Sunday, 26 February 2012

Rammstein & O2 Desert

Last Friday was the London Rammstein concert, which was brilliant! One thing Rammstein are good at is putting on a cracking show. Pyro, lighting and the other tricks of the trade meant it was a two hour show which just flyed. The band and support band (Deathstars also very good showmen) put on a flaming, diamond dusted, gold show, it was the venue that wasn't up to scratch.

Sadly, it was at the O2, great idea for a venue but sadly lacking in atmosphere, you wander from a nice indoor street to a concrete waiting pen. By the time we got in, we did feel that instead of being wristbanded they could have cut the middle out and just tagged us though the ear. Also the music venue is sponsered by Stella 4% so no concert beer for me, not a problem but the Cidre which was also being served was unbelieveably chemically smelling that you knew if the person next to you had been drinking it. 

However at least we had nice beer earlier as we went to the Greenwich Union a short bus journey away. Fantastic beer from Meantime and a burger that could fell a lion, we didn't need to eat or drink at the O2 apart from a quick lime and soda in the Slug whilst waiting for the crowds to thin so we could get into the tube.

All photos in this post are by me, so if you wish to use one, please ask.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Rogue Ales' Mocha Porter

5.3% abv

My second beer from Rogue, thanks to the Cask Kitchen & Pub bottle sale. Their timely sale (to create space in their massive fridges) allowed me to buy a few nice bottles for home drinking.

The beer itself pours quite lively but settles down quickly to a deeply coloured glassful, dark brown beer with ruby flashes and a deep tan yellow head. Very attractive looking drink indeed.

You can smell the coffee immediately upon pouring the beer and it is almost overpowering, in fact the smell is more powerful than the taste of the beer, which itself is coffee with a subtle dark bitter chocolate kick to it. I don't drink much coffee if I'm honest, because I dislike instant crap and only drink expresso when in a coffee place. This delivers on the coffee front nicely although as I mentioned it is a strongly scented beer.

The body of the beer feels a bit thin especially when compared with the Chocolate Stout but well within porter territory, feels a lot like most of the Kernal beers I have drunk in the past.

I still prefer the Chocolate Stout to be honest but this is a good beer in its own right. So far I am really impressed with the two beers I have tried from Rogue.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Marks And Spencer's Belgium Wheat Beer

Beer brought by me, review by The Husband

4.5% Abv

Ah the old name 10 Famous Belgium game, well being a (rubbish) guitarist Django Reinhardt is an obvious option.

Name 10 famous Belgium beers well that's a bit easier. Today's one is Marks & Spencer's Belgium Wheat beer which is apparently brewed by the Huyghe Brewery of Pink elephant fame.

It pours cloudy like most wheat beers & has the classic aroma of the type..

As someone who likes this style of beers (the wife doesn't) it's certainly a fine example of the breed never losing that initial sweetness, the taste is that of a classic Wheat beer, for better or worse.

If you enjoy this style of beer then I recommend you give this one a try, if you don't then I can't see it converting you. Like that other famous Belgium Hercule Poirot it has a sense of style that either appeals or seems far too fussy.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Rogue Ales' Chocolate Stout

6.3% Abv

Now, this was my Valentine's pressie from the Husband. As I commented on twitter, this is better than receiving flowers, after all who doesn't love beer and chocolate and here they are combined!

You can see from the photos that this beer pours with a lively thick dark chocolate head which I will add has a lot of lasting power, at the end of the glass you ended up slurping up the chocolately foam a bit like trying to get the last bits of a milkshake in a way. The beer itself is a dark midnight black with no flashes when lifted to the light, it is totally opaque.

It smells of chocolate, chocolate and then more chocolate. The bottle states that it is made from imported chocolate, which is a good thing, American chocolate isn't usually nice in my experience. The beer delivers more chocolate on taste with a sweet oaty bite to it, it's the oatness that actually cuts though the intense chocolate hit to round it out and the finish is bitter chocolate like a 95% chocolate bar.

This is without doubt one of the most chocolately beers I have tasted, Saltaire's has a syrupy sweet chocolate flavour but this beer has a earthly chocolate taste and it feels as if chocolate was melted into this beer. It coats your mouth with it's beery chocolateness and doesn't let go, it is a very morish beer.

Wonderful evening drink to relax with, as I did indeed drink this last night, you didn't think I had opened this at 6.30am in the morning did you?

Mackeson Stout

2.8% Abv

First off, this was not my Valentine gift from the husband....... he is not that daft.

Back last year I tried Left Hand's Milk Stout and commented that I quite liked the style of stout, sweeter than normal due to the milk sugars but not too sweet. I also mentioned it was a shame that I couldn't see any more beers like this over here, RedNev pointed out that Mackesons was indeed a milk stout.

According to RateBeer reviewers this used to be higher abv of 3.0% but I am guessing that due to the tax changes that InBev decided to cut the abv to take advantage. I admit I wasn't too keen to try this beer until I read the reviews on RateBeer as I was worried this would be a Guinness type affair. I was reassured by the reviews that it actually isn't a bad stout so.. cracking open the can.

It pours very lively into the glass, very dark drop with red flashes when held to the light with a thick creamy tan head. Smells roasty with metallic hint, probably due to the can, I prefer bottle for most drinks as I do find the metal from the can does pass on to the smell of the contents. Despite its low abv, this stout has a nice mouth feel and robust malty hit. It isn't as sweet as Left Hand's version though, although Left Hand's beer is over double the abv at 6% so I'm guessing this is lacking the alcohol sweetness.

I'm not convinced this is a stout, more a mild, it doesn't have the big hits that a stout or porter have, no coffee, chocolate but a roasty, malty and a very gentle tabaccoy flavour. It is very gassy though and it is the carbonation which probably makes it feel fuller in the mouth.

All in all quite a nice beer.

If I was given this beer in a round at the pub then I really wouldn't feel cheated, it is a nice stouty tasting beer. The only downside is the finish doesn't last particularly long but again not a major problem.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Happy Valentines Folks

It is that time of year when I am grateful not to be young teenager anymore, hoping that the red enveloped card would come though the letterflap from that spotty boy who fancied. It never did, thankfully as I saw one of teenager crushes recently and *shudder* ewww.

Nowadays having a husband helps to guarantee I get a card, at least I will if he realises the mistake that early morning twitter comment is! But it was his comment that possibly a tweet would make up for no card made me think....

No it wouldn't but any one of these beers would:
  • Southern Tier Mokah Imperial Stout
  • Southern Tier Java Imperial Stout
  • Rogue Choclate Stout
  • Brewdog Tokyo
  • Brewdog Lost Dog
  • Chris from Stones Stout
  • Goose Island Bourbon County (original or the coffee)
  • Goose Island Nightstalker
  • Daleside Morocco Ale
  • Moor Old Freddy
  • Moorhouses Black Cat
  • Any gorgeously dark beer
Just as a subtle hint;

Look it! Empty! Please Fill With Gorgeous Beer!!!

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Ridgeway's Bad King John

6% Abv

This was the winner of the Sainsbury's beer hunt last year, for a little while they sold in almost all their stores a cracking range of more unusual beers. The winner was to be kept on after the hunt had been voted on. Sadly despite the sales being quite vigorous it didn't persuade the supermarkets to provide more choice in their ranges.

I enjoyed the beer, it has a lovely bitter fruity taste but it's let down by the weakness of the flavour, compared with Fuller's London Porter the taste just didn't last long. It also has a remarkable water like mouth feel for a beer of its strength, it just didn't really grab me. Those are the downsides to it, but the taste is pleasant just not particularly powerful.

Its well worth a shot, if you fancy something a bit darker to drink. It's more a mild to my mind than an ale though.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Marks And Spencer's London Porter

5.5% Abv

As those who follow my very very rare tweets, some may know that finally my local Marks & Sparks now stocks some of the more unusual beers they get brewed by various breweries up and down the country. I love stouts and porters so I really wanted to try some of these beers, so I picked up a few bottles one lunchtime, taking advantage of the 6 for 5 offer that is currently running.

I really enjoyed this beer, actually I found it better than Meantime's usual porter. Each sip yielded a different hint to the porterly chocolate and malty main taste. From marmite hint, to Cadburys flake, though to caramel and then to truffle (by which I mean the type pigs hunt for), it was a real joy of a bottle to drink. The smokyness definately comes though in spades on its last patter across your tongue.

This is one of those beers which with each sip, you look at it and think "that's a cracking beer" or more often in my case "wow".

Only downside is that Meantime have also brewed for M&S is Greenwich Hospital Porter, which isn't being sold at my local M&S. :(