Sunday, 31 July 2011

A bottle of sugary apple juice

I don't often write about cider but when I saw a bottle of cidre from Stella Artois in Tesco (they also had cases of it) I had to get a bottle. It was €2 and in the interests of balance I figured I should try it.
Well I went through the experience so you, the reader, does not have to.
It was undrinkable, well to me anyway. It was sweeter than most alcopops and just made me feel ill, like when you eat way too much sugary stuff such as jellies. I might as well have been drinking carbonated, liquefied haribo.

Unless you have a severe sweet tooth, avoid because this is not cider, at least not by any definition I am aware of. I never thought I would be wishing for a bottle of Bulmers (Magners).

Friday, 29 July 2011

Beer Myths

I want to deal with a very specific myth about beer, or any alcohol really but since the topic of this blog is beer, then let's stick with that.
Since we are on the topic though, I will mention a few others. All of these are easily debunked on other sites anyway. I'm sure Mythbusters have had a go as well.

  • Beer before Liquor, never sicker - Or never mix your grains and grapes. 
The idea here is that mixing your drinks will give you a worse hangover and specifically in certain orders. I am happy to report that this is utter crap. Alcohol is alcohol for the most part. You might be affected differently by higher alcohols such as those present in very warm fermented beers. Usually Belgian beers but at the end of the day you can mix your drinks. As long as the amount of alcohol is the same, it makes no difference. The myth probably comes from the reality that if you do mix your drinks, you are the tpye of person who does not have a lot of self control and will just keep drinking crazy stuff until you don't remember what you drank.

  • Guinness must be poured using the two part pour.
I will answer that with a question. Can you think of any liquid that tastes different depending on how it is poured? The traditional two part pour is a throwback to when Guinness was served from two different casks. One old and one new. The old beer was topped up with the new fresh beer, hence the two part pull. These days it is all marketing. I can attest to it being the same because I sometimes order it straight so I don't have to wait at the bar for 5 minutes.

  • Drinking beer (or any alcohol) kills brain cells.
And here we come to what I wanted to talk about. The reason is that last night I started watching a TV show called The Cape. It is about a superhero type who has, well, a cape. No superpowers so he is just like batman without the toys. My wife watched a few minutes of it and said that we had seen it before. I had no recollection of it whatsoever. I figured I could have watched the first episode while half asleep but then I watched the second episode and she had seen this too! I can not recall a single thing about this show. Not the name, not the premise, not even the fact that Summer Glau is in it! Come on I should at least remember that the mad girl from Firefly is in this show. It only came out in January so it's not like I saw this years ago, not that it would make a difference because I can remember every TV show I have ever seen. Oh don't get me wrong, I would not know specific episodes but after a few moments I would recognise it and know I have seen a certain episode. I can't remember anything about the cape though. I remember shows from the 80's that few people remember these days. I seem to be in the minority of people who watched Manimal or Streethawk for instance.

So Is my consumption of beer responsible for this loss of memory? Or did aliens labotomise my brain with a spoon? Believe it or not, the alien theory is more likely.

I am happy to report that alcohol does not kill brain cells, well unless poured directly on to the brain that is.
It might cause neuron issue, or more to the point, it looks like lack of B vitamins that drinking excess alcohol results in is the real cause. You would have to be a complete wino to see any real effects and simply cutting down or stop drinking repairs most of the damage.

Either way, I am confident that my drinking this year has not caused me to forget a cancelled show.

Now, I clearly need to make a foil hat to prevent the Aliens from finding me again.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

What I think of beer and what it means to me - random waffle

Many people think beer is just a means to get drunk but I don't think that's true. For one thing, there are far cheaper and quicker ways to get drunk than with beer. Wine comes to mind, there is a recent snobbishness when it comes to wine. I have nothing against wine and think it has its place but funnily enough you can get drunk much faster on wine than you can on beer. A cheap €2.99 bottle of wine will do the same damage is a 6 pack, assuming 330ml average lager. You will not get much in the way of a 6 pack of beer for €3.
Funnily enough, wine used to be the drink of choice among those who wished to just get slaughtered. It is still true for the modern day wino.

Cheap spirits like store brand whiskies are even better. I love whiskey but drink it sparingly with a large glass of water. In fact I treat beer a little like whiskey. I have a side of water and drink it slowly. I actually like getting a cold (not ice cold) beer and drinking it slow enough that I can sense the change the beer goes through as it warms closer to room temperature and the flavours start being more pronounced.

So why do people drink beer beer then? Well there are a number of good books out there that explore that very question but essentially it is because beer is a social drink. In fact beer is the very reason we as a species socialise the way we do, the reason we settled down and started farming then industrialised. Beer is the very fabric of modern civilisation dating back to before civilisation existed. Some of the earliest known writings are indeed recipes and instructions for making beer.

One of the real annoyances for me is wine and food pairing. Beer is far more versatile when it comes to pairing with food. What wine can you pair with spicy food? What wine goes perfectly with chocolate? There is a beer for every dish but most people can't see past pale yellow, fizzy lager that has little to no flavour. These are the uneducated people. I mean that not as a criticism, simply they do not know or understand beer because they may have only experienced bad beer. I long to see a day when I am handed a beer menu and/or wine menu to go with my meal at a restaurant. Perhaps even a recommended wine and beer for each dish on the menu.

To me, beer is the most wonderful drink on the planet. It might not be as vital to our very survival like it was before we understood the need to boil untreated water, when it was a case that beer was the only liquid safe to drink, but modern day beer is vital to society. Think about it, what countries are the least troublesome? What countries are the safest to travel in? In what countries are the populace the happiest and most satisfied with life? The answer for the most part is any country that drinks a lot of beer. I'm Irish so am usually very happy and content with my life. We are so content with our lot in Ireland that even though we love to complain about things like the weather, it is the very fact that we love doing the complaining that should indicate just how happy we really are.

Beer is a lot like The Force. It's true!!
"The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It's an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the galaxy together."

  • Beer Certainly Surrounds us.
  • I particularly like penetrates us for some reason.... In my case it penetrates my soul, my very being but of course in simplistic terms it simply penetrates our bodies. You have to consume it after all.
  • Beer binds communities together. An argument can always be settled after a few beers, just don't drink too much or you will forget the argument was settled and start all over again.
And Beer is of course what gives the beer writer or Camra member his or her power.

I encourage people who want to know more about the history of beer what it means to other cultures to read Pete Brown's books for more insight. There are of course other authors out there but Pete is fresh in my mind and a very funny writer (Bill Bryson esque).

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Sharper Image

When I was the the Beer Bloggers conference in May, one of the beers that was served during dinner was DW by Sharp's. The name is in honour of Dave Wickett, the brewer for Kelham Island Brewery. He was diagnosed with cancer and it was decided to honor his name and that all proceeds from the beer will go to Cornish hospice care.

The beer itself is a Belgian styled Tripel. Deserving of respect for it's 9% abv alone, it is actually a very tasty beer. It certainly smells Belgian. It has a boozy and spicy aroma with plenty of yeastiness. When I tasted it I thought it was rather delicate. Of course like many Belgian beers it is rather sweet, with all kind of Belgian candi and other teeth rotting sugary stuff that you could not get enough of as a kid. Pear drops anyone? The bitterness was quite unexpected and rather appreciated to counter the sweetness. While it still leans towards the sweeter end of the scale, it was not overly sweet and so could be enjoyed quite easily. There is a lovely peppery finish that leaves your tongue feeling tantalised and ready for more.

I do encourage people to buy a bottle of this beer. It costs about the same as a bottle of wine, is nearly the same abv and is far more interesting and versatile than any wine. You can drink this with the warm fuzzy feeling that your money is going to a good cause, well two good causes actually, your own glutony and also more importantly to the help sick children.

Another beer I had at BBC11 was Monsieur Rock, although I had a lot more of this one. Pallet fatigue had set in by the time I drank it (end of the night) so it just seemed a little dull, but I thought the same of White Shield at the time. When Kristy (Molson Coors) sent me the Worthington's beers I got two bottles of Monsieur Rock with it. I am glad I took a few notes because the beer was so bloody drinkable that I downed them very quickly.
The interesting thing about the beer is that it is not just a typical lager brewed with saaz hops. It has Jean-Marie Rock of Orval fame helping out with the brew. It combines British and Belgian brewing styles.

The aroma was fascinating. At first it could have been any lager but then some lemon, sweet toffee, grain and spice came through. The taste is subtle, again at first you have the qualities of a good lager such as a crisp and refreshing cereal married with herbal hops but then the subtle lemon pepper thing comes out and also a fizziness, sort of like sherbet. It feels great on the tongue and is so easy to drink. It may not be the most interesting beer in terms of flavour but for what it is, it's flawless.

So my initial reaction of "meh" has been altered. Rule of thumb to be followed. Never review a beer at the end of a long day of drinking various beers. In this case, I waited 2 months before doing a proper write up.

One could say that whatever blurry image I had of some of the Sharp's range has come in to focus.... Jaysus that was bad, sorry.....

*Any reference in this article that may or may not share the same name as a random shop, oh let's say some sort of gadget store is entirely coincidental*

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

The stuff of legends

The other weekend I attended the British Open in Sandwich. While I do have golf clubs and have at times actually used them, I am not a big golfer. The reason I was there was that Pilsner Urquell invited me along for the weekend and it would be rude to say no to such hospitality.

London was grey and rainy this time, I often find it very hot and sunny but that might be just me being lucky with the weather. It is however considerably further south than Dublin so is usually warmer. Despite the clouds, London was actually rather warm that weekend.

I flew in to Gatwick Airport where I was collected by a driver that Pilsner Urquell had arranged and was transferred to my hotel for the weekend.

The Savoy hotel in London spent over £220 ($350?) million pounds getting revamped. The hotel is rather famous I hear and I must say it is staggeringly beautiful inside. The staff are also incredibly friendly and will help you in any way they can.

My room for the two nights. The bed was so soft it was like floating on air, in fact it was too soft for me but I made do. Sometimes you have to rough it a little. The iPod stereo was a nice touch as I could charge my iPhone on it.

The TV was pretty cool and had a very nice hotel system built in to it that delivered messages to your screen and arranged wakeup calls.

The bathroom was very nice I thought and everything was laid out and supplied with attention to detail. Mouthwash and cotton buds for instance.

Rather pretty eh? I did not dine in this room but I could have had breakfast there if I wanted. Instead I selected the regular dining room to have breakfast on the day of my departure. I went for a basic bagel, cream cheese and smoked salmon because quite frankly, I was not up to much more than that. A piano bar is attached.

Pilsner Urquell had rented a room called the Pinafore room. This contained a bar with PU on tap as well as all the details we would need for our weekend. In the morning it also contained pastries and refreshments.

This is not just one of the brand team pouring a glass of PU, it is the unfiltered and unpasteurised version which is brilliant.

The course of the weekend was as follows. After I checked in to the hotel, I had massage that took about an hour. I could have picked golf but the weather was not the best and I would never pay for a massage for myself where as I could play golf any time I want back home.

I then took a stroll around the area. I ended up going to the London Porterhouse and had a half pint of Oyster Stout. No cask ale and no Wrasslers XXXX that I could see and the place was packed. I had tried to get a beer in a few other pubs but being a Saturday night, they were packed so I headed back to the hotel to get ready. I am glad to see the Porterhouse doing so well over there, even if it was inconvenient for me.

Finally there was no more time for arsing around and it was time for the Pilsner Urquell schedule to kick in.

I was to go to the Princess Ida room (beside Pinafore room) for pre-dinner drinks and snacks. I immediately met Krishan from EatMe magazine (Shakespearian actor as well) and we started talking. Shortly afterwards Marvarine and Tom joined us. I spotted Glynn who I met at the beer bloggers conference and he was chatting with Jeff Evans.
The 6 of us spent the weekend chatting and pretty much banded together. I found it interesting because there was over 20 people in the Pilsner Urquell group, most of them seemed to be golfers so it was fascinating how the 6 writers among us immediately singled each other out and stuck together.

Dinner was next and that was lovely. I stayed with Dave and Glynn until people started singing and playng the piano and then we reckoned it was time to go to bed as we had an early enough start in the morning.

The next morning we got a coach to the train station and hopped aboard the Pilsner Urquell express more commonly known as The Royal Scott. A number of carriages had been branded with Pilsner Urquell decor and set aside for us. We had a lovely breakfast with the best breakfast mushrooms I have ever had. Pilsner Urquell was of course on offer so I started my drinking at 9:30 am.

When we arrived at the open we had a talk from the current brand ambassador, Bernard Gallacher (father of Kisrty). He is a golf legend and all around nice guy. I suppose being a former winner of the open means he is a bit of an expert. He gave us his prediction of the winner and thankfully Darren won.

After our talk with Bernard and our wonderful 3 course lunch, it was time to hit see the golf, but not before we got a behind the scene look at the main beer tent. The technology behind this is staggering, so much so that I will be doing a separate article on it at a later date.

Here are some statistics to wrap your head around though. 90,000 litres of Pilsner Urquell were shipped to the event a few days before it started. Of this, a staggering 74,431 pints were poured for over 179,700 attendees. 200 bar-tenders were required for this and they all received training on Pilsner Urquell and how it should be poured, though technology took care of most of that for them, they were told that there should be a large fluffy white head on the beer, contrary to how a lot of British ales are served.

Pilsner Urquell also did something brilliant. Rather than serve the beer in crappy soft plastic containers like most large events, they arranged for 60,000 Pilsner Urquell hard plastic pint glasses to be made. These glasses, even though they were plastic, were just like drinking from glass. In fact many people were taking them home as souvenirs (myself included) so Pilsner Urquell collected the used glasses and put them through the industrial dishwasher. That is how sturdy they are.

After the tour, we all split up and went to take a look at the golf. I started off not knowing where I was going but I stopped at a few holes and watched some shots. I then started to get in to the spirit a little. Pilsner Urquell provided a lovely branded radio so we could listen to the broadcast and this proved invaluable because I could hear where the leaders were. Darren Clarke was in the lead and since he was from the same Island as me I decided he was the man to cheer on. I heard he was at the 6th hole and I saw a sign for the 8th hole so I decided to catch up with him there.

I got to see the Mickelson team as well and I cheered him on as well, apart from being second, he is American and since I love America like a second home (my wife is American) it only seemed right.
When Darren Clarke arrived he sunk an eagle! I was hooked. It was raining hard, I had no umbrella, I was wearing sandles (figured my feet would get wet anyway) but I had a brilliant time. I stayed out until it was time to go and when I arrived back at the Pilsner Urquell chalet I found everyone drinking and staying nice and dry. I'm sure I looked a wreck with muddy feet, dirty trousers turned up at the ankles, clothing all wet.

Darren Clarke obviously went on to win the open and I could not be happier for him. I would love to know if he had Pilsner Urquell while he was there but I know he is a beer lover and famously loves his Guinness so he probably had some. Darren Clarke is a legend in the making, actually some might consider him a legend already, certainly celebrating with 24 pints of Guinness in one night is legendary. I'm not sure how he did it, but am I no different? I had been drinking all day and I doubt I was anywhere near that much beer. In fact if I drank the equivalent of 24 pints throughout the whole weekend I would be surprised.

All to soon it was time to head back to London. However it was back on the Pilsner Urquell train for some leisurely pampering.

The train journey back included a 3 course dinner. There may have been one or two bottles of Pilsner Urquell as well.... OK maybe more than that but hey... I had been drinking the same beer all day and I was not sick of it. That is a monumental achievement for a beer nerd like me. Often I will get sick of the same thing and want something else. If I don't have some sort of stout on a night out I think I am losing my Irishness or something. There was none of that here and I drank Pilsner Urquell until I physically could not hold any more food or drink and had to go to bed.

The five other writers for the trip from left to right were: Marv (Beer Beauty-Beer writer), Tom Love (Sports writer), Glynn Davis (Retail writer), Krishan (editor of eatme mag), and lastly Jeff Evans (Beer writer).
This picture was taken on our last night before we said our good byes. A lot of the unfiltered/unpasteurised PU was consumed that evening, until it was all gone as it will not last as long as the regular version.

Short of having Pilsner Urquell from a wooden cask, this is as good as it gets in the world of Pilsners. The regular stuff is pretty damn tasty as well but a cold, unfiltered, unpasteurised Pilsner Urquell is a thing of beauty.

So why did Pilsner Urquell become the official beer of the British Open? Well there is the obvious marketing benefits but the reason they picked the open as opposed to something else was the sense of history. Pilsner Urquell prides itself on its history. The open started in 1860 which was about the same time as Pilsner Urquell came into being 20 years before. At a talk on the train, Petr Dvorak, International Brand Director for Pilsner Urquell explained that they were looking for a sporting event as historic as themselves. Pilsner Urquell was the first Pilsner, the first golden lager and the open was the first golf championship. He also explained that it is a 5 year deal, this being the third and while he did not go into specifics on how much the deal was worth, he said that the cost of the deal to Pilsner Urquell is dwarfed by the cost surrounding it, such as the advertising and bringing groups like ours together to share the experience. He reckons they spent 10 times as much on everything surrounding the even as they did to secure their official status.
So here is to two more years of golf fans being able to enjoy a quality lager when attending the British Open. If Pilsner Urquell move on to something else in a few years, those golf fans might miss their presence.

I just want to say a big thank you to the Pilsner Urquell team for inviting me. There might be some that would question the ethics of accepting an invitation like this in exchange for a glowing blog report, well to that I say that if I did not like the beer and did not enjoy the trip then that is what I would have written. The simple fact is, I already like Pilsner Urquell and they did a brilliant job during the event so I can only report everything in a positive light. I make no financial gain from this blog, it is simply a hobby. My goal is to spread the word and expand peoples horizons about beer in general, be it from a large brewery like Pilsner Urquell or a small local brewery like Galway Hooker. Pilsner Urquell is an excellent beer and one that still uses traditional methods for the most part. They may have modernised and expanded but they still use a triple decoction mash and use only saaz hops unlike some other imitation pilsners I could mention.

OK so not all Pilsner Urquell is brewed in Pilsen these days in the same way that not all Guinness is brewed in Dublin, not all Waterford Crystal is made in Waterford, not all Samuel Adams comes from Massachusetts let alone Boston. As long as the quality and process, ingredients etc. remain the same then I see no issue with it.

So thanks again to Pilsner Urquell for the experience.

Marv (Beer Beauty) has reported on it here.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

A worthy legacy to the original Burton ales.

During the Beer Bloggers Conference in London, I had my first taste of White Shield and I was not impressed. I was not happy with that because I had heard great things so I wondered was it palate fatigue?

Enter Kristy McCready from Molson Coors who said she would send me a bottle of each of the Worthington's beers to try at my leisure.
As it turns out, someone misunderstood her instructions and sent me a case of each beer. I'm not complaining and I will pass some on to TheBeerNut, another Irish blogger. Keep an eye out for his report at a later date.

This time around White Shield was a different beer. I could taste almost nothing before so it was certain palate fatigue. What a lovely beer this is. The colour indicates this is going to be a fairly malt driven beer, and it is. The aroma is all dried fruits, orange marmalade, caramel and what reminds me of figs.
In the mouth there is a very full mouth feel and it starts off with a sort of wine like, fruity marmalade but then switches to a bitter orange and dry finish. I will enjoy a lot more of these. My wife gave it the thumbs up too. I will be sad when my supply runs out as I don't believe it is available here... yet...

I did enjoy Red Shield a little more at the conference, however I think that was because it suited my fatigued palate better where as White Shield was trying to force some complexity on me, Red Shield was being dutifully dull. That was then so what about now that I have it all to myself with no beery distractions? Well I found the aroma was dominated by lemon sherbet and the taste was likewise. Lots of lemon citrus and a little yeast. A very refreshing summer beer. There is not a lot of residual sugar so you are left with a dry and somewhat bitter blonde ale. My wife also gave the thumbs up to this, though we both preferred White Shield.

And now on to two beers that did not make it to BBC11. The first up is simply called "E". I don't know why that is exactly, the best I can come up with is that there was a Bass ale by the same name in the 70's but I don't know why that beer was called "E".
As beers go, this aint half bad though. The aroma was like sticky toffee pudding meets aged, sweet fruitcake. This smells like it is a big beer, like an old aged ale. It put me in mind of Fullers vintage ale. It smells lovely and warming but I knew from the ABV of 4.8% that it was not going to be like that. Once I tasted it, I was momentarily disappointed to find it lacking the body and feel of a vintage ale but again, I reminded myself that it is not supposed to and I accepted the beer for what it is. In addition to the strong fruitcake type flavours, I detected a woody and spiciness that I found beautiful and then enjoyed the strong flavours and thin body of this eminently drinkable beer.

Another short name here, P2 is an imperial stout. Yay for imperial stouts! In fact, P2 is supposed to be a recreation of the original strong stouts sent to St. Petersburg in imperial Russia. Perhaps the P2 is short for St. Petersburg 2? 
Anyway where do you start with an 8% Well the pour is perfect for a start. A lovely thick tan head and the beer is dark, very dark in fact. The aroma is also perfect. Subtle wood-smoke, vanilla and liquorice. 
All of the aroma is infused in the flavour and really shines through and you then have the addition of burnt espresso beans. This is a wonderfully warming beer that is surprisingly easy to drink. You can sip it and contemplate or if you want to down it, there is that option but it might not be a good idea to down an 8% pint of beer. At the very least it would be a waste, the point is though that it is a light enough beer that you could drink it fast and not notice the 8% creeping up on you.
I absolutely must have this on cask some time. I would say it is too much to ask for Kristy to send me a cask of P2 though.... However if someone could see their way to load one on to a pallet and sell to one of our cask serving pubs, I will gladly travel to Dublin and consume a few pints of it, as I imagine would most of the craft beer community in Ireland.

A big thank you to Kristy and Molson Coors for allowing me to try these wonderful  beers.
I am all the more saddened by Steve Wellington's retirement now and understand why there were some teary eyed bloggers at BBC11.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

From the wheat fields of Camden town

This past weekend was spent in London where in May I attended the beer bloggers conference. My reason for being in London this weekend gone was to attend the Golf Open courtesy of Pilsner Urquell. I will be writing about that later this week.

The only beer from Camden Town I seem to have got home to Ireland was the wheat beer. The pour produces a strong banana and clove aroma and a hint of sourness. Sourness in a wheat can either be very interesting or downright nasty. 
When I tasted it I decided there was another sour scenario. Just there. The sourness did not ruin the beer, nor did it add anything, it simply was. Other than that I found it rather thin and watery and no where near as good as the aroma. I did however enjoy it, all I am saying is that I would rather a Schneider Weisse.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Krombacher Dark

It is great to see a new main stream beer being added to the Irish market. I love my micro brewed beer but I love good beer in general so if a larger brewery brings in something new that I can buy, I will happily drink it.
I picked a Bull & Castle style Halbe glass and poured. A dark ruby red beer with a tan head was my reward. Liight plays around the edges showing the ruby colour but it is pretty black in the middle.
It smells like a lager yes but there is a strong caramel malt aroma as well.
The mouthfeel was rather good actually, chewy and creamy. Then the caramel came through. The fact that this is a lager never escapes you as it is very crisp and easy to drink. A lovely beer and I hope to see it available in more locations. Herold Dark it is not, not even Budvar dark but a solid dark lager nonetheless.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Queboid is a pretty odd name

A Google of the word Queboid brings up a rather interesting result. You do get the beer I am going to talk about, which is always a good thing in the world of SEO and all that but you also get something awesome, and I don't often use that word but in this case I think it is warranted.
The awesomeness of which I speak is this thing. A Lego cube shaped rover.
I think it might be possible to put a bottle of beer in that thing.I advise like minded nerds to check out Mark's website and look at all the other cool Lego projects he as worked on. Amazing stuff!!!
The best thing is, Mark seems to be a fellow Dubliner.

I happily nabbed a bottle of Queboid while I was at the Beer Bloggers Conference in London. I was quite pleased with myself because Dave's brewery is so small that there is not a hope of any reaching Ireland any time soon. It has been a few years since I had one of his beers and this is the first since he moved the Hardknott brewery out of The Woolpack and set up as just a brewery.

Queboid is an 8% Belgian style double IPA.... A what? So before I open the bottle I am trying to figure out what he is planning... My mind comes up with a Belgian Dubbel hopped with American "C" hops but the only way to know is to open the bottle.

There was a lot less foam than I expected from a Belgian styled beer but that's fine so I moved on to the aroma which came out very well in my Duvel glass. There is no doubt that this is a Belgian style beer from the aroma. There is a very strong yeasty aroma which is quite spicy. Some Sherbet and orange peel come next followed by a little banana and raisins. Lastly comes the booze, a strong but not overpowering ethanol.
So far so good, though I did not get any citrus other than orange.

Right enough poncing around sniffing the glass, this is beer and it needs to be consumed. Down the hatch it goes and... Hmmm first hit is the alcohol, very strong paint thinner / acetone. Then comes the hops and the hidden citrus but where is the complexity from the aroma? 

I was quite disappointed in the end because I found it a little hard to drink due to the burning acetone.
I do honestly believe that this beer needs another try if I ever come across it again. I also reckon it might be better on cask where everything mellows out and the harsh alcohol becomes muted allowing the more complex flavours to come out.

I wonder what version of Queboid I got? It was in a 330ml bottle and the one I got at the conference.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

A mean London ale.

I have already had the Meantime London stout and it was quite lovely. This time around it was still lovely but I found it a little on the thin side? Even though it had a creamy texture, almost like a notrogenated draught stout.
Anyway moving on....

The Young's Special London Ale pictured above is one of the gifts I got at the Beer Bloggers Conference in my Young's goodie bag. The other Young's beer was a casualty of war, fitting that it was Bombardier then that was KIA.
At 6.4% there is no messing about with this beer.The aroma was grainy and earthy with some horlicks hiding in the background.
The taste was surprising though, it had a lager like refreshing quality I was not expecting. The fact that this beer is 6.4% does not escape you as it is rather boozy.The finish was a mix of sweet caramel, some bitter earthy hops and a somewhat spicy tingle on the tongue.
All in I enjoyed it but one was enough, this is not a session beer, nor is it a sipper, instead it lies somewhere in between the two...

I should be in London again pretty soon so I hope to get some more London ales to try. More on that to follow.