Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Young's Christmas Pudding Ale (5.5%)

Well, it's been some time since I've written an entry, but I start again in the full swing of the festive season. I spotted this on special at a local bottle 'o and thought that I'd give it a try (given that I quite liked Young's Double Chocolate Stout, my expectations were high).

On the nose, there is a hint of dried fruit (such as raisons, currents and citrus rind) but their is a much stronger smell which at this point in time, I can only describe as 'sweet buttery smell'. Whether it is the smell of brown sugar and butter cooking (i.e. caramel smell) or something a little different, I can't tell at the moment. Never the less, I will proceed undeterred.

The aroma of the beer is quite a large smell, but the actual taste on the pallet is somewhat of a disappointment after such a bold aroma. Other than a smooth, buttery texture over the tongue and the overhangs of the aroma in the taste, you are left with a pretty standard taste.

I will re-visit with a fresh pallet but I was a little disappointed to be honest.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

250th Anniversary - Guinness

Seeing today is my birthday and it is the 250th Anniversary of Guinness Brewery this year, I decided that my birthday beer is the Anniversary Stout Guinness produced earlier this year. While it has a similar smell and taste to a usual Guinness Stout, I do have to say that overall it did not impress me that much and resembled more of a brown ale that a Guinness. Of course there are troubles with bringing a full creamy taste to a beer imported from Ireland to Australia, but can't help but be a little disappointed. I can also understand that through this anniversary, Guinness are also looking to broaden their market, and a brown ale style beer would go down much better with the general populous than the usual stout. Still, as a enjoyer of Guinness, it does leave me a little flat over this offering. As one of the lucky people to have travelled to Ireland to have 'real' Guinness, this far pales in comparision, but I guess in terms of what we can get in Australia, it is not too bad, and again, a beer more accessible to people who may not have tried Guinness before, or didn't like what they have tried previously. Still, this beer will go down easy over the course of the day. Horray!
Also, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Guinness on their success over the past 250 years through the lease at St James Gate, Dublin (only 8750 years left on the lease now), the water issues Arthur had when he established the brewery, and the great work made to directing efforts to perfect their stout. I can definitely say it has inspired me into an interest in beers and brewing, and the making of my alter ego Guinness Man. To celebrate all this, I have put together a little movie over the past 8 months that I would like to share with my friends and everyone that comes onto this blog. Hopefully it gives you an insight into the beer drinker in general, and of me personally.


Well, enough of this fingers tapping a keyboard business, there are much better uses for my hands, like holding my Guinness. A Very Guinnessy Christmas to you all.

 - Beef/Guinness Man

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cascade Premium Lager (5%)

Okay, I am sure by now people are thinking that I am pretty snobby about beers. They would be right in thinking that way, apart from my rule of not refusing a free drink. Ok, so I received a case of this beer free, but I have to say, if I was to buy beer for a party where I didn't know what everyone drank, I think this beer would come to mind. I am sure my friends are wondering if I have gone a bit crazy, but I think as well as drinking the interesting and novel beers there are on offer, there are some standard, easy accessible beers that are satisfying as well. Sure, I have had my time when Toohey's New, Extra Dry, etc were my staples, and have moved on in some way, but I think it helps to bring the drinker back to some of these beers, to see how their taste is developing, and with that a different appreciation for the more standard beers. This beer has great heritage coming from the oldest brewer in Australia, and Tassie does pretty well with beers, so is a good start. As it is summer, we are all looking for easy drinking beers, and this one is definitely that (in fact, I am onto my second now). The hops bring a freshness to the taste, and don't linger as badly as many other aussie lagers. the body is light but smooth and the tongue tingles with the crispness of the beer. If it is a sessional beer you are looking for, this is a good one to get into, and who isn't with the hot, long days of summer here. Basically, you could do a lot worse. Still, I think water is needed when having a big one on these to fend off dehydration and to keep the taste fresh in your mouth between beers. Wow, I must be getting so old when I start giving advice like this. Luckily I am turning 29 on Sunday, and if Guinness is an old man's beer, I have been old for a while.

- Beef

Monday, December 7, 2009

Aecth Schlenkerla Rauchbier (Smokebeer), Germany (5.1%)

Ok, so went back to The Local yesterday with my brother and saw on the menu (food menu that is) a burger cooked in this beer, and was recommended to drink this beer with it. So decided to try it out...all I can start this review with are the words 'smoked ham'. in aftertaste and smell, this beer tastes just like that. it was quite different and quite intense, and if you did a blindfold test, you could be mistaken for thinking it was liquified smoked ham. it poured with quite a head on it, but this dissipated quite quickly. mind you, i was drinking it quite slowly because of the food but also the intensity. similar in the Haywards 5000 where instead of drinking the beer to cleanse the tongue of the food, you eat the food to cleanse the tongue of the beer. I was still tasting this beer 6 hours after drinking it. The other funny thing about this beer was that the body of the beer was quite light and while the beer was on the palate it tasted like a brown ale. it was only when it was mixed with oxygen that the smokiness would jump from it. I must say one of the most interesting beers i have tried, and got me researching a bit into it. No, I don't think i will try brewing it, but guess like burning green leaves on a fire, firing green malt would bring this smoke into the beer. Not a beer i will be going for very often, but then don't think i will forget the taste in it for a long time either. One of those interesting experiments in beer that bring profound change.

- Beef

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Alhambra Negra (5.4%)

So I met up with my brother and his girlfriend at a tapas restaurant the other night, and while I did see a Chilean Stout that may have been interesting, I decided I would try this Spanish dark beer. what little head there was disappeared soon after it was poured. This immediately reminded me of Tooheys Old, and must say from here alot of the taste and feel of the beer also took me back to this beer. there was the roasted malt taste and the fairly waterly mouthfeel which made it easy to drink. there was also a slight hoppy aftertaste which discerned it from an Old, which I guess was there to freshen the palate after drinking, but didn't do much for me. It did go well with the black sausage we were eating, and can also say the slices of apple with the black sausage was a good combination.
Seeing it was similar but not better than a Tooheys Old it hasn't made that much of an impression on me. but is good to see that Spain can make decent dark beer. But then I guess a Spanish would say the same of Australia after having a Tooheys Old.

- Beef

PS: Happy Month Birthday of Beerdakari!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Red Hill Wheat Beer (5%)

So, just at the Royston with my brother, and as well as trying a 2 Brothers Taxi Pilsner (pretty standard) we saw Red Hill had a few beers at the pub. It seems with summer here (yay), there are a few aussie brewers giving the wheat beer a go, and many of them going for the European style. This is the case with this bottle conditioned beer, which found a decent balance between easy drinking and giving it enough taste to create some interest while drinking. To be honest it may just be on the side of tasty, which suits me quite well. There was no massive hit of hops but a lingering tingle over the tongue which could also be from the over-carbonation expressed on the bottle. the 'bubblegum' taste of many of this style of beer was not overbearing which helped in its drinkability. as my brother said, would be a good beer to have round the barbie. I have not tried all of Red Hill's range of beers, but hops does seem to be an aspect they wish to emphasize. while the writing on the bottle may make some of us presume there is a lot of hoppy flavour in the beer, this group seem to have done the work in blending it appropriately, even if i did feel it took away a little from their scotch ale. in these beers they have not been overbearing, or a shocking sting that some beers can be faulted on. it is neither intense or sharp, but blendingly lingered. Sorry, that was the only way i could express it, and don't think i can add anymore from it.

- Beef