25 July, 2009

July Tasting Synopsis.

The turn-out was really good on Thursday. Thanks for making the effort and no difficult questions!!- Fantastic. For future reference I'm not all about the hops and fermentation process. If it tastes good I'm a fan.
We tasted all these to your left and 2 fruit Lambics. Surprisingly enough I heard a few 'That's really nice' and I was the only girl - quashing all previous notions that they're only chick beers.
I love the idea behind Summer beers. They're brewed to reflect sunny days and everything you associate with the warmer season. For us obviously, this means holidaying abroad.
Goose Island Summertime. Clean and kinda larger-ish in style, I was a little disappointed. I expected Silver Strand in a bottle. Biscuity, grainy nose with a savoury bready palate. I'm quite happy for them to make this only once a year. I love what Goose Island do so maybe I expected a little too much.
Fuller's Summer Ale. I liked this. Light and fresh, the palate was malty with some nice fruit. Easy drinking Sunday avo beer.
Hook Norton Haymaker. This was in my top 3. Higher in alcohol than the other 5 hence the slightly sweeter mouth feel. Fruit and biscuit with a nice carbonation.
Dark star brewery, Sunburst. This did remind me of beers on a summer day. Citrus and grapefruit with fresh acidity on the finish - really nice.
Summer Lightening - Hopback brewery. A little boring, heavier in style than the previous 4. Malty, hoppy aromas with a dry biscuit finish.
Pitchfork by RCH brewery. Single malt beer but lighter than expected. Hops and dried fruit flavours under the biscuit notes.
The last 2 were, Chapeau apricot and Chapeau Banana. These were samples and are not available in Ireland. I have ordered pineapple, strawberry and peach from Chapeau and they will be in at the beginning of August. I think I made the right choice. The apricot was slightly less sweet and had a higher acidity level that the banana with a slight nuttiness on the palate. The banana was almost too sweet and had a creamy palate which added to the sugar impact. I think Lambics need a high level of acidity to balance the sugar content. Interesting but even too capri-sun in style for me.
Good to see you all and hope you'll make the August night.
O&O Ruthxx

21 July, 2009

Ginger Tom

The very odd Saturday night I hermit after work. My favourite night in consists of a bottle of Matusaleum 15yr old, 4 Fentiman's Ginger beer and some fresh limes. In order to make a really good 'Dark and Stormy' it must be a combination of these ingredients with a dash of sugar syrup and some crushed ice.
For every other day this beer will definitely do. Ginger Tom- a mix of Old Tom strong English Ale with Fentiman's Ginger Beer.
On the nose it's ginger, black pepper, coffee and malt. The palate is fresh ginger and that kind of spice that burns your lips, slight sweetness with hints of cola, coffee and some ripe fruit. The spiciness lingers in your mouth long after the ale is finished. This is really unusual and incredibly good. At 6% it's not a shandy but seriously easy to drink. A couple of these infront of the box and I'm happy.
Available at Deveney's Dundrum €3.49 bt.
O&O Ruthx

17 July, 2009

Flying Dog.

'Good people drink good beer' - Hunter S. Thompson.
The Flying Dog brewery from Denver, Colorado and Frederick Maryland, quirky beers and definitely marketed by men- the labels say it all!!
Haven't yet opened a bottle but will post over the weekend with verdict.
Doggie Style - Pale ale
Tire Bite - Golden ale
Snake Dog - I.P.A
Old scratch - Amber lager
In-heat Wheat - Hefe Weizen
All available in Deveney's Dundrum. O&O Ruthx

14 July, 2009

Chapeau Pineapple..... Amazing.

Evelyn, Julie, Lou and myself stopped into the Bull and Castle after work on Saturday for 2 reasons - one of which we were a week early for and the second was a cold bottle of Chapeau Kriek. Unfortunately we got sitting beside a man who was eating some girls ear but apart from that the Chapeau was delicious.
I had a sample bottle of Chapeau Pineapple in my fridge - which I had been saving for a week.
It pours a golden honey colour with a slightly syrupy consistency. The nose is citrusy, biscuity and laced with fresh pineapple. The palate was sweet but not sickly with loads of clean pineapple flavours and a lovely acidity on the finish. Slightly carbonated and by far the nicest Lambic I've tried. I have 5c/s on order. This we had with Clare's Curry and it was a much nicer alternative to Cobra/Sol. An ideal accompaniment to spicy Indian or Asian food. The palate was weighty enough to hold up against Lisa's homegrown red chillies.
Best Tuesday dinner to date.
Chapeau Kriek available at Deveney's Dundrum €3.99 bt.
Chapeau Pineapple enroute from Belgium.
O&O Ruthxx

08 July, 2009

Father Jacque and Matilda.

These two new editions to the Goose Island Family arrived last Friday - Pere Jacques '09 & Matilda '09, both Belgian style ales.

For those who don't know me I'm a serious sucker for a good story and these both come with the stamp of Deveney romanticism.......

Whether they're fact or fiction, I say good job Greg, keep up the good work and Never let the truth stand in the way of a good story.

Matilda '09 - written by Greg Hall. Brew master. G.Isl

The story goes: 'Once upon a time in a valley, a beautiful Countess lost something precious to her in a small pond. Racked with grief she prayed for it's return. Very quickly it resurfaced in the most wondrous of ways ( I'd like to know how exactly it was wondrous). After her prayers had been answered she blessed the pond and the valley. Later she had an Abbey built there. Today they brew beer. Really good beer and a great story. Of course we wanted to share what we had heard and tasted. Usually we do that over beers. This we did with a beer'

Pere Jacques '09 - written by Greg Hall, Brew master. G.Isl

'We were doing these great Brewery tours of Belgian. We toured the best breweries, even the Trappist Breweries, but we couldn't get into one of them. We were so determined that we kept calling until someone said yes. He was the Abbot and his name was Pere Jacques. He personally gave us a tour of one of the most beautiful breweries I've ever visited. We finished it off with a wonderful lunch of roast duck and wild boar, perfectly matched with the breweries own ales. I'll never forget that day and the beer. We brew Pere Jacques with loads of malt and Belgian yeast for a wonderfully complex, fruity malt ale'

So... get in and try the good stuff with the great stories.

O&O Ruthxx

07 July, 2009

A farewell beer for Michael Jackson.....

I had a great uncle who used to say that the mental hospital was built in Dundrum because it was where the mountain air met the sea air resulting in insanity.

I left the shop early today with 2 bottles of Brugse Zot and headed home to watch the final farewell to my first crush, my first album, my first concert and the musical genius - Michael Jackson.

I was totally unaware of where the name Brugse Zot originated from until I did a bit of beer exploration. All of the above are linked.

In the 15th century, the Emperor Maximilion of Austria was staying in Bruges to watch the yearly Holy Blood Procession. The day after the event the people of Bruges approached the Emperor about sponsoring the creation of a Fools House, a.k.a a mental institute.

In the early 16th century the institute was created. The link between the brewery and the institute is that the head of the institute Cannon Maes gave money to his relative Leon Maes to install a new brewery on the premises. This was the year the Maes took over the brewery 'Halve Maan' and the 1st big customer was the mental institute.

According to Uncle Joe, Dundrum was the prime position for a mental asylum- we built our shop close by, I purchased beer produced on the premises of a mental hospital in Bruges and took it home to say goodbye to a man who spent the last 20yrs sleeping in an oxygen chamber, who's soul mate was a chimp called Bubbles - weird eh!!!

For all those who are serious fans of Wacko Jacko and a good Belgian beer who also reside in Dundrum, this is one for you and me as it transpires!!

Brugse Zot ( Bruge Fool ) Blonde, 6% : this is a hazy blonde delicious and easy drinking beer. A bready minerally nose but the palate is smooth and creamy with toffee, apple and loads of citrus fruits and a long crisp finish.

Brugse Zot, Dubble, 7.5%. A much more subtle nose of candied fruit and brown sugar. The palate is rich chocolate and malted caramel notes, really creamy with a slightly port finish

Great Beer for a little cry and a sing-a-long to 'Man in the Mirror'.

O&O Ruthxx

Normandy make the good stuff......

This is the poor mans Champagne - forget Prosecco and Cava, this is the good stuff. At €3.99 a bottle and only 5% alc. we can drink 5 times the volume and not have to flee the country when the visa bill arrives.

Longueville Cidre, Vintage '96 is something similar to Aspalls in style maybe a little drier with more fresh apple aromas and less floral notes. This is not a Bulmers/Druids/Strongbow cider. Produced in Normandy - the home and birthplace of dry elegant ciders and Calvados (apple brandy, a serious favourite of mine). Within the Cider producing areas of Northern France 50 apple varieties are permitted for the production of this fermented apple juice. Longueville uses a single variety and produces this in a very authentic style. The nose is fresh juicy semi-sweet apples and the palate displays the same qualities but with a balanced tartness and lovely effervescence.

Opened a bottle in the shop on Saturday and reformed loads of anti-cider drinkers. Most of which didn't know what they were drinking initially. Good to drink right the way through the summer but also an ideal accompaniment to boring roast pork on a rainy Autumn Sunday.

Available in Deveney's Dundrum €3.99, 500ml bottle. O&O Ruthxx

July Tasting - Sunny days and Summer brews.

Every year Round 1 of Off-Licence of the year commences at the end of June, unfortunately, I have a mental block with regards to this date. Whilst sunning myself on a beach in Barcelona and soaking up the local 'stuff your face' culture, Fiana was making her rounds of the Dublin Off-Licences.
I returned just in time and I'm hoping Round 1 was successful. Definitely broke a sweat though. Hence my lack of presence on this blog so apologies.
We've loads of new gear in for you guys to try.
I have spent the last week considering the July tasting line-up and finally come to my decision. The worry was that the stock wasn't available but 5/6 beers have been secured and its a toss up for number 6.
We've titled the July tasting : Summer Brews. An eclectic mix of seasonal beers from all over. Hope this appeals to you all.

We are back to the usual format of the 3rd Thursday of the month. This lands on Thursday the 23rd July, same old drill 6.30pm - 8pm, Deveney's Dundrum. Some interesting stuff, Goose Island Summertime. Haymaker, Sunburst, Pitchfork, Summer Lightening and ?????, maybe something for myself - a Chick Beer - as you lads like to call it!!!

Have loads of new gear to taste so over the next few nights you'll see some new posts on the Blog...... Really really tough job but I'm all about the sacrifice to keep you well informed.

Looking forward to our next meeting.


Ruth D. x