Thursday, 17 November 2016

Land of Liberty

Apparently something happened in American politics last week and it has a lot of people worried and scared. I remember well those days, when there was hope. Anyway, I've been a bit quiet because I was out with my father down Hinckley way - he wanted to show me around the new Crescent development of which he is quite proud, having played a role in the creation and construction of the place. There was a lovely micro-pub there called The Elbow Room and I had a nice half of Bath Ales stout in the place we ate.

I digress, tonight I plan to regale you with something almost topical being an American IPA by the name of Land of Liberty brewed by T. A. Sadler's for the Aldi imprint Great British Brewing Co. and I confess that I'm looking forward to it with my home made chow mein (well, almost, I used a packet sauce).

Would you like to know more?

Perhaps the kitchen could be less bomb-site like - it's mainly my fault as I've just been out getting the last remnants of the shopping list that I completely forgot earlier in the day. I'd blame a late night the night before (I did get a take-out pint of Abbeydale Full English Breakfast which I really enjoyed but did not review upon getting home) but it wasn't that late. No, it's mainly just my brain. The cooking was an attempt to fire me back into functional brain territory and that, at least, appears to have done the job. A copper coloured IPA can't go wrong with helping. Though it's a light copper hue and not as deep or as strong as some of the other IPAs I've had in the realms of this here blog. A good strong aroma that, maybe due to my use of rice wine vinegar, seems more pungent than I was expecting. Roasted on the edges and with a musty centre, definite light citrus as promised.

Once in the living room to eat and, yes, that copper aspect is missing. More a straw like colour on it here, a bit like Trump's hair in all the press photographs. Much like the man himself, this seems to have undergone something of a transformation. Anyway, there's a good taste on this one, opening with big hops that are still nevertheless delicate enough not to overpower the sauce but strong enough to not fade completely into the background. Plenty of warming yeast spice atop a bed of malt that stays very much in the background, letting the tropical hops do their part through the middle of the taste that remains thinner than a stout but bigger than a pale. This is a meal ale, I'm glad I chose it, and would work well with something even spicier than the chow mein I'm having. It could work well with a curry or even with a decent steak in peppercorn sauce. That said, I'm having no meat so I can'tr comment too far on that one.

That roasted edge I noted on the nose continues too, playing a bigger role at the back of the mouth and then it hangs around into the aftertaste along with something faintly reminiscent of the Elvis Juice orbital weapon (click here) which the bottle assures me is notes of grapefruit. To be fair, there's no mistaking the grapefruit in the brew that this aftertaste calls to mind. It doesn't last long, my chow mein makes short work of any delicacy at this stage. The head continues to last, being a moderately thin froth, and the whole dryness of the brew from start to finish complements the more spiky aspects of the meal nicely. It's not the stout nor porter that I had last night by any means but it does work surprisingly well at the end of a wet and miserable day weather-wise with the edge of frost that was only prevented by persistent low cloud.

I quite like it, all told, and it was a good buy. I can see myself getting this again in the suture when our local Aldi opens back up after a refurbishment. In the meantime I can enjoy the slightly baiting name of the brew given recent events and leave people to draw their own conclusions. A bitterness to the whole affair that also allows me to indulge my favourite pastime of getting all historically uptight around this time of year. At 5% ABV it's not too shabby about pulling its punches either, nor am I too bothered about mixing my metaphors. All in, this would have gone down well with the spicy chicken Mexican style I had last night or the curry I have when visiting Leeds, but it works just fine of a Saturday evening at home too.

Enjoy best when you have an evening of relaxation ahead rather than the marking you brought home, take your time with a full-flavoured meal that will make you smack your lips in appreciation before you even bite into it. Pour the brew, have it slightly chilled, and then kick back into something comfortable and soft that means you don't have to sit upright. Eat messily with friends and laugh loud when the ridiculous jokes are made. Avoid the taking of pictures, compare notes on passersby and let the ale do the job of lubricating your meal experience enough to make you wish for further lubrication. Which is not nearly as rude as it sounds.

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