Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Beer Shopping, Tasting and Mr & Mrs Saaksjarvi


So I am still in recovery mode from Friday night, and have a few days to catch up on here. Taking a few days off working to get myself ready for Anna and Pete's wedding, and my role of MC for the reception, I decided I needed to do some beer shopping for them...and of course get a few for myself while I was at it.

Having heard that for the Queen's visit to Melbourne, Chapel Street Cellars had 6 bottles of a special beer available, I made my way down there as soon as it opened.

As you can see from this post's title, the happy couple have a fairly unusual surname (I should know with my own last name being Bogan), and with Pete's Finnish heritage, it was great to find the Nogne Sahti available, as it is a traditionally Finnish style of beer that is used to help celebrate marriage in Finland. This then became one of the beers I gave to the couple on the day.
Also from Nogne, and again with Pete's Finnish background, a beer with a sense of Viking was also purchased. Having tried a barley wine while on Pete's bucks day, I thought the Andhrimnir Barley Wine Ale would be appropriate. I have yet to give him this beer once things settle down.
So the beer available for that day was the Brew Dog Royal Virility Performance, a beer brewed for the Royal wedding between Wills and Kate earlier this year, and brewed with such ingredients as herbal viagra, chocolate, ginseng and Horny Goat Weed. Seeing Anna cannot drink it herself (she is gluten intolerant) it can be a beer she can get some pleasure from without drinking it. Therefore, I told her on Friday night to 'dispense at her own will'.

Seeing I was down that way, I thought I should visit The Local Taphouse, seeing it was a while since I had been there, for my usual paddle of beers to try.
With a fresh palate I decided to start on the collaboration India Saison between Bridge Road Brewery and Nogne that I had tried the week before. The tropical fruit on the nose and tongue was as I recalled, and really enjoyed picking up on pineapple, orange and apple aroma and flavour. It flowed quite well across the tongue with the bitter notes picking up on the sides of the midpalate, which builds towards the back. However, even with the light fruitiness of the beer, the 7.5% alcohol is well hidden, and the bitterness is well balanced with sweetness. Overall, it is just a bitter topical fruit punch for mine.
Next was the Weltenburger Kloster Asam-Bock, a bit of a fave since coming back from Germany and with my current interest in the Bock style. However, maybe having delved into this style a beer quite a bit since first having tried this particular one, the caramel sweetness came off a bit too high noted in aroma and taste, and with it a sense of artificialness to it. Still there is enough malt body to help round it off a give it a bit of depth behind the high notes.
Testing my theory of Murray's not coming out with a bad beer, I tried their Best Extra Porter. With the smell of dark malt and alcohol and a light but full texture, it definitely has an imperial edge to it, however, not with a massive amount of flavour.

Stepping up to a Russian Imperial Stout, the Murray's Wild Thing has a very brown head and chocolate aroma helps dull the alcohol sting on the nose. Some licorice does come through through this combo, and there is a creamy body to boot, but it does come up a bit too roasted on the tongue that lingers in aftertaste. As the beer warms, coffee aroma does become apparent, and the alcohol does come through more.
Finally, I ended on the Nogne Batch 100 Barley Wine. There is the classic amber malt and alcohol nose you would expect from a beer of this style. There is a nice tight head over a hazy dark amber body. It is quite light and fluffy on the tongue with a sweet body upfront. The alcohol does come on hard on the backpalate, but bitterness cleanses and lingers in aftertaste. As it warms the malty front does become sweeter, but the bitterness does come off a bit stingy for my personal taste.

After that I was ready to do more beer shopping at Slowbeer, with new shipments of Rogues Chocolate Stout and Grand Imperial Porter having come in. I found Chris speaking to Jayne from Two Birds Brewery offloading some of their new Golden Ale (which I embarrassingly said I thought had aspects of belgian yeast/spice in it...seeing I have the blog, everyone should know my memory is terrible) . After a chat she gave me a couple of the beers to take home, who I shared with my sister as she was staying at my place for the wedding.

Speaking of the wedding, I also stopped off at Mountain Goat Brewery and took a keg of Hightail Ale, that I am happy to say was finished at the reception...well, as good as. Picking up the keg from the venue the next day, I thought there was still enough in it to share with the family my brother is marrying into. However, having just set it up and pushed through the stale beer in the line, I was just about to put the glass under the tap when the keg blew, so for the first meeting of Nicolette's family, I was embarrassed by the keg.

So, after a few very busy days, I am happy to say I have to time to write up about all this and recover from it all. I am also happy to say I managed to get a few pots of the Hightail (and now just have to get the equipment from my place back to the brewery), and the presentation of the Royal Virility Performance helped save my performance as MC. Congrats to Anna and Pete, and also well done to myself for hopefully not ruining the day for them (thanks to those that made me feel better by saying I had done a good job).


Beefy (cousin to a Saaksjarvi...but don't ask me to pronounce it)

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