View Full Version : Called to the Bar - Another beer?

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24-03-2010, 11:00
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‘Try this’ says someone, pointing out a tall bottle. Someone else chips in, ‘this is gorgeous, I would normally run a mile from such a beer’. Amongst the bottles on the table, little fellas, 330ml, the one that holds Goose Island (http://www.gooseisland.com/)’s Juliet is twice the size. Into the glass it goes, hazy and ruddy faced like an angry farmer, soft cloud-white foam on top. The nose is sour and vinous, the famous horse blanket aroma, a hint of hedgerow berries in the background; grapefruit, peachy, tart and tangy on the palate but this is Chicago rather than Brussels; a beer with wild yeast, a beer aged in cabernet barrels with blackberries. Absolutely wonderful. The same brewery’s Sofie is spritzy, soft and creamy. ‘Another beer.’ Anchor (http://www.anchorbrewing.com/) Bock, not had this before. Hands up who remembers blackjacks? A dark chewy retro sweet, aniseedy, prone to turning the tongue black. The aroma on this beer takes me back to the corner shop, jars of bon-bons, chocolate limes and blackjacks. The taste is an alcoholic dandelion and burdock, who thought a mere beer (mere beer?) had the power to take one back to childhood. All very in search of lost time. At the White Horse (http://www.whitehorsesw6.com/), the tasting of US beers brought in by James Clay (http://www.jamesclay.co.uk/) and marshalled by the good people of RnR (http://www.randr.co.uk/home.html) continues. I like the contrast between the IPAs from Goose Island and Flying Dog (http://www.flyingdogales.com/). The latter has a rugged hop sack character, is a bittersweet symphony, pungent and earthy and has a long train ride of a finish; the former has a softer more mellow citrusy nose, a sherbert like sweetness on the palate, but still manages to come up with a dry bitter finish. Which one is best? Depends on the mood and the moment, which brings me round to Orval, the beer that for me is a beer for all occasions, which then brings me to Goose Island’s Matilda, Orvalish and citrusy. Raging Bitch next, Belgian-style IPA, fragrant and floral on the nose, ripe, peachy, apricot and spice in the mouth, soothing bitter and fruity finish. I had it not long ago and didn’t enjoy the high Amarillo note in the finish; it’s not there this time. And to finish: Gonzo Imperial, coffee, cocoa, soot, smoke and bitterness, luscious vanilla, I bet this looks good in an ice cream float; then stand by your beds for beer sambuca: Brooklyn’s (http://www.brooklynbrewery.com/) Black Chocolate Stout, spirituous, mocha, rich, Herculean, ‘now I am become death, a destroyer of worlds’. And with that out into the night, refreshed and replenished I went.

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