Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Oakham Single Hop Series

Oakham Ales are brewing a series of single hop variety ales.

For those of you unfamiliar with Oakham Ales they are based in Peterborough and have a 6 Barrel brewery at the Brewery Tap and a 75 Barrel brewery in the Woodston area of the city. Most of the series are limited edition brewed at the smaller brewery and are part of their Oakademy of Excellence.

The series is Nelson Sauvin (in March), Chinook (in June), Amarillo (in September) and Simcoe (in December). There has also been a very popular Citra, which I assume was brewed at the Woodston brewery as it's been in abundance around the East Midlands since April.

My personal favourite so far is the Nelson Sauvin with it's gorgeous apricot/ peach flavours. Citra comes a close second; very refreshing with grapefruit and gooseberry bitterness.

There is a list of pubs that will be selling them on the Oakademy website.

Goodness me, is that the time? I must head off to the Swan & Rushes before they call last orders.....

Monday, 7 June 2010

1 of 175 = 27

I like BIG flavours. I like Hardcore IPA and I like Caol Ila whisky.
Raspberries are things I usually blow but I reckon I can make an exception tonight.

Tonight I'm drinking BrewDog Prototype 27. The result of, you guessed it, cramming a load of raspberries and IPA into a whisky cask.

It pours almost the colour of cherryade, and boy does it smell of those raspberries, the hops you would normally sniff off the Hardcore IPA have been suffocated by the fruit. You can just about make out the faint whiff of peat from the whisky, but I wouldn't really have noticed this unless I stuck my nose in the glass.

Big swig and the massive fruit flavour fills the mouth and makes saliva squirt from the inside of the cheeks. The smokiness is very subtle and you only get this as an aftertaste. The burps are raspberry.

I really couldn't taste much alcohol in this. In fact I drank it in less time than I would normally drink a bottle of Hardcore.

A fun drink for grown-ups.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

BrewDog TM10

I was lucky enough to end up in London at the same time as BrewDog TM10.

TM10, a 5.5% abv vanilla-infused Saison-style beer, was brewed for Tate Modern's 10th Anniversary and was limited to 4000 bottles and a few kegs.

My first stop after St. Pancras was the Tate Modern gift shop and they still had a few bottles left at £3.95 each. I snapped up a couple and headed along the Thames Path.

It seemed like the hottest day of the year, so this thirst quenching Saison, available on keg in The Rake, was just what I needed after a wander around Borough Market.
It poured a deep amber colour, and was served quite cold. Not much hop aroma as you would expect from this style of beer. Very refreshing and extremely dry and spicy on the finish. I really couldn't tell this was a 5.5% beer. I couldn't taste any of the vanilla, but that may have been that it was served cold. I would have bought another half, but sadly I'd had the last half out of the keg.

A couple of weeks later I opened one of the bottles. I'd stuck it in the fridge for a couple of hours but decided that I'd drink half of it chilled and the other half after it had warmed a little.
When it's not so cold you start to taste the alcohol and the vanilla. The vanilla is quite understated, but amplifies the malt, balancing it with the dryness.

Pretty darn good I reckon. I just wish I'd picked up a few more bottles. Did I mention the bottles? Quite attractive little 375 ml things, with a hand-screened label.