It all started on Saturday. (Saturday to Saturday is a week...) It was my last shift with my colleague Jeff (@Juffage) before he left for the states again. So after we closed down the shop we decided to drink some special beers.
I'm not sure Jolly Pumpkin make any beer without barrel aging them, but this was their oak aged Amber Ale.
Aromas: Huge vanilla and loads of fresh pear skins - very similar to Petrus Brune or even Rodenbach. Flavours consist of toffee, chocolate and cream and a tiny amount of cinnamon. It's a very earthy , woody beer. Very puckering and dry. Sour notes mingle with slightly musty/sweaty essence. It's definitely a farm yard sort of beer - and a fantastically delicious one at that!
This was crazy stuff! It smelled like steak, corn and Worcestershire source for crying out load!!
It was a beer of four stages. First of all it has a massively sweet body and mouth feel. Secondly the flavour drops away immediately after the swallow at the back of the tongue. Thirdly you get a massive punch of sweet caramels clawing their way back up your throat. And last of all your left with an amazing flavour that coats your mouth of sweet pineapple and bitter tomato skins!
Sunday was only a reminder that after starting with those two beers on the night previous, it was not a good idea to grab many more pints in various bars before going to a house party in Hyde Park.
Sunday was a write off.
Monday I didn't feel up to it either.
Tuesday I came back with a vengeance and had one hell of a night with Imperial Stouts and PIE!
Between Tuesday and Wednesday I also had many the pint of glorious Kirkstall beers and various others in Arcadia and surrounding bars.
Thursday night was really interesting. After serving up really great beers in the Ritz all day I took the cycle out to North Bar for a sampling of Zak's beer. It was a beer brewed with Great Heck brewery: a 5% Amber/Brown Ale called Heckstra Ordinary. It was a dark brown and spicy beer. A big hit of amber malts flowed forwards amongst a robust body perfectly complimented by a powerful fruity lychee and orange flavour. The levels of fruit, spicy malt and bitterness were in perfect balance, and whilst it was drying and very moorish I'm not sure I could drink too much of it. It felt a little like it had more ingredients in it that it needed, but that's just my personal opinion.
Whilst I was there I managed to grab a half of Pretty Things Saint Botolph's Town Brown Ale. This beer is something else. You can tell straight away that the influence for this beer comes from the very heart of Yorkshire's brewing scene - and that of Theakstons. A great beer, and very much recommended if you can get your hands on a pint.
Thursday's early morning also brought the arrival of my first nephew: Charlie Matthew Briggs into the family, so Friday evening I decided to open up something a little special with Ben after we finished work.
Williams Brewery's 20th Anniversary whisky cask aged Fraoch ale is a different monster altogether.
It's rather strong at 11%. Aromas of apricots and honey comb sweetness come across. There's also a huge whiff of a Gueuze. It starts with a big sour oaky bite. It's obviously warming and strong. It has a tart but floral heather flavour. You get some honey sweetness but it's blended with a good deal of rustic spice. It also has a huge carbonation (in fact it went everywhere on the open) almost like a champagne, but with none of the champagne flavour that I dislike from too much CO2. A great beer for a special occasion, well played Williams Brewery!
Saturday came full circle again with one of the best. Shared with Ben and Beth in the back of Beer Ritz (because it was huge and strong) after closing, this beer needs no explanation really....
|Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial|
Stout Is AWESOME!!
What a week then!
Who knows how many units I may have racked up! According to the "guidelines" I must have been over my "limits" - but I don't really care - It was a fantastic week, and those suggested unit guidelines are just made up anyway.....
Let's see what I'll be drinking this week!