Thursday, March 10, 2011

Europe do over does me over, and other tales of beer...

Going the a BBQ on the weekend, and seeing Joel, Sean and myself had all been to Europe, I had a few beers to try out and get them in on.

However, to start with, seeing Summer had only just past and found Red Duck do a Bright Ale, we were able to taste it off with the great one from Little Creatures. While I could get the citrus notes on the nose with the Red Duck, it just did not have the taste or texture. It tasted more like a wheat beer with only a slight hint of citrus towards the back. It was also quite cloudy and seemed to be a bit watery which also denoted wheat. I will get back to wheat in a bit...

I also had two Belgium beers to try. The first being Brugs Zot Bruin, which Joel brought back from Brugge. I think I remember having this over there and not being overly impressed by it. Some dark malt and a bit too much carbonation maybe, but not a lot of texture. Mind you, we were watching the Super Rugby so not all of my attention was on the beer. The other beer was the Duchesse de Bourgone (or something like that). I had remembered having it over there for the Belgium Beer Weekend, but could not remember when I was at Slowbeer whether I had liked it or not. Upon tasting I was reminded that I didn't, and out of the bottle was worst than when I had it on tap. definitely a lighter lambic taste with some of the slight serberty sweetness, but not enough to overcome the sour. Much prefer a Faro over this.

The last one was actually from Czech Republic, the one beer that taunted me while I was in Prague...The Cenra Hora Granat. Unfortunately it tasted pretty much like the other dark Czech beers I tried over there, but a bit worst (possible from traveling, as Joel also sent this one back). Had less of a the sweetness I generally had with the dark beers, about the same texture, but also this alkaline flavour. I know Joel and Duff mentioned it was highly carbonated when they tried it over there, so maybe this is an effect from that after the beer has aged a little while.

So, unfortunately not one of the best beer tastings I have had for a while, and sorry to put you guys through it.

However, things did pick up as Stass and I bottled our Russian Imperial Stout and had a go at an Ace of Spades Stout which was quite chocolaty, and enough texture to help it go down nicely. I did sense some alkaline as well on aftertaste, but then realised my glass was a bit dirty when I poured it, so that may not have helped. Still, in terms of the Russian Imperial Stout, there is some good texture out of the barrel, and looking forward to it mellowing out for a few months before we taste it. The barrel did take some punishment with this brew, so hopefully it was worth it. I have already set the date for the tasting, and managed to have 15 other Imperial Stouts to taste it against, which will be awesome.

Okay, as for our next brew, as with our Choc Raspberry Stout, Team Smith/McKnight have challenged us to a Honey Wheat beer off. I have heard from Smith that their beer is in the bottle already, and we have yet to start brewing ours (a bit different to last time!). Still, after some discussions with Stass, we have found an approach that we think will bring something interesting. I haven't actually brewed a wheat beer before, so is a big leap to try what we are. Still, I hope over the last 40-odd brews I have developed a little commonsense to be able to pull this off. I will not give away anything yet (I know they will be reading this), except to say we will probably use the grain mill the opposing team gave me for my birthday.

Finally, I have to thanks all my friends for giving me a voucher for Purvis for my birthday last year. You will be happy to know I spent it all in one go this week, and picked up enough beers to keep me tasting and putting notes up here for a long time to come. The hardest part was carrying it all home, but there was no way I was going to drop any. I look forward to being able to share many of them with you.

Here for Beer,


1 comment:

Jarrod said...

Bring it awwwwwn! We've gone pretty radical with our ingredients this time, and bumped up the alcohol too. Hopefully its drinkable!