Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Loved Ones

I love my beer. I'm not a heavy drinker, but some weeks our recycling bin looks like the aftermath of the Glastonbury festival. My default brew is our local Londis mini mart's own-brand Premium Lager. Trust me, it's nowhere near as bad as it sounds - in fact, It's actually Kaltenberg Hell, made in Lancashire by Thwaites. I'm not usually a fan of licence-brewed beer, but this is a very good replica - smooth and fresh, with a hint of citrus. I'll also knock off at least a couple of bottles of Taylor's Landlord in a week- a drink that's so important to my personal wellbeing that I'll even endure Stratford Morrison's to get it. This store has the best bottled ale selection in the area, but it is a very horrible place - a sort of preview of what life will be like when society finally collapses. After half an hour in there I feel like Jason coming home with the golden fleece.

This year I've being trying beers new to me. Meantime Stout was as dull as ditchwater, despite the gushing reviews I'd read. Another letdown was Bath Ales Gem - I love golden ales but this was too light for me. No matter how much of the bottle I poured, it just wouldn't empty. I haven't been able to get enough of St Peter's products - especially their Golden Ale. It's become my second-favourite beer, but it's hard to find near us. I'd heard a lot about Sierra Nevada, but it didn't work for me. One to try again in summer, I think. Another disappointment was Herold Bohemian Black - which I found rather watery and - dare I say it? - unpleasant. Maybe I'm just harder to please than I thought. A real standout was Robinson's Old Tom, absolutely bursting with dark, juicy and intensely smoky liquorice flavour, giving the inside of my head the pleasant sensation of being next to a well-stoked wood burning stove. Units, shmunits.

2 comments:

A F-A said...

Ho ho! A good beer blog TIW - because it's suggested another dark ale for me to try: Robinson's Old Tom. I shall buy some this weekend! I wonder if you would agree that UK bottled beers are improving, and that the available range is increasing (although I have yet to bottom the subtleties of bottle-conditioned versus the other type)? But I can't help but notice the Chimay cap....oh man, Trappiste beers are just great! Chimay Bleue, Leffe Bruin - I even love the fruity Belgo-beers like Kriek Mort Subite. I feel a beer fest coming on in my pad this Christmas...

Ten Inch Wheeler said...

If you liked Sneck Lifter you'll love Old Tom - but it's a lot more robust at almost 9%! Mind you, it only comes in a small bottle. It's a sign of the health of British brewing that so many excellent beers can be found in bottles. It's not long ago that beer only ever seemed to come in tins. It's just frustrating that the retailers ranges are often so limited compared to wine. I don't have much experience with bottle conditioned beers - I can never be bothered to wait for the beer to settle (or whatever it's meant to be doing). Chimay Bleu is my favourite Belgian beer, along with Orval. Can't get enough of it. For some reason Leffe Blonde and Brun are dead easy to find round here, sharing the shelves of local offys with the likes of six-cans-for-a-fiver Stella and White Lightning. I'm sure you know that Leffe isn't 'proper' Trappiste beer (despite their marketing) but it is great stuff nonetheless - and on draught in the Brown Cow in Keighley!