Monday, June 25, 2012

Tennent's Export Lager (5%)

What?! I am going to talk about a lager...and it is Winter?!

OK, not the norm for me, but then the weekend wasn't really a normal one anyway, and seeing this beer for the first time, I just had to try it.

Was meeting up with my mate Duff in town from overseas, had found a pub near where we were about to check out a gig, that was also showing the Wales Vs Wallabies rugby match (another good game, with Australia coming through again at the end. Poor Wales, they deserved at least one win on this tour). Over the course of the game had a couple of Guinness (Yep, an Irish pub) and also tried out the pub's Bailey's Chocolate Mud Cake (not bad, but no where near the Toffee filled Bailey's Ice Cream from last my last post), when I spied in the fridge a beer I hadn't tried.

Expectations were not high, but as you can see it went down pretty well while watching the game (nearly didn't get a photo of it at all). Not sure if the can had done anything to favour, but could have sensed a bit of metallic/bitter/dry yeastiness in it, however, it had reminded me a bit of a Brew Dog lager I had had before, so may just be the water used in Scottish beers. Actually, the malt and hop profile also reminded me of Brew Dog a bit (though ovbviously not as big as what come from this craft brewer). The malt backbone was pretty full in body (though not as full as the Brooklyn Brewery lager, which I have to say appeals to my texturally based enjoyment of beer...for a lager anyway) and while I can't tell you the hop they used, it melded pretty well with the malt to make a seemless profile of flavour until, the slight bitterness hits at the back that came across a bit metallic for me (maybe I am just prejudiced against canned beer).

As you can see, this photo was taken during the day, so many more beers were had over the afternoon, evening, night and morning (plus a Bailey's to finish on at 5am, after which Duff passed out and we drew on his face in lipstick [not my lipstick] and texta). Actually, probably lucky I can remember having the Tennent's at all.

Also, seeing the Hip Hip Horray IPA came out on Saturday night at another party I attended, can talk about this special brew we made for Sam's birthday. Even though we added hops to it at every stage we could, I am sure she will still put it through the hop infuser at the bar, just to squeeze some more hop character into it. At 7.4% it also got people pretty loose, which is always fun to see.

Sunday morning was a it of a struggle, but managed to man the bbq at Joel's place, then get to Elsternwick Park to man the Goat bar that had been set up for the Community Cup down there. Hand eye co-ordination may have been a little diminished while doing a continuously pour for most of the hour I was on, but I mustn't have wasted enough beer as we still had a bit left over after the event was all over (meant we could enjoy a few afterwards...well, as much as we could enjoy after the night before).

Cheers to Duff and the gang, and also Sam and the Goaters for a great weekend, filled with almost way too much laughter than my body could handle, not quite enough dancing (guess something has to give when you are flicking between parties), but just the right amount and pace of beer consumption to ride the wave of tipsiness as far as it could take me to shore.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Radelaide Ramblings

So finally have a chance to put up my notes from my latest trip to Adelaide, so let's see what I remember.

With the Bogan clan in a van (reminded us of the van we use to have as kids), we first hit a winery in the Adelaide hills before heading to Loberthal Beirhaus, to retry the beers I had had previously. The tasting paddle was bigger, with 8 beers to taste for just $15, so good value. The pilsner did not impress, same with the IPA, which did not have much bitterness at all (and I'm generally quite sensitive to hops). The standout was the hefeweizen, with some good banana/bubblegum yeast character, and the Devil's Choice Belgium Strong Ale. I really wanted the Chocolate Oatmeal Stout to be good, but with a cocoa a bit dusty and the texture a bit watery, I was again a little let down. The family did like the Red Truck Porter (the staple of my Adelaide sibling), which has a bit of coffee that put me off a bit personally, but still a well made beer. While the standard IPA disappointed, over my steak I had the Double IPA, and have to say it was quite good with a good malt backbone that had some honey to it, going well with the citrus hop character. Still, tasted just like a standard IPA, but guess with the brewery's european slant, and them wanting not to be offensive to the restaurant clientele, at least it has good balance even if it is not as big as I would expect. It was funny when we were there, the brewer saw my Wheaty shirt and commented on it. I said I would be going there that night, so he told me to say hi to Jade for him. Is nice to see there is a bit of a beer community over in Adelaide. Not only that, but the winemaker we had met before going to Loberthal came into the pub, had a friendly chat to the brewer and left with a case of beer, so I guess it is just a good community.

Heading back into the city, we hung out in the hotel, took my wino brother to East End Cellars, where we enjoyed looking over the JJ Prum wines in their cellar and then took a couple of other bottles to drink while watching two great games of rugby, with Ireland being narrowly beaten in the last 30 seconds of the match against NZ, and then watching another cliffhanger with the Wallabies just edging out Wales (too bad I could not have been in Melbourne to be at the game). Wanting to celebrate (and just wanting to visit my favourite pub while in Adelaide), the Bogan kids hit the Wheatsheaf Hotel.

Was hilarious walking in to see the girls had put up a VB sign over the tap list. I remember seeing the sign in some photos Jade had taken when they were doing the renovation on the place, and had asked her then if she still had it. Finding she had hidden it away as opposed to burning it on sight, I had told her then she needed to put it up somewhere, just for a laugh. With the Wheaty having been around in it's current form for 9 years, I thought it safe to bring out, but have found since people do actually ask for VB when they see the sign. That just makes it even funnier. Still, putting the VB sign over the tap list really does make the beers look that much better.

There seemed to be a bit of a wheat-fest with the beers they had available ( I guess appropriate for a place called the Wheatsheaf), so my brother tried the Bridge Road Hefeweizen Dunkel, while my sis went the Mountain Goat Hightail through the Glasshopper (that added much more hops to it). Seeing this was the first time I had seen it on tap at a bar, I actually went the Mountain Goat Red Saison, which I could only recall tasting before when I kegged it. Having ordered, I got chatting to some of the girls behind the bar. I am not sure whether it was my line of questioning over the beers, or that one of them recognised me after a few minutes talking, but Leah saw me for the beer nerd I am and remembered me from my previous visits to the pub. She then proceeded to 'look after me' for the night, which while is nice, I am not one who wants preferential treatment. That they offer great beers there is enough.

The Bridge Road Dunkel was great as usual, and while there may not be many other beers like it being made in Australia, is definitely a good one for the style. With my sis being of the same ilk as myself with beer, the hopped up Hightail did not do much for her personally, but can say the added hops does not make the beer offensive, and is good to see a different side of this beer I taste quite a lot with this late addition. Unfortunately, the Red Saison did not live up to what I remember it as being. There is still some fruitiness, but the ginger seems to have dropped out, the chilli has turned into a dusty pepper, and the coriander is a bit woody. Not sure how long it had been tapped for, but is not aging as well as I had hoped.

Heading back to the bar and making sure I was served by someone else (still no luck, Leah must have told the barstaff to 'look after' me), I also tried the Loberthal Choc Oatmeal Stout they had on the handpump, and the Mikkeller Weizenbock. Ok, so a glutton for punishment with the stout, but the handpump does improve the body and creaminess of the beer, and the warmth bring out a touch more flavour, but still not enough to appease me, and was still getting a bit of watery flavour to it. The weizenbock was a great beer to end on, as the bock style brings some good caramel notes over the wheat body, with the higher alcohol cleansing the palate at the back, but leaving the slightest bite with some yeast just so you know you are having a stronger beer. And so another successful visit to the Wheaty was achieved, and very happy to head to bed after that.

Seeing it is hard to top the Wheaty, I guess it was good that I did not have much beer the next day. The clan got into the van again to head to the Barossa, and visited a winery that has a big Shiraz called 'The Bogan'. After explaining our laughter to the cellarhand, we had a tasting of it and other wines from their range, but of course left with a few extra Bogans in the van, one which we had over lunch. Big and in your face, is definitely a 'bogan' wine, and is nice to know now we have found both beer (Moo Brew) and wine connected to our last name (actually, I just heard the term 'bogan' has been added to the Oxford Dictionary. Look it up if you want a laugh).

I had actually taken a Moo Brew Barrel Aged Imperial Stout and a Dieu du Ciel Aphrodisaque, but unfortunately the restaurant we went to did not allow BYO beer. Still, the Toffee filled Baileys ice cream for dessert was amazing!

Needing to get back my flight back to Melbourne that afternoon, I went to the airport, with just enough time to check out the Coopers bar to have their 150th Celebration Ale with my bro, which reminds me a bit like a paired back Vintage Ale of theirs, but with many hints of their standard range, which I think is a good approach to take with the beer.

Anyway, another enjoyable visit to Adelaide achieved to help mark my parents 40th Anniversary. Here's to you mum and dad...



PS: been tasting a few beers through the week. The 'Little Rabbit' collaboration between Little Creatures (soon to be fully owned by Lion...) and their offshoot 'White Rabbit' is a Belgian pale ale which while a bit watery, has some good citrus and just enough yeast kick to make approachable to good for the style. The Mash Collective Rumwiezen has a great round and smooth texture with balanced levels of wheat and rum in it (surprised). The latest batch of Red Hill Imperial Stout is not impressing me much as previous years, but seeing it improves with age, may just be a bit young. The Abbey Collaby Imperial Stout is coming into its own a bit more with some licorice starting to come through with age to show the malt is melding well with the alcohol, and a 'special beer' has just been kegged, and have to say, my little bit of work on it has given it a bit more to enjoy. Extra carbonation brings out some zippy hop flavour and bitterness, and helped bring out the citrus aroma more...all I can say for now.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Pub Crawl Thursday

Yeah, after a few days is hard to remember everything from Thursday night (especially with how many beers I tried), but will see how I go.
Started by finishing off the Renaissance Craftsman Chocolate Oatmeal Stout with Stew, paired with the last of our easter eggs. Unfortunately the balance of bitter and sweet chocolate from the beer did not go well with the milk chocolate.

After 2 previous attempts to get a burger at Huxtaburger in Fitzroy having failed, I decided to get there before 6pm so could beat the rush, and was happy to see a table free out the front to enjoy the 'Theo', with a Brooklyn Brewery Brown Ale. Tasting the beer before the burger arrived initially made me think candied sugar had been used, but then realised I was tasting something similar in malt profile that I would normally see in a German dunkel with a spitzy sweetness to it through some wheat. I did not see wheat as an ingredient, so not sure where this flavour came from. The grilled double patties and bacon went well with the sweetness of the beer. The burger overall did have an american diner taste to it, especially the gerkins, which I am happy to say have been downgraded to what I was tasting in the States, they must have dumbed it down for the aussie audience, so the flavours were well balanced, including the sauce.

With Josie Bones just a few doors down, it would be amiss for me not to go in there, even if I had only been in there a few days ago. Was happy to see there had been some changes to the taps menu, so sat down for some more tasters. While I was deciding my journey, James gave me a taste of the HopDog Alluvial Peach White Ale, which I have to say, tasted of very high quality, where I would have thought it had been made by a Belgian brewer, not from NSW. The fruit flavour was fresh and light, which may have also been helped by the Chardonnay barrel aging the beer had gone through, with just the slightest bit of sourness to broaden out the delicate palate. trying this I knew the La Sirene Siason would go down well afterwards, then stepping up the fruit flavour with a Lindemans Cassis. Has a very similar profile to the Faro from them, but the blackberry comes through a lot bigger up front before the sherbert sweetness lifts across the midpalate, only slightly cutting down residual sweetness with a touch of yeast at the back. Another well balanced (for my palate anyway) with a lot of depth, but maybe not as delicate as the Faro. Still, the deep dark red really shows how much blackberry is used.
I don't know why I had the Green Flash Palate Wrecker (maybe I thought I would only hang around for a couple), but when the Palm Speciale was replaced by the Sierra Nervada Summer Lager, thought I would stay a little longer with another set of tasters. Ok, I am not  lager drinker, but worth a try on tap with some good hop character to lift it beyond the norm I generally try of this style.
Trying the Brewer's Pure Malt Ale got me back into my sort of flavour country, and ending with a Little Creatures Dreadnought was as good as I remember (well, I only had it a few days ago). But no, I wasn't done, as the Palate Wrecker had been left to warm (and maybe subdue some of the hop bitterness in it). Maybe it was the warmth, but the bitter sting was not so harsh on tap than I recall from the bottle, allowing for a broader and more balanced flavour profile to come through. It was still hard to get through with the hops just continuing to rise with each sip, but luckily had been using it as a cleanser between beers so only half of it was left by the time I focused on it alone. Not as bitter as the Mikkeller 1000 IBU as could still taste hops through the bitterness, but still way too high for my 'sweet tooth' palate to appreciate.

Moving down Smith Street, I once again saw Miro out and about before walking past a pub I had never been into, the Robert Burns Hotel (well, a spanish style venue named after what is an english poet...hardly seems like a well thought out place for me to visit). Seeing they had the Stone and Wood Jasper, I thought I would run the risk and check it out (plus, I needed a pit stop) apart from a red ale malt character up front, I was not getting much from the beer, but guess that has to be expected after the journey I had already been on. With it being made in Northern NSW, I guess winter beers are not their style, as body seemed a bit thin too. Still, worst case is that is an easy drinking beer with a bit more flavour than the norm, and slanted towards my own personal flavour. Going up a couple of blocks I hit Gasometer, and seeing some old friends out the front (A few empty Mountain Goat kegs...yep, as close as I get to having friends. 'See you back in the brewery boys'), stepped in to see they had the Vale IPA and Dark Ale on tap. Seeing my taste buds were becoming shot I thought it the perfect time to try them. Unfortunately, the IPA came across more like the Jasper I had before, and the dark ale was just 'meh' (techincal term that!), so finished them off and walked down to the Fox Hotel to check out the beer cans and a Cavalier Brown, which I think tasted pretty similar to last time I tried it. starting to loop round on myself, I hit the Gem for a Bright Ale (a place I had always been meaning to come to to taste the Bright on tap...too bad I couldn't taste much by now, but with them playing Midlake over the speakers, was happy to hang around) before taking a sobering walk to the Rainbow Hotel just in time for me to get a pint of my old winter favourite, the Holgate Temptress, before the Twoks started their gig.

Too bad I had work the next day, which ended a little similar with a few beers at the bar and a few more at the Royston over a parma. The Abbey Collaby blew while we were there, so had a last sip of the much better handpump version of this beer. Think I may have also had a Mornington Penninsular ESB, 2 Brothers Baltic Porter, and something else I can't recall...must have been good. Still made up for it yesterday by only have one beer...

To celebrate my other Melbourne cousin inspecting and having an offer approved for a house in Ballarat, I took a bottle of my first ever homebrew gluten free beer to a celebratory dinner last night. By all accounts it tasted ok and just waiting to get word that they did not get sick before I try another one of a different flavour. Good times!



PS: Well done Wallabies of a good display of rugby along with the Welsh last night. Did not even want a beer to enjoy the game!

PPS: Special call out to my parents (who will not be reading this) on their 40th Wedding Anniversary today. Just for you I won't have a beer today...I don't think. Very thankful that your love gave me life, and that the love has continued after 4 decades and 4 of us kids. Looking forward to our trip to Adelaide next weekend...and a visit to one of my all time favourite pubs... The Wheatsheaf Hotel. Get the dark beers ready for me girls!

Friday, June 8, 2012

What a Great Approach to Drinking Beer!

Think this could be used in GBW next year. A week-long event where a bar has different beers on tap and punters vote with their tastebuds to chose the best/most popular beer on tap. Could be by country or style. Just saw it and had to share.

Any thoughts?


Thursday, June 7, 2012

What, More Stout Tasting? Um, OK!

During a day that dragged on, waiting for kegs to come into Mountain Goat, I saw Miro was having a stout tasting for the bar staff, and decided to attach myself to it to add my own thoughts to the group.

Starting with what I ended up calling the 'Corona of the stout world' (hey, I love Guinness, but I know it's place) the classic Irish draught actually smelt and tasted much fresher than I anticipated from the widget can. Was not getting much bitterness til the end, and combined with the dryness did not linger long. The malt character came through a lot better with this freshness and with that the creaminess. Still not like what you get in Ireland, but is good to see that decent Guinness can be found here in it's standard form.

While on the 'dry' end of stouts, an Orkney Dragonhead was cracked open. I had not actually tried this before, and the smell of robust malt and chocolate made me do a double take at thinking this was meant to be a dry stout. However, when I tasted it, there was not the sweetness I could smell as more roasted malt came through, combined with a smoked/woody character towards the back that combined well with the dryness of the beer. As it warmed up this smoked/woody aroma came through more, and was good to see this from a Scottish beer which I seem to get as a style trend for big beers from this part of the world. I prefer this approach to a dry stout than I do with bitterness that I sometimes get from beers of a similar style. A real eye opener.

Moving to a North Coast Old No. 38, I am not sure if I am just getting confused, but may have been used to display sweet stouts, which I did not get. There was good malt character and there was some sweetness in that, but it was predominately dry, especially with that bitter finish that I recall from having this beer previously.

Then one I was really looking forward to when I saw it in the esky. The St Peter's Cream Stout is one of those beers I have seen around but just never tried, so the time was now. Explaining milk/cream/lactose beers to the gang I could feel my own anticipation grow, and I have to say it didn't disappoint. One of the girls noticed a red skin (lolly/candy) smell and taste, which I added a chocolate coated red skin to the comment, while others found more dark fruit/raspberry in it. A good texture (from the bottle) with the sweet condensed milk flavour over the top of the dark malt/fruit background. While these elements did not integrate as well as shown in the Thirsty Crow Vanilla Milk Stout or the Southern Tier Creme Brulee, it definitely showed off the style and got the team interested to try more of this style...which I was happy to oblige.

Stepping up in the style, Miro pulled out the imperial stouts, with the North Coast Old Rasputin and the home grown Red Hill version. We were pretty disappointed by the Rasputin as it seemed just too cold, which separated the malt from the alcohol and created like a soy flavour to fill the gap between, add the alcohol spike and some bitterness at the back, and I was hankering to get onto the Red Hill. Again, it was cold, but I could get licorice over the robust malt aroma which for me helped integrate the malt with the alcohol on the palate. We also pulled out the Abbey Collaby, where I could really pick up on the rum character in comparison.

Waiting around at Goat for friends to arrive, I saw the bar had probably the last keg of our Rye IPA on, so had to have a go of that to see how it had aged. It had been tapped for a beer judging event (it won gold from it I think) a while ago, and of course had lost some freshness in the hop, The malt character also seem diminished from what I had remembered from it. While I did not agree with it, they also had the Surefoot Stout through coffee in the Randy. The beer had been sitting in there for a few hours, so it had imparted a lot of coffee the point I could not taste any stout in it. Of course once it started getting poured from more, there was less infusion of the coffee, and it was actually tasting alright. I ended up getting on for Denewey once her an Iain arrived, while I stepped up the Abbey Collaby again.

With a quick taste of the Saison to give them an idea of what beers could be available at Goat for their wedding reception in January, we left there and came back to my place where Stew and the growler of Renaissance Craftsman Chocolate Oatmeal Stout lay waiting. Off the tap it really holds up a bitter sweet chocolate aroma, which translates really well into flavour. Personally I would love to have some more body to the beer and not so much of the bitter finish, but these are minor things, which just makes me think of how close this beer is to my ideal of a Rouge Double Chocolate, or Holgate Temptress/Empress, or Thirsty Crow Vanilla Milk Stout.

While I would like to say I will be off beer for a ay or two, unfortunately the Twoks have their first residency gig at the Rainbow tonight, and being the Rainbow, there will be good beers on offer, so won;t be able to stop myself.

Life is tough...


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I See a Pattern Emerging...

So, not even 7 days into Winter and already two aspects are emerging...access to dark beers is increasing, followed closely by my drinking of dark beers also increasing. After the night before hitting Josie Bones for some stouts, I found my local (The Royston) had the Abbey Collaby on the handpump last night. I found this out as I was the one at Mountain Goat who spent the day between kegging beer to de-gas the keg that would be used to hook up to the handpump. I therefore felt obliged to make sure my efforts had made the required effect, so for purely quality assurance purpose, had a couple of pints with some of the other Goaters and polished off a parma in the process.

As well as the handpump they had a sparkler attachment to go with it. Of course it really helped with head retention, but not sure if it really helped bring a creaminess to the beer on the palate. Another brewer from Dolphin Brewery in Dalesford wondered how the beer would be without the sparkler attachment. Having asked for this in his next beer, he came over to share with us his thoughts and the beer itself, so the next pint I also asked for the same. I have to say that the body of the beer was improved, even at the expense of the head which diminished in a couple of minutes after pouring. Still, made it easier for the staff to pour, and found the extra body to make drinking it more enjoyable as well. I don't think there was much difference in terms of taste between the two.

Overall, the handpump helped display the malt character quite well, and while I get more of the rum in the cold/carbonated version of the Abbey Collaby, I can actually taste the warming alcohol better in this version, which makes it more enjoyable to drink, and allows you to appreciate that you are drinking a beer that has a bit of alcohol in it to better pace your drinking. This was something I did not have while drinking this beer during Good Beer Week...Therefore having the parma with it was great appreciated, and as always, the best parma in Melbourne...even if I was getting critiqued by one of the regulars at the bar for the way I was eating it (in his own words, 'I've never seen anyone spin their plate so often while eating').

Anyway, in more things beer, I found Slowbeer had the Renaissance Craftsman Chocolate Oatmeal Stout on tap, so for the second day in a row, went down there for my first growler fill at the new store. Am hoping to get into that tonight with Stew seeing he was the one that told me how good this beer tasted on tap a couple of years bar when Biero was still around in the CBD. Still, who should come into Slowbeer as I was getting my growler fill but Miro and Sarah from Goat, so ended up tasting the Beer Here Hoptilicus (good malt backbone to the beer, even heading towards a scotch ale in terms of malt character. I actually reminded me of an even hoppier version of Team Harrod's Scotch Ale home brew), and a bit of the Mikkeller Not Just Another Wit (orange juice comes through with the lower carbonation which I actually did not mind).

Tonight I am also looking forward to meeting up with some friends at Goat who are looking to use the space for their wedding next year, so all in all, the start to winter looks like it will continue on this trend.



PS: Now to get in contact with that guy from Dolphin as hear he has a chocolate porter (for me) and and a honey and ginger spiced ale (for Stew) that I need to get my hands on.
PPS: Good luck to Stass who is off adventuring in Germany for the next couple of weeks. I hope to hear some good stories from him, many of which related to beers he tries over there.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Josie (Wintery) Bones

While I know us aussies will be having a long weekend this coming weekend, I have been lucky enough to get one last weekend as well, so decided to use my Monday to do some beer window shopping and tasting.

After doing the rounds at Purvis Beer and Slowbeer (what was going to be window shopping became actual purchasing...) I was just a cold wintery day in Melbourne, I felt the need of a couple of stouts to get me prepared for the long months to come.

Seeing Josie Bones had a couple of said beers available, I took on the rain and wind to sit down at the bar and let some warming beers do their work. Unfortunately, I also saw they had The Palm Speciale and Linderman's Faro (Yay!) on tap, so had to indulge my Belgian beer appreciation with these as well.

The Palm Speciale amber ale was the real unknown of the tasting so had it first while the tastebuds were at their freshest. Unfortunately, I was getting a similar tangy yeast aroma and taste that would normally equate to a VB of Melbourne Bitter from the beer, so put me off quite a bit. There was still some amber malt in the background so I could at least know I was not tasting a VB, but apart from that was 'bitterly' disappointed. As you can see in the photo, I ended us just wanting to finish it ASAP, so was probably lucky to get this pic of it before I downed it (yep, no wasting of alcohol here).

Of course the Faro is an old favourite, and making the most of it being on tap here while I can, even if the weather is not too suited to it. I still probably enjoyed it the most for it's breadth and balance.

I was excited though the try the North Coast Old Rasputin imperial stout, as saw it was being poured from a sparkler tap to improve the creaminess of this beer, something I have been waiting to try again since I was in Fort Bragg, California, a few years back, and had noticed all the beers had a lovely creamy texture to them on tap. Tasting this beer through the sparkler really took me back to that moment with the lush dark malt body with the creamy texture rolling around my tongue. It was an 'eye closing' contemplative moment to savour on the front palate. However, the alcohol did spike a bit from the midpalate, so did not have the warming alcohol aspect that would have taken this beer towards a 'contentive sigh' or 'knee slapping' moment. It ended a little dry and bitter as well, which I did not recall from the only other time I have tried it on tap, but maybe it was just a freshness aspect that can only be had at the brewery, and I was too caught up in the texture first time around. Still, beers like that need to be showcased through the sparkler to get a fuller appreciation of them, which I am happy to say was also available on the other stout on the bar.

While I have had the Little Creatures Dreadnought before, I don't think I have had it on tap, and definitely not on tap this way. I think it was cask aged as well, and doesn't it show in the mellowness that goes so well with the big malt and creamy texture also displayed. This beer has a much better journey across my palate that the Old Rasputin, as the alcohol is better contained with the flavours. There is still a little bit of what I would term 'Little Creatures hop character' that brings only a slight bitterness and a similar dark/tropical fruit flavour that I have noticed from countries not well known for their stouts. The chocolate was on the nose quite well, but the licorice I have noticed before in the bottled version has died out a bit with age, but then I have noticed that happen with the Imperial Stout Stass and I have made and let it age for close to a year now in the keg.

Anyway, a good beer to end on as I got up to take on the wrath of the cold weather outside. Welcome to Winter!

Cheers to the staff at Josie Bones for putting up with me as usual,


PS: Happy 1st Anniversary to Stass and Jess. This time last year we were drinking dark ale to celebrate your wedding (good choice).
PSS: Stass, I have the beer, all we need is the chocolate and blue cheese mousse! The girls at Josie Bones said they could help with that though...