Tuesday, 28 February 2012

The 24th February Beer

Cuvée van de Keizer Blauw - 11%
I recently found myself wanting something a little more special.  Something I would not normally buy just for myself.

Asking at the friendly local off license I was directed to Cuvée van de Keizer Blauw. It might have been purely for it's cost, an impressive £8.75, but he did claim it to be a beer with a little something more.

This is the special edition, brewed only on the 24th of February to celebrate the birth of Charles Quint who supposedly preferred beer to wine.

You can't see from the picture but it's a deep red and what you can see it's a lively fizzy drink.  Not so filled with bubble that you will be burping or bloated for the rest of the night, just a nice fizz.

The flavour is rich and sweet.  You will notice eventually the warmth coming through from the alcohol content, a surprising 11%, which doesn't blow your head off and is somewhat reminiscent of a red wine.

Grab it while you can and remember to share the bottle or be prepared to be knocked flat.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

So they tricked me with an IPA that looked like a Porter.  This time I went in a little less blind.

Rapture - 4.6%
Magic Rock Brewery produce Rapture, a Red Hop Ale.  And when they say Hop they mean Hop.  Really rich and complex flavours and a dry finish spoiled only, for myself, with a slightly too bitter tang at the end.

It's similar to Lotus, but instead of being purely smooth it's got a much more fizzy texture.  I call this an excellent beer that doesn't sit well on my palate.  If you are a fan of something citrus and very strongly hopped expertly blended together I urge you to try it.

While you are enjoying that I will be off trying to hunt down a Magic Rock Stout.

Friday, 17 February 2012

More research required

Straffe Hendrik - 11%
A few weeks ago I threw out a blanket statement.  A sweeping and crass generalisation about Belgian brewers, and their habit over overloading the visual senses with beer bottle labels.

I then found the exception that proved the rule.

And another.

And now this one.

Fine I was wrong I accept it.  So bring on the beer.

Here's a Quadrupel from De Halve Maan Brewery.  It appears you wont find it on their website now as it's not on this years plan.

Firstly you wont notice this is an 11% beer from the taste.  That comes a little later as it sinks in and you are trying to type.  Hold it in your mouth for a little while before you swallow and when you do you will realise that it does have quite a kick.

It's a rather complex and malty flavour.  And while it is complex it's also delicious.  If I could survive more than one of these a night I would definitely enjoy it right up till the alcohol poisoning.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Isn't that a smelly kind of cheese?

Trappistes Rochefort 6 -  7.5%
Ahhh something of a classic here.  This is a real Trappist beer from an actual monastery crewed by real monks.  But lets not hold that against them.

Trappistes Rochefort 6 is a relatively rare beast.  It's the least produced of the 3 different variants produced at the Abbey who, being a monastery only make the beer in sufficient quantity to pay for the upkeep of the Abbey.  So defiantly worth picking up when you see it.

This is a spicy dark beer with hints of something like caramel.  Not surprisingly when I asked for something sweet I was handed this.  Simple and uncompromising for flavour and after taste.

Friday, 10 February 2012

From down at the river bank

Otter Ale - 4.5%
What's cuter than an otter?

Not much.

What's tastier than an Otter Beer?

Well a couple of things but don't get me wrong this I like.

Otter Brewery are based in Devon and before last Friday I had never heard of them.  They were the ale of choice at The Oak in Baginton where a few of my friends gathered to celebrate the ageing of another.  To get in I had to first pay Jasper the dog with a round of fetch before he would let me continue.  With him suitably pleased I could explore the beers.

Sadly for my collection I got no further than Otter Ale.  Delicately fruity flavours without the over hopped citrus of an IPA made this something I had to go back and try again... and again... and I think at least one more.  All I really remember after that was that I wasn't driving and the person next to me had a child seat on his lap, but no child.

Friday, 3 February 2012

A Sheep in Wolfs clothing

Magic 8 Ball - 7.0%
Take a look at that over there.  Dark with a rich cream head, slightly washed out by the flash, Can't you just imagine the rich flavours, the thick roasted malt aroma?

Well I'm glad you can.  All I get is the citrus twang of an IPA.  This is Magic 8 Ball, Black IPA.  Yes Black IPA.  Brought to you by the folks at Magic Rock Brewing.

It's as strange a beast as it appears.  You have a flavourful IPA with the look of a more manly ale.  I would challenge someone to drink this alongside a regular IPA and see if they could tell one was dark.  Obviously you'd have to blindfold them first or it's a bit more trivial an exercise.

As IPA's go it's quite nice, but once again not my thing with a lingering bitter after taste.  I was a little disappointed that it wasn't as unusual in flavour as it is in colour, but that should not stop you.  Fans of IPA rise up, go forth too Hudddersfeild and rejoice.