Monday, 30 July 2012

Goose Island's Vanilla Bourbon County Stout

13% abv

Now to be honest I didn't even remember to take a picture of this one... Should have done as Goose Island have stopped producing this beer alongside several others sadly.

We got this one from Tap East on Saturday during a quick pop to the shops for a couple of items, not cheap but discontinued so worth the price in my eyes to try it.

It pours like the original Bourbon County, like oil into the glass but unlike the original this one didn't really have much of a head on pouring, not that the others have a massive one but they at least have a thin dark tan foam lacing. The smell of course is vanilla, not buttery vanilla, more your vanilla pod soaked in whisky and treacle. Lovely but very strong.

The taste is similar but with a harsh smokiness to it that seems at odds with the vanilla and treacle smell/taste. It's not a smooth beer as it's stable mates, both the coffee and original ones are strong but very smooth. This one is a tad harsh although this would be a batch thing for all I know as this is the first one of this one I have tried. The bourbon from the aging barrels is quite strong and accounts for the big vanilla hit but I love the tangy treacle flavour that develops as this beer warms up.

All in all a nice stout but I do prefer the Original Bourbon County Stout.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

The Twenty One B&B

Now I know this is normally a beer blog and it will always be, but on my last stay in Brighton my partner and I stayed at the fore mentioned Twenty One B&B and it is a rather fantastic place!

Brighton has a lot of lovely places to stay and they are all good but this place knocked the spots off them and all the other places I have stayed in over the years. Firstly our hosts made sure everything was perfect for our arrival, the pictures on this post do not do the room or tray of goodies justice mainly because I forgot to take the pictures in the daytime but last thing before mistake there!

The rooms are small compared to London hotels but as per most B&B's in Brighton it is a converted seaside residence and this is a standard Brighton sized room which we are used to having stayed in Brighton before on numerous occasions. However the rooms are very very comfortable and beautifully decorated.

But look at the tray:

Rose not included, I brought at the train station for my hubby!
Yes, we had a cake stand, chocolate, biscuits and nuts as well as plenty of tea and coffee, its the tea I worry about as a big tea drinker normally I have to pop to the shops on my holidays to get more tea bags to satisfy my habit but not here. The nicest thing was on the next day after wandering around the town seeing friends I headed back up to the B&B so I could drop off some books, all the time walking there I thought... "I'm having a cup of tea and one of those Tunnock Carmel wafers*" but when I got into our room I found a note saying that they hoped we were enjoying our stay and that they had left cream stones in the mini fridge for our afternoon tea. It was a brilliant touch.

The breakfasts are also out of this world, firstly we were brought over a warm croissant just to tide us over whilst we decided on what cooked breakfast we would like. Then we partook of the cold buffet which was outstanding, before the most gorgeous cooked breakfast came out. We didn't eat lunch all the time we were in Brighton as we were too full from such yummy fare.

I highly recommend this B&B for all your Brighton staying needs!

*Oh yes, not just your bog standard offerings in this place but Tunnocks Carmel's and teacakes!

Monday, 16 July 2012

"Sorry, The Board's Wrong

Hope you don't mind it's a weaker strength beer."

One of the more unusual comments I have received whilst ordering a round in a pub but it did happen this Sunday.

The Falcon near Clapham Junction station is a fantastic pub for a drink before departing homewards bound after a lazy walk on a Sunday and as many know it does a large and varied range of beers. After a wander around the pumpclips I decided to have St Peter's Mild which has I had seen the clip I knew what I was getting but the barman assumed I was ordering according to the big board they have up which had overstated the abv by 2%.

This got me thinking, now from the barman's comment it sounds like folks regularly pick their beer by strength displayed o0n the board. Odd way of doing it surely though?

Thursday, 12 July 2012

It's Raining, it's Pouring

It's more like autumn than summer...

So I have dug out a recipe for mulled ale as that seems more right than cool beer at the moment;

3 bottles of a good beer (I like bitter personally for this recipe)
1 tbsp sugar to start although this depends on the beer used, may need more sugar
Two whole cloves (do not use ground! Trust me on this)
and grated nutmeg to garnish if liked

Pour the beer into a large pan and chuck in the sugar and cloves, slowly heat gently to dissolve the sugar.

DO NOT BOIL! It will be foul if you do.

Once the beer has heated up and dissolved the sugar although to continue heating for about 10 minutes and then remove from the heat. Remove the cloves and test to see if it's sweet enough for you, if not add some more sugar the liquid should be hot enough away from heat to dissolve the sugar.

Serve in a mug, grated some nutmeg over the top and sit back and watch the rain outside whilst enjoying your warming brew.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Reality & Assumption

Or consumption in our case here.

Reading over on Pete Brown's blog that a study has found that people are overestimating the amount of calories in a pint of beer and beer actually has far lower calories. Brings me to my usual point that beer or food for that fact doesn't make folks fat, but not actually knowing what both the calories are and the correct portion size for that amount of calories.

Packets of food now have little calories and percentage of intake guides on them but how closely do folks read them? That packet may actually say (in small wording) that a third of a packet gives you X calories (in larger wording). So if you don't read it properly instead of glancing it is not unlikely that you will assume the whole packet is X calories.

Many work out calories for alcohol based on 100ml but don't realise what a pint is in ml, I have heard people say in my earshot that a pint is about "800ml"..... oh really......?

The main reason though for beer or any alcohol causing weight gain though is the fact it makes you hungry, those pub sized packets of crisps are more tempting or that sandwich at home is calling out to be two.

Monday, 9 July 2012

London Drinker Magazine

As London is apparently going to get even busier with this sports thing that's happening, I think its called the Olympics for those who have either been burying their heads in the sand or exist in a timeless bubble. The London Drinker has published a special edition which showcases London pubs, it is a rather nice guide so if you are drinking in the capital it is worth keeping an eye out for it.