Sunday, March 27, 2011

Another Local Taphouse Tasting

Having found out on my way to the Eddie Vedder gig on Thursday (by the way, the gig was amazing [comparable to the Brew Dog Tokyo]!!!!) that the Local had Brew Dog Tokyo on tap (!!), I had to go back yesterday and try it out. Of course having a look at the other beers on tap, I had to have a tasting paddle, and while I was initially told that the Tokyo could not be put on the paddle, after willingly paying more, they happily added it for me (Yay!).
So the order of tastes went as such:
1) The Zephyr (5.6%) - Have not heard of this Doctors Orders brewery in NSW, but was pretty impressed with this Belgian wit. By the end of tasting it, the analogy of a pastel painting came to mind, as it is nearly a blank canvas, but with delicate flavours going on. This beer reminded me of the big difference between delicately flavoured beers and tasteless beers. Could pick up on the citrus and spice, and the slight favouring of sweetness which I also enjoyed. Overall well balanced in flavour with a slightly dry back palate and fairly watery texture that worked well for the style. The bar staff were also nice enough to give me a taste of this beer through the Randy they have filled with pepperberries and orange zest. The pepperberries brought a nice sharpness to the beer (sort of like mint/peppermint) and removed the slight yeasty flavour in the uninfused version, and the orange comes over more in smell than taste, but is still present and helps keep it balanced enough. Got me thinking of the Faro style of beer that has that nice delicate fruitiness with the sherberty sugarness that I really like.
2) Imperious (11%) - Okay, a bit of a step up in alcohol, but again impressed by another brew from Murray's Brewery. There is some mild hop smell, but is overpowered by a slightly heavy/dark citrus smell, which made it a good step up from that last beer. For an Imperial Belgian Blonde I got very little yeastiness and hops from it overall, as the citrus sweetness takes over the front to mid palate, then the alcohol comes through from the mid, but then finishes sweet again in aftertaste. Still, the texture allows for the flavours to meld nicely so the alcohol does not spike and this balance gets even better as it warms.
3) Bridge Road Robust Porter (5.2%) - Was surprised to think that I hadn't had this beer on tap before, so had to give it a go here. It was funny, but the first flavour I got was a sort of dry smokiness on the back palate, but I guess for a porter this is pretty delicate, and the previous beer was big. As it warmed the smoke became more coffee but quite light, and more chocolate comes out in smell as well. Overall, on tap there is a better roundness of flavour but the texture is still a bit watery.
4) Nogne O Porter (7%) - Again, a very light on flavoured English porter style which was surprising for this Norwegian brew. There is some chocolate on the nose which translate into the front palate flavour before a heightened fruit flavour takes over to then leave with a slight dry finish. It is an interesting combination of flavours which while light, has a good texture while cold to hold it together. However, it does water as it warms, along with a bit more coffee flavour.
5) Brew Dog Tokyo (18.2%) - The Big Mumma! What can be described about this beer? The Taphouse notes are pretty good, and better than anything I can do. There is a dark (almost spirit) alcohol smell with some spice, and can get some dark fruit on the tongue that becomes alcohol pretty quickly. Still for me, the main reason to have this beer on tap is to see if the texture is any better, and that it definitely is. The smoothness just helps compound the expanding and warming alcohol sensation in the mouth, down to the gut, then back up through the lungs and back out the mouth. Letting this beer sit on your tongue for 10 seconds does help reduce any burning you can get at the back of the throat. I get so caught up in the experience of this beer, I must just lose the ability to describe it at all as I get lost in its immenseness. It had such an impact on me that my nose started to bleed (it's okay, just an old rugby union injury that comes back to me when my head gets overheated in a certain way, not helped by the alcohol thinning my blood) after I finished just 70 ml of the stuff. Luckily I could get on my bike and ride home, and let the cool air flow over my head to cool it back down.
So a bit thanks to the Local Taphouse as usual for a good array of beers and knowledge to go with it to help me on my journey, and to the two blokes that had a sit and chat with me just as I was getting towards the end of my journey. Thanks for taking my suggestions and hope they got you through til your girls had finished their pampering next door.
I also have to say Happy Birthday to my brother Mick, and my grandma for yesterday. At least someone got to drink some good beers for your big day.

However, the day did not end there beer wise. As a welcome to their new home, Stass and Jess had an impromptu housewarming for their first night in the new place. The shed out the back is ready to start our next stage in brewing (WOOHOO!), and I took around the growler of Kooinda Raspberry Wit for us all to try. So with 3 JUMBO (yep, I mean jumbo) and crownies (special occasion!) from the pizza place (yep, we felt like we were in the burbs! Cheers Redgum Pizza. We will be back!!!) we went back to the new home and I cracked the wit. In the end nearly everyone had a taste which says a lot. The raspberry is good in it and if anything a little more powerful than what I thought looking at it. More raspberry flavour than what I expected after having the Belgium Wit at the Microbrewery Showcase and guessing how raspberry could combine with it. Still, was happily surprised by the sweetness, the lack of yeastiness and the bloating that I would normally expect from a wheat beer. I have a little left over from last night, so seeing how it goes a bit flatter as there was a bit of fizz on the tongue last night. A good beer that we found last night is a good all rounder that many can enjoy.

Now to get ready for a wedding where probably the 'best' beer will be crownies (another special occasion). Come on Tim, I have better faith in you than that. Let's hope there is something decent...



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