Thursday, 27 September 2012

Beer Review: Goldings

Anyway, we had some posh grub for a meal (no, really, we don't know what else to call it) that is made of some fried chorizo on a bed of green beans, butter beans, new potatoes and green pesto. We had some mozarella and beef tomato topped ciabattas for starters too. Yes, it was posh. All this posh food demanded a beer.

That beer was Goldings, brewed by the Marton's brewers who did Sovereign in the same line of 'single hop' beers, so I was expecting something a wee bit special. And, it turns out, I rather liked those so it seemed daft not to try something else from the same stable.

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Thursday, 20 September 2012

Beer Review: Iceberg

Following on from a hard slog at work I decided to get a beer for the evening.  Imagine my happy surprise when I saw that there was some Titanic Iceberg there, fondly remembered from the Cultural Exchange a while ago.  Of course, I bought it, and so it seemed wise to review it too.

Opening the bottle reminded me of the heady hoppy smell that it had and the pleasing feeling it brought with it.  Reminiscent of evenings off and time spent doing enjoyable things rather than work.  There was nothing really in the way of citrus to it, or to the taste of the beer itself.  Lovely and golden when poured out into a glass and with the hint of pubs of my youth.  Indeed, it put me in mind of some rather nice Thwaites stuff in the way that it went down.  A strong hoppy and spicy taste begins matters, followed by a mellowing and then a nice warm feeling as it passes down to the throat.  There's autumn in this beer, something like crisp leaves underfoot and a musty smell of burnt wood hanging in the air - it sounds hoity toity but it's the best I've got to fully describe the taste.  It performed well and I like it.

I imagine this is one of those beers that tastes better on tap in a bar, the carbonation was at a low enough level that it didn't smoke as I opened it but fizzy enough to be seen and tasted.  I get the idea that there is more of a creamy texture to be had from the beer that is lacking in the bottled variety.  Not sure what to make of that, I'm not generally a fan of creamy ales, but I think this one, for all that I enjoy it and will probably have it again, would benefit from a creamy texture to augment the overall mellow-ness of the taste.

At 4.1% ABV it around the mid-point of my tipples as they are developing and thus would probably be able to be repeated - something that would be a good thing.  Drink this around the dog-days of summer through the beginning of winter and you won't go wrong.  Drink in company of friends and people with whom you want to strike up a friendship.  It can be repeated, it can be shared and it probably won't be the most expensive pint on offer.  You won't be disappointed.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Beer Review: Sovereign

Tonight's beer was Sovereign and was a random pick up from my local supermarket.

The design of the label says it was supposed to be connected to the whole Jubilee thing but, mercifully, that's as far as it went. At 4% ABV it was more my usual (though you wouldn't think it to check out the reviews so far posted on the blog) and it smelled like a beer should. My beard grew when I first tasted it and declared this blonde British made ale to be of my usual taste and standard. On checking the label I was informed that the single hop that had been used to brew the beer was a British one designed to replace the Fuggles. Bloody things.

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Thursday, 6 September 2012

Beer Review: San Miguel

Beer is the answer, even if I have no idea what the question is.

I picked up a bottle of San Miguel this evening because I have never had it, it was very cheap, and I was in the mood to experiment.

I don't know what I was ex- no, actually, that's a lie, I know exactly what I was expecting. It looked like lager, it looked European, my old boss used to drink it. I was expecting something like, overly fizzy and generally a bit pap. I was expecting to not like it - it's why I only got a small bottle.

I was pleasantly surprised. The aroma was wet, like leaves after rain or mown grass I suppose, and strangely alluring. No citrus overtones or anything like that. Also, the fizz was moderate rather than overpowering. Enough to remind you it was a lager rather than a beer, ceratinly, but not as bad as some of the beers I've had. Also, the taste was richer than I wsas expecting from a lager. It put me in mind of the heavier beers that I've had, stuff like Black Sheep and Lancaster Bomber, sort of syrupy without being thick and woody without the raw warmth that I get from hops. It was nice, it was rich and it was a pleasant accompaniment to an odd pizza take away (Chicken Tikka Masala on a pizza, nice enough but not likely to be repeated). Indeed it was like the two were old friends.

I enjoyed it, it was easy enough to drink, didn't fizz up a huge amount whilst I sipped and was forgiving enough on the longer slugs that you could probably take longer drinks if that's your thing. There wasn't much in the bottle, 275ml, but it is quite strong at 5% ABV and so you probably don't want to overdo it. The taste is exactly in keeping with the strength too, so it won't sneak up on you too much. I enjoyed it. May have it again but likely when I'm out on tap, so from a pint glass, rather than at home - it's not a home beer. Well, it's not even a beer, it's a lager.

Enjoy this in a small bar, with some mates, play some pool or darts or skittles and laugh about the football. Talk too loudly, laugh too loudly, and clap each other on the back a lot. This is a fun little lager that is drunk by sporting men what do crisps and chips on an evening. Discuss the offside rule, make predictions about the Euros and be slightly misogynistic. It's on the cusp of that culture, methinks, but you can just as easily go continental and do all of the above but substitute discussion of the Eurozone for the misogyny. I'd be more continental, but just as clueless on the football.