambergris to brew batches for several more years, but added he has a plan for replenishing their supply.
"I think I'll be trying to train up my dog to recognize the smell on the beach," he said.