Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Back on the Horse

Having actively stayed away from here since my last post, I apologise for the hiatus, but with Glandular Fever keeping me from drinking over the past month, working in a brewery was hard enough to deal with, let alone look at all the beer adventures I have been through on this blog.

Still, with my liver somewhat recovered, and abstinence making my heart grow fonder for a beer, I unshackled myself from my self discipline and for Stass' birthday got back into drinking good beer...and didn't it just taste awesome. Even having that very slight haze as I woke the next morning morning was a joy to relive. Still, there are the beers that brought on that haze that I wish to focus on now.

Of course coming off the back of a month without beer, and having bought this beer over the Easter break, it seemed fitting I start drinking again with Gage Roads Abstinence. While I have previously liked their Sleeping Giant IPA a bit, this is a real step up for the brewery. Ok, it may have been a month since a beer, and it may be of a Belgian Dubbel style with chocolate, but I really liked this beer. There was a chico lolly aroma of vanilla and chocolate that enticed me greatly, then the caramel malts/ candied sugar came through great in flavour. There was definitely more complexity going on than just these, but maybe after a month my abilities in tasting have probably been reduced, and these were the overarching aspects that came through that I was caught up in when tasting it. Beer is good, welcome back to my tastebuds!

The next two beers have also been ones I have been waiting to try out together since I was sick, so was excited to try both a bottle and tap version of Rogue Double Chocolate Stout. Unfortunately, the tap version had been sitting in a growler/bottle for 6 or so weeks, so was not at its best, but was great just to finally be able to try it. I did get a chance to taste this when it was a bit fresher when divvying up the beer from growler to bottle, and went well with a chocolate and banana cake Hannah made.

However, with age, a soy/vinegar like flavour and aroma was added, but the well rounded chocolate and reduced heat of alcohol could still be noticed compared to the bottle version. This is definitely a beer I can think of me falling for all those years ago that has helped drive me this far into beer.

Having gotten out all my pent up angst out of the way with these beers, it then became a bit of a big beer fest as we celebrated having the boys together for Stass's birthday and last drinks with Stew before he heads to Germany for a muso tour.

The order is a bit hazy, but there was definitely the Mikkeller Mexas Ranger; which had a good balance of dark maltiness with the chilli and spices, Brewdog Tokyo (bit too high is alcohol at 18.2%, but still an amazing mellowness), Sierra Nervada Narwhal (tasted a bit like water after the Tokyo, but nice clean imperial stout with maybe just a bit of driness to go with their style of brewing) and the North Coast Old Rasputin (bit more sweet and rounder against the Narwhal, but again wasn't going to stack up against the Tokyo). So managed ok for my first drink after a month, but apologies to my girlfriend for my nagging/lewd texts I was sending her through the session.

Also went for a couple of beers with Stew last night for his last night in Melbourne for a few months. Hit up the Royston after I finished work for a parma. Could tell I had not been in there for a while when I saw Rogue Hazelnut Brown Ale and Beer Here Ammestout on the taplist. I went the Brown, which while the nut character was quite good, found it a bit lacking compared the the bottle version I had of it...mind you, that was a while ago, nostalgia might have built up another beer for me. The coffee milk stout was really good, and wished I had gone with that one (may need to head back for another taste...), the coffee did not come off too bitter or dry which I sensed a bit in the bottle version, and there is a roundness to the coffee and malt that I don't get from the bottle version, almost like cold filtered coffee.

Anyway, is nice to be back on the horse, but hoping to take it a bit easy still. Am sure it is just eagerness from not being able to have had a beer for a month. Maybe my girlfriend in Sydney can understand this eagerness when we have a month apart...



PS: Nice to be back doing what Stass and I do best, choosing the next beer

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