Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Parma, then... Tokyo

So... after a cracking pint of Outlaw Boneshaker and a half of Sam Smiths Nut Brown Ale (more on which I'll write later) we got on the 45 and went home.

I cooked Aubergine Parmigiana which is mildly laborious, yet soothing to cook and an ultimately satisfying dish. It's also the most diplomatic vegetarian dish I know, it's dense, full of favour and will satisfy veggies and meat eaters alike... If you'd
like the recipe just ask.

Beer One:

Panil Barriquée

(Sour 8%) from Parma. Italian beer is perhaps on the cusp of acceptability. I am hearing a considerable amount about it and I'm expecting to be tasting plenty in the next year. I don't know much about Italy's beer but I do know there is tradition and artisanship. Which will do.
Panil falls somewhere between a flemish red and a gueuze in style having both the sweet/sour of the former and the dry length and complexity of the latter.

Initailly I'm a little confused: It seems to have a very modest profile, it's the length that draws you in. As the air gets in it opens up: Soft, delicate, red fruit, dusty, tart raspberry then strawberry juice that just lasts and lasts. It reminds me of old Drie Fonteinen but the red fruit replaces the apricot. It fits excellently with my tea but would go even better with some really good Parma ham.

Drinking Panil reminds me of drinking good Perry, it has a strong alcoholic effect that is euphoric and affects your vision somewhat... It's very good indeed, very appetising, and has piqued my interest in Italian brews.

Beer 2: Original Brewdog Tokyo (12% when it went in to the cellar) this is a beer that I've fallen out with twice. The first time it was because I didn't think it was that great, it was too confused, too much of the cranberry, muddled. I figured that I should abandon it for a while to think about what it had done.

While my 12% Tokyo was languishing in the cellar i fell out with it again, this time though it was in a new incarnation - the tabloid baiting 18%.

Cue mass hysteria...

Does beer need to be 18%? Why is it in the news? Who cares? Alcohol content is a side issue... Something to be considered yes. But we don't freak out about sherry, whisky or wine for fuck's sake. Taste matters and that's it.

So i'm glad to say I've made up with Tokyo after 2 years in the cellar the fruit is still there but is tempered by full toffee, complex coffee and then a big hit of black malt. Time has softened the beer and sorted out the favour profile, which is a relief. The viscosity is just right and it's become a real contender.

I might just have to stick a couple of 18%ers in there and then of course there is the Thermonucler Penguin on the horizon... Brewdog eh...

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