Friday 26 February 2010

An Orcadian

So I've been a little slow on the writing for a couple of weeks. Excuses - I have a few...

You can possibly see in my last post that I've been having a little fun, that particular post was a bit of a struggle despite being only a few lines. It was really one of those where I was writing with one finger and has one eye shut... To use the technical parlance I was 'shitted'.

I also see looking back that I was having some sort of existential crisis, I was wanting to tell people about particular drinks whilst NOT ACTUALLY DRINKING THEM. My self imposed rules plus a large glass of whisky did for me. I had to give up and go a wake the missus to explain to her that at 5:30am it was essential that I hang my socks in a small tree in the bedroom. I'm told I was somewhat flamboyant in this act.

So do I take notes on beers and then diligently transcribe them for the small number of 'unique visitors' to my humble blog or do I carry on getting home after a load of drinks and try and cobble some 'entertainment' together.

Perhaps I should put up a poll?

Orkney beer anyway... I knew bugger all about it until Mr Zak brought a bottle by the bar the other day. A bottle of Orkney Blast, no less, from the Swannay Brewery. Really good stuff, so I bought a few when I was back home in Knaresborough.

Quite odd really because Orcadians have popped up throughout the start of this year, I've met a couple of inhabitants and also been asked a couple of times for Orkney beer. Woooo! Perhaps it's fate that this brilliant stuff landed in my glass.

Blast is 6% and powerful at that, it pours a warm gold colour with an egg white head. It's choc a bloc with juicy malty goodness from the nose to the tongue. It's exceptionally well balanced with plenty of hops that are certainly there but don't take the lead in the flavour.

It's MERINGUE-Y! Yes there's a definite meringue kinda thing going on, at first I thought it was just me but the crunchy, frothy edge to the blast is also carried by a couple other of their beers. It's most likely something to do with the yeast. Most brewers have a house yeast and I love brewers that manage to keep the same character running through their products whilst making them distinctly different things.

Real top stuff - I'm looking forward to getting some casks in at the bar. Now I've got to find something for Mr Zak which is no mean feat as he has supped of many a beer.

Saturday 20 February 2010

wokkin like a dog

Loads going on,

just finished work, plenty of really lovely new beer being drunk. I had a couple with my good friend Jimmy James Wood this evening post labour.

In particular...

I have words about

Sierra Nevada - Unrivalled

Will I get round to writing them? Who knows?

I'll attempt to avoid bullshit and shit beer, I'll try to write as I drink the beers and I promise not to:

1. Be aloof.
2. Twitter on.
3. Lie.
4. Get needlessly technical.

So I'd be breaking my own rules to just post some notes about UNR that I made earlier.

Or summat.

ta ta

Sunday 7 February 2010

On the mend with Gadd's


I haven't spent 4 days on my back with flu for ages... It was rubbish!

I'm on the mend now and it's time for some fortifying stout. As soon as I came down with the flu I was instantly urged to drink stout both by my boss Christian and a good friend Mike. Of course I'm aware of the power of stout but at that particular moment I was slightly more occupied with alternately shivering, sweating and contemplating my demise.

The 'elixir' case is made for so many alcoholic drinks and the health giving properties of stout are often trumpeted and often maligned.

Stouts were marketed as healthy due to properties ranging from a high iron content to their various different additives. Among these; lactose in milk stout and oysters in oyster stout, both of which of course have proven health benefits. Milk stout marketing hit the rocks with a government ban on the link between booze and milk - fair enough a suppose, you wouldn't want to give booze to the baby.

Some people don't dig booze, that will always be true. Some people want to impose their viewpoint on others lifestyles which is the reason why sober types rail against so called healthy alcoholic drinks.
I'm finding this Gadds' Black Pearl oyster stout particularly rejuvenating so prohibitionists can fuck right off.

I mentioned a little while back about tastes that take a while to acquire, well oysters was one for me but now I'm in to them I really appreciate that minerally, fresh-air-soft-saltiness. Gadds' stout has this in spades, combined with a winey richness on the nose and tongue and a full dark caramel, malt backbone. It has length of flavour with a slightly savoury penny bun mushroomy quality.

Altogether a great beer, and a real recovery star for me. Is it making me feel better? Yes. Is it improving my health. Who knows? Surely both are desirable but are they always necessary simultaneously?? HMMM?

Friday 5 February 2010

Sod's Law

Well, there's a surprise...

After congratulating myself for avoiding being ill for sometime I've ended up getting the flu. Drinking's pretty off the cards save for the odd hot toddy and a strong stout when I get to the other side of this miserable illness.
I'm vaguely enjoying watching 3 hours of Star Trek a day though...

My hot toddy goes like this if you're interested...

Juice of one lemon
2 cloves
1 stick of cinnamon
Shot of Islay whisky - or whatever you prefer.
Teaspoon of honey

Boil water and let cool for a minute or two, mix, drink, feel slightly better.