Sunday, 25 March 2012

On top of Mount Fuji

Asahi Black - 5%
So Friday evening I went to Mount Fuji.  There must clearly be some obsessive compulsive disorder inside me as compartmentalised food makes me happy.

This time I glossed over the sake and went for the beer.  And what a beer it is.  Asahi Black is I believe imported rather than brewed over here under license.  This means an exciting can covered in text I can't understand.

It is surprisingly light and thin considering it's deep black colour.  The flavours are subtle but pleasant without going crazy on carbonation.

Two cans of this disappeared on me that evening without even really realising it was happening.  Surprisingly refreshing and a welcome start to the weekend.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Down by the river bank

Otter Bright - 4.3%
You know I think I might have a favourite brewery forming here...

The fine folks at Otter Brewery have produced something that looks and tastes remarkably similar to a lager but, unless they are lying to me, is actually an ale.

Otter Bright is a fresh, crisp beer that is highly reminiscent of a lager and it is very refreshing after a long week of work.  It has a subtle and pleasant citrus flavour that reminds me of the Lotus IPA from a few months back, but it far less over powering.

Now if only I could convince them to make me an Otter Stout (Stoat?)

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Imperial Stout - 10.4%
I have to admit it as the label that pulled me in on this one.  Brightly coloured and strangely type-faced on the label over a dark stout.

This Imperial Stout is brought to you by Left Hand Brewing Company who are based in Longmont, Colorado.  Looks like this one has dropped off their radar now as it's not mentioned on their own website.  These fine folks are craft brewers who take what they do seriously.  Brewing professionally since 1993

Immediately on opening it you get a scent of chocolate, deep and rich, which sums up this stout nicely.  Thick and creamy in texture with a wonderful roasted malt flavour it's a rather heavy beer so you wouldn't want to try and drink too much, no matter have much you really would like to.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Taste the Difference

Traditional Kentish Ale - 4.5%
There are two constants it seems in this world.  Sainsbury's have a Taste the Difference version of every conceivable product and, if someone wants a mass produced beer, Shepherd Neame have a hand in it.

As I discovered a short while ago Asahi in the UK is produced by them and now they are making generic beer for supermarkets.

Shepherd Neame is an old Brewery, founded before America gained it's independence, on the site of even older beer making.  But having a long linage does not automatically make something good.

It's a mild beer, not overly hoppy but with enough there to let you know about it.  A nice slightly bitter taste and perhaps a touch more gas than my stomach would like, I'm burping all night long.

On the whole it's a nice, inexpensive beer that is easily available everywhere.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

A name that is filled with lies

Smokeless - 5.7%
It's been quite some time since I've been lied to as much as I was this evening.  You would think if you were to name your product "Smokeless" then it would be decidedly without a smoky flavour.

Red Willow Brewery however think differently.  It's the product of a man, with a fixation on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, who decided brewing beer for a living was more fun than whatever else he was doing.

They have produced Smokeless which is a smoked porter.  See right there in the name the lies come out.  But apart from the name do I have any other complaints?  Well I served it to myself colder than I would have liked but I can hardly blame anyone but me for that.  I really need to find a cool spot in the house that isn't the fridge, or at least get the beers out more in advance.  Still it had been a long day at work and I wasn't about to let an excessively chilled beer stop me.

So yes, it's smoky.  And it is yet another porter.  You can see from the picture almost no head at all, compounded by how slowly I poured to avoid the sediment.

I definitely enjoyed the rich flavour at the start but toward the end there was a sharpness to the beer that, while not ruining it for me, certainly detracted a little.  I'm going to put this down to the beer being too cold and the blame rests at my feet there.

I think there is real charm and greatness in this one so I shall endeavour to get it again and confirm.  In the mean time go get some of your own and let me know what you think.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Land of the rising sun

Asahi Super Dry - 5%
In far off Japan there is a beer company.  Asahi has been brewed since 1892 in Japan, meaning "Rising Sun" this is the Super Dry version.  It was this beer which took over the Japanese beer market making Asahi brands account for almost half of the Japanese market.

So what we have here is a finely crafted Japanese product with the finest ingredients and shipped over the UK?

Nope, bottled and brewed under license by Shepherd Neame.  So how do they do with the recipe?

The answer is not bad at all.  It's a crisp and clean lager with no unpleasant taste at the end of a sip to make you regret it.  I would compare it favourably to a Chang or Tiger and this evening it complimented an Indian curry.

Highly recommended and relatively easy to get hold of, check your local Sainsbury's, and get a cold one in for the summer.  It'll be perfect for the BBQ season.