Monday, 26 December 2011

For the motherland

Imperial Stouts are often very dark and are accompanied by deep rich roasted flavours.  This one is Samuel Smiths Imperial Stout which succeeds on one of those.

Imperial Stout - 7%
Brewed to withstand bad weather transporting to Russia, this style of beer was a favourite of nobility.

Well see for yourself it's clearly dark coloured so sadly it's the rich flavour I found lacking.  There just wasn't that much to it and I could have been drinking almost any generic beer.  Perhaps the traditional styled label oversold it to me?

It wasn't terribly expensive but for all the build up in terms of writing and labels I was expecting more than I got.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

A Massive Anchor

From the mists of American history, or about 150 years ago, comes the Anchor Brewery.  Based in San Francisco, it's had quite a rocky period, what with earthquakes, prohibition and the rise of mass production all taking a chunk out of it time and again.

Anchor Porter - 5.6%
They make a selection of beers at Anchor but today I'm looking at Anchor Porter.

Introduced in 1972, dark and aromatic with a rich creamy head, Anchor Porter is the first modern American porter, modern in this case being post prohibition.  It's a gentle introduction to the world of porters, flavourful but not overly powerful.  Perhaps a touch lighter than I would have expected, and perhaps desired, it was a welcome drink at the end of the day.

Inexpensive and easily to drink makes this a wonderful beer to while away these winter evening.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Ostriches out of Flanders

From West Flanders is a new brewery called de Struise Brouwers.  Apparently named after the ostrich farm managed by the brewers.  Rather and odd combination but then who am I to judge.  The link to their website is currently down, and I would easily believe that is because they are proving too popular to keep it up with demand.  Feel free to go take a look and let me know if you get more than an error page.

Pannepot 2010 - 10%
A Pannepot is a fishing boat and this ale is a tribute to the dark ales that they would enjoy.  Unpasteurised, unfiltered and bottle conditioned this dark rich ale has a hint of spice about it and is another of the collection of somewhat chocolate flavoured.

It is especially strong at 10% and you can just about taste it, to let you know it has some bite.  At the same time you aren't just tasting alcohol.

It seems supplies of this beer are limited so if you see it I recommend snapping one up to sample.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Not quite a General but pretty close

For tonight's main event I decided to give The Kernel another go at something I was more likely to enjoy.

Imperial Brown Stout - 9.2%
This is their Imperial Brown Stout which I have been informed is what made a name for themselves.  I served mine a little more chilled then people say it should be but given a choice of about 4C, and somewhere in the region of 15C, I know which I'm going for.

Everybody got one of their own to drink along?  Careful pouring as it's another bottle conditioned beer.  As you can see from your own glass, or my picture if you aren't playing along, it's not so dark as to make viewing the bubbles impossible.

A lovely full roasted flavour with only a mild bitter after taste this has slipped down dangerously easily.  The alcohol content is masked completely by the flavours and, if everything has gone to plan, you should now be experiencing a warm feeling.

I'm glad I gave The Kernel another shot, this is far more palatable to me.  This does of course make me wonder if there is an IPA out there for me though...

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Summer fruits in the dead of Autumn

A few times now, quite by accident, I've stumbled onto a smaller independent brewery.  This though wins the prize for apparently smallest and most independent.

The Kernel India Pale Ale - 6.8%
The Kernel Brewery is on the Thames not especially far from London town.  For those inclined you can actually watch a video of the man in action brewing, bottling and labelling his beer for you all by hand.

Take a look at that label.  Another minimalist example but very eye catching in its simplicity.  You can't quite see from the picture but up close you can see, and it's confirmed by the video, the text for the beer type and hops is hand stamped.

Speaking of the hop type we have Citra and Riwaka.  Citra is relatively new and incredibly flavourful of citrus fruits, as its name suggests.

This beer shares a lot in common with the Lotus IPA I tried a few weeks back.  From the strong citrus flavours through to the bitter after taste.

Perhaps in summer time I would enjoy this a little more but it has not put me off delving into whatever they have happened to brew this month.

Friday, 2 December 2011

If there is one thing the Belgians can do...

It's brew some delicious beers.

Brasseries des Rocs is from Belgium and I recommend giving the video on their website a watch and the beer itself will tell you how it is made.

Abbay Des Rocs Brune - 9%
I have the Brune (Brown Ale), a rich chestnut colour and a short lived head.  Triple fermented, with the last stage in the bottle, it is slightly gassy but the flavour is so full and fruity so I can forgive a little fizz.

Remember what I said about Belgium beer labels?  Picture of an abbey cellar, coat of arms, big red script lettering.  Yes much like Delirium they are going all out, to stand out.

Pace yourselves with one of these it's dangerously drinkable and, at a surprisingly well disguised 9%, it would be all to easy to have one too many.