Archive for September, 2009

My precious

I’ve tasted this beer before. A fairly small sample at the Rake last December, plus a bottle I shared with the rest of the participants on the trip to Espedalen Fjellbryggeri.

But I kept one of the two bottles BrewDog sent me. To sip on my own.

The full name is Rake Raspberry Imperial Stout. Initially on cask at the London pub the Rake, but there are a limited number of bottles released as well.

The description on Ratebeer: 10% imperial stout aged in a Smokehead whisky cask with 25kgs of fresh raspberries.

The beer pours almost black, but there is a hint of ruby in there, too. Lively carbonation forms a rocky head that collapses fairly fast.

A fantastic aroma of berries and smoke.

I take a sip. Warming stout base, the whisky makes a solid presence in the background. And then the raspberries. Sweet and sour, it’s like a Scottish summer magically transformed and captured in the bottle.

And it has balance. The fruitiness adds another level to the Smokehead, which IMHO was close to perfect as it was.

Extreme beer? Sure, this is BrewDog at their best, daring to go where other brewers haven’t been before.

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Beertickers – the movie

I thought I had seen it all. There is advance publicity about a documentary on beer ticking in the UK.

The scope of the project is a bit unclear. I assume this is not going on general cinema release, but I don’t know if it is a web thing, if it is to be screened at beer festivals or whatever. We’ll find out.

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Three new Italians

I’ve told you about the box of beers I ordered from Birraland and which arrived the other week. Fees and taxes made the beers rather expensive, so I was hoping the beers were worth the expense.

I was especially looking forward to three beers from a new Italian micro brewery. It is run by the same people as the web shop Birraland, and they call the brewery Birrificio Civale.

The Alica pours hazy gold with a firm head. A light, refreshing ale, at 4.7% ABV this would be fine as a summer refreshment to be drunk in some quantity.

Citrus, grain and bubble gum aroma. Lemony finish, some pepper.

A little lightweight, perhaps, but all beers are not meant to be hop and alcohol bombs!

The Virtute has obvious Belgian inspiration, too. A fruity beer with peaches and oranges and a little lemon. Soft and round, the alcohol content of 7.5% is well camouflaged.

The Mervisia is dark gold with a snowy head. A complex nose with fruit, malt and alcohol. Firm malty body, sweet citrus. Belgian-like yeast, a little sweet and sour in the finish.

These beers may not be up there in the competition for the most extreme, punch-me-in-the-nose type of beers. But they are well crafted beers that are worth trying if you are able to find them. Mail order is probably the easiest for most of my readers.

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The Guardian worries about the future of Borough Market:

The hoardings went up around the old market hall two weeks ago. After years of discussions and delays the railway bridge is finally being built at Borough Market, but when it is finished no one is quite sure what will have survived. Rumours are swirling around like confetti. Will the original stallholders leave, driven away by high rents? Will Borough have been gentrified out of recognition?

I have praised this foodie attraction, which appeals to Londoners and visitors alike, several times. It includes the Utobeer stall as well as several boozers, including the Market Porter and The Rake.

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New posters

There has been a competiton for new posters for Transport for London, following the long history of great poster art on the Underground through the years. Some of the posters are available online, or if you want to see them in full size, head for the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden. This one is inspired by pub names in Hackney. Nice.

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File under Dirndl

A bit lazy, a bit busy with other things right now. Don’t expect too much happening here until then middle of next week.

I have repeatedly pointed out that I am unlikely to go to Munich for the Octoberfest. That does not mean I’m not impressed by the Bavarian beeriness of the photos at The Big Picture blog. BTW, for those who are noe amused by the Munich Mädchen, there are plenty of photos of men, young and old, in Lederhosen, too!

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For my Norwegian readers – the rest of you just have to sit there and salivate. Nøgne ø have released some of their new beers on the Norwegian market.

Not for general sale, mid you, this is Norway after all. No, these are special order, you have to order at least a box (12 bottles) of each, either online at www.vinmonopolet.no or by turning up at your local friendly monopoly store.

The list:

71533 Imperial Stout Highland Edition
71534 God Jul Islay Edition
71535 Nøgne Ø Andhrimnir Barley Wine
71536 Nøgne Ø Tyttebær
71537 Nøgne Ø Imperial Brown Ale

I don’t know the prices, but I’m told the whisky cask beers are about 100 kroner each.

12 bottles of each beer is a bit much, so I have teamed up with some mates and e-mailed them an order.

I would hurry if I were you, I have a feeling these will be going fast!

I think most of the beers will turn up in the US as well, and I would not be surprised if some of the Danish speciality shops will have them.

Speaking of Denmark, I wouldn’t mind some samples of the barrel aged Nørrebro beers, either.

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