Thursday, 27 June 2013

Beer Review: Black Cat

Willow has taken to drinking cider now and again rather than wine and the other day she'd bought some in and felt a bit bad that I wasn't going to be drinking with her and so bought me some beer too. Very nice of her. And a good brewery too!

She bought me Moorhouse's Black Cat which claimed to be a dark ruby ale with a rich dry chocolate malt taste.

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Thursday, 20 June 2013

Beer Review: Late Red

It's not even close to Autumn, probably about as far as you can get from the season in fact, but I saw this and had to buy it because I really enjoy this one. And then realised that I have never actually managed to review this brew and so decided that I really ought.

It is Shepherd Neame's Late Red. For a commercial brewery I seem to end up trying a lot of their stuff and seem to like them rather a lot. Indeed, if we were having some kind of competition then I suppose these guys would be winning even over Marston's and Black Sheep which saddens me as it looks like the South is winning.

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Thursday, 13 June 2013

Beer Review: Dizzy Blonde

I saw this, Willow had been talking of going blonde again, and so I had to buy a brace of them to enjoy as a couple. It didn't quite work out as I had intended, Willow had her's a few days earlier than I, but we were able to compare a few notes in the drinking.

Tonight, of course, I am reviewing Dizzy Blonde by Robinson's because it has such a good name. It reminds me, in humour, of the much missed Trashy Blonde by Brew Dog that I enjoyed before I started reviewing ales.

I was surprised by the longevity of the head of this ale, it arrived quite quickly and then seemed to hang around past its welcome. There was a the dryness that one associates with blondes and a thin sort of feel to the ale as a whole. At 3.8% it was very much a drinking ale, on that would stand repetition without giving you a massive headache, but there was also something about it that made me feel as though it would be a one off. Certainly it had a nice taste, which is the best I can do I'm afraid, no long descriptions this time! It worked well with the slightly hot version of the Toscana pizza I had to accompany it and that's about all that I can say for it. It was not over-powered by the pizza but nor was it completely able to hold its own so that I had a hard time placing the taste other than 'nice'.

A mite too fizzy at the beginning but flattened as I left it alone and so improved over time out of the bottle. It had waited almost a week in the bottle and this didn't seem to have done any harm. I had also taken the odd step of chilling it, or rather Willow had stored it in the fridge, so maybe that had an effect. After the Cobra episode I think it's something that I appreciate the point of more, however it did no favours this time and I suspect this would have been better at room temperature.

Drink this for a laugh at the name and maybe as part of a cultural exchange. I am asking much for this to carry its own review and do so with any great fanfare. It is passable and weak enough that you can probably have a bevvy of them and avoid ill-effects. It is a background drink, have in large crowds with loud music and discuss whatever the heck you want in shouted comments, a beer that will support rather than dominate and will leave a nice memory of something fuzzy and ephemeral.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Beer Review: Cobra

I know, I know, what's the point in beer reviews of commercially giant beers that aren't ales, don't pretend to be ales and are beers that anyone with a brain and a mouth have tasted? The point is, of course, that I said I would review all the beers I drank in a conversation with my wife at which no one was present but we two and she doesn't read the blog or care to. That's the point. No, I'm not autistic, why would you ask?

Anyway, all this preamble brings me to the beer of the evening that is sharing a rather delectable Morrison's own curry for one: Cobra beer, that was on a lovely offer and came ready chilled so of course I shoved it into the fridge when I got back and drank it chilled.

I have been out on many a curry night where Cobra is the beer of choice and so assumed it must only be something that one can get at Indian food themed restaurants for some reason. I mean, I know that I've seen in it in supermarkets and the like but my brain is an odd place. As it was chilled there wasn't much of a hiss when opening and the fizz on that very important first taste wasn't too bad either. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised. It was smooth and tasty and generally nice in a way that I found totally unexpected. Indeed, it was the perfect companion to the more strident spice of the meal I had with it and helped the whole thing go down more easily. I am therefore seeing where the companionship with spicy food began and why it is stocked where it is.

At 5% ABV it does pack a bit of a punch, and in the larger than expected bottle that I got, it was quite a powerful beer compared to what I usually decide to drink on an evening. I was very much pleasantly hammered by the time I'd finished and though it was a good taste I would counsel caution on repeating the experience on a night. I realise that I am a bit of a lightweight and that most people would likely be untroubled by this, however, so take that with a pinch of salt. Still, I was glad of the larger than expected bottle as it allowed me to keep drinking after the end of the meal and thus clean the palate enough to enjoy the beer proper. It was akin to golden ale, there were honey notes amid the smooth taste overall and I thought I detected some citrus notes implying hops. I, of course, did not take notes and the bottle is already at the bottle bank so I can't confirm that right now (no, I refuse to google it).

Overall, this is a beer to that likes to go with strong flavoured food and with company. I am impressed, I may well avail myself of this to drink the next time I go out to a curry. Drink with Indian food from the basin of the British love-affair with curry: Bradford. Drink with a little humility and a naive heart that is willing to be impressed by pretenders that ought not to do much for you. Drink with the sure knowledge that beardy men such as myself may well get sniffy if you compare it to ale and real ale in particular. It is not real ale. It is beer and it is nice, so enjoy it anyway. I shall be repeating the experience.