This is a remarkable beer. One of the most interesting I’ve tried. It’s from Orkney, and it’s so thick you could probably stand a spoon in it.
Dark Island Reserve Orcadian Ale
10% alcohol. Dark brown, opaque colour. Concentrated flavours of treacle, liquorice, chocolate, dates, malt and toffee, with some iron notes. No rough edges, though. Great [...]
Two intense, non-wine flavours this evening. [I love flavour, in general.]
The first: a cheese. It’s a Caerphilly from Neal’s Yard (Gorwydd, Wales). Tangy, slightly sour and bitter, but also creamy and rich. Lovely intensity, without being in any way overpowering. Slightly crumbly, dry texture.
The second: a beer. Bew Dog’s Punk IPA (£1.40 from Tesco). It’s [...]
Had a fun dinner party last night. My buddy Karl started proceedings off well by bring round a wonderful beer. It was a cask ale from Twickenham Fine Ales – the ‘Strange Brew’.
Now I love bottled beer, but cask ales just taste different, and to enjoy them you have to go to a pub. Nothing [...]
So now I am in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. I with a group of wine scientists at a retreat focusing on post-bottling wine chemistry, and we are staying at a rather grand but slightly bizarre hotel in Asheville. Don’t get me wrong: it’s lovely and luxurious, but the decor is very hunting-inspired, with [...]
This is quite a nice beer. It’s Greene King’s attempt at replicating the famous India Pale Ales of the 18th century, and while I imagine it’s more polished and pretty than the originals, it’s still quite delicious.
Bronze in colour, it combines spicy, hoppy notes with rich, almost sweet toffee and honey flavours, finishing with a [...]
Just back from a quick lunchtime pint at my local Wetherspoons, over the road. Now I’m not discussing whether Wetherspoon is a good or bad chain of pubs, all I know is that they usually have some superb guest ales, at amazingly low prices. And one of these was my tipple today, and it was [...]
A question. Why is it that the beer industry is happy to use crown caps with PVC liners for bottled beers?
These PVC liners allow a high level of oxygen transmission. This reduces the shelf-life of the beer, and also means that the same beer is experienced differently by consumers depending on when it is drunk.
Popped into Oddbins on the way home this evening. Nice selection of wines, these days. Lots interested me. Came out with three beers, though. Was particularly interested to try the Brew Dog, because I’d read a lot about these guys. Brilliant, slightly edgy marketing. The beer is great, too.
Brew Dog Trashy Blonde (you know you [...]
Back to the International Wine Challenge today. This week we are judging the wines that passed from last, awarding them medals, and in a few cases demoting some. Had another great panel today. The wine trade is full of interesting and friendly people, it seems.
I’ve been working hard this evening, so it’s time to begin [...]
There’s more to beer than just cask-conditioned ale. Here’s a reasonably serious lager from Italy which is part of Marks & Spencer’s new-ish beer range. Titled simply ‘Italian Lager’, it is tangy and nicely bitter with lovely flavour and balance, as well as some complexity. There’s also a gently herbiness, adding to the savoury impression. [...]