Sunday, November 29, 2009

More from Overseas

As promised, this time around I'll opine briefly on more of the brews I had during my recent trip. Unfortunately, it'll have to be brief--I wasn't able to jot down notes as comprehensively as I might have liked. Nevertheless, here goes:

London's Pride (Fuller's): This was rich and malty. The hop balance was good. I could have had multiple multiple of these--more than I did, anyway.

Tetley's Draught Bitter: I had one of these in the airport in London. I found it to be a mild, flavorful session-type beer. Not bad, for being canned--the widget helped.

Caffrey's: This was from the mild/bitter family. It was thirst-quenching and dry, and overall quite pleasant.

Abbott Ale: I had this a couple of times, both from cask (served with a beer engine). It was tasty, but the first one I tried was from an old(-er) cask, and was getting a bit stale. The later one I had was pretty good.

Guinness Red: This tasted as though they went ahead and tried to sell a stout that they had messed up. It had the flavor profile of the stout, but tasted watered down. The marketing was accurate as far as the color--it was, indeed, red. Beyond that, though, I was disappointed to have to rate it a solid "meh."

Cairngorm Black Gold: A "Scottish Stout." This, in contrast to the Red, above, was good. Black Gold struck me, in fact, as a chewier version of Guinness' stout. Very rich and malty, and only 4.4% ABV. Quite lovely.

Kelham Goldihops: This had a similar hop aroma to my "First Class IPA". It is definitely in the pale ale family. It was session-ish, only clocking in at 3.8%, and tasty, but none of us could have more than a single pint, as it had a strong aroma of rotten eggs to get past. I'd have to try this from a different engine, or at the brewery, before I completely ruled it out, but for now, I'd pass on a second one.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Back from abroad

I returned this week from my previously-mentioned trip abroad. In all, I visited Scotland and Norway; technically, I was in Germany for a couple of hours, but as that was just the airport, I won't count it. While in Scotland, I managed to visit a number of pubs and taste quite a few 'new' brews; Norway had a much more limited variety.

The main pubs in Scotland that stick out in my mind are: Waxy O'Connor's, and the Black Friar's. Waxy's had the most interesting architecture I've seen in a bar--flying 'bridges' between platforms, three or four floors (depending on how you count them). My favorite draught there was Caledonian Brewing's 80/- Ale. Yummy--a nice near-session beer, well-balanced, with a nice roastiness and overall a very interesting, complex maltiness.

The Black Friar's boasted an ever-changing lineup of beers on draught; the ones I tried were all good, but most seemed slightly un-balanced in some way or form. I need to find my notes, and will list what I tried at a later date.

Oddly enough, my other favorite beer for the trip was another Caledonian Brewing offering--namely, Deuchar's IPA. It didn't strike me so much as an IPA as a well-hopped 'regular' Pale Ale, but I won't quibble over terminology. Again, it was a good session beer, clocking in under 5% (lower, even, than the 80/-), with a good malt backbone to support the flowery hops. Either of the Caledonian brews I would rate as "yes, I'll have another." (In fact, in both cases, I did...)

Thoughts of Norway (and the other beers from Scotland) in another post.

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