16 June, 2009

Coopers Vintage Ale '08 and a large suitcase...

I misread the permitted weight allowance of luggage per person for a flight to Spain, after ironing 20kilos of clothes which only later discovered should be 20lbs I cracked open a bottle of Coopers Vintage Ale 2008. At 7.5% this would enable me to make an executive decision on the wardrobe.

It pours like a lemon and honey drink, golden brown with a slightly burnt orange tinge.

On the nose it's all summer fruits - strawberries, raspberries with some yeasty, bready notes.

The palate was really surprising, theres lots going on in this. Caramel, ripe fruit, kinda toffee apple-ish with a fresh citrus twist. It finishes really smooth and creamy with no bitterness on the finish. The sweetness reflects the alcohol content but it's very well balanced.

This would be a great accompaniment to duck and orange sauce or sausages on the barbecue with fruit chutneys. I didn't have either but I did pack my bag. I made it just under 25lbs which for me ain't bad....

See you in a week.Rx

13 June, 2009

June Tasting synopsis...

Kate and Leslie-Ann were are first two female attendees that came minus boyfriends or male acquaintances of there own accord. Later, they informed me of there disappointment in lack of males - the turn-out wasn't great for Thursday, Where were you all?? I'm now thinking of starting a 'date by beer' club. All those in favour post your comment. Needless to say, if Kate and Leslie-Ann read this post we'll never see them again so fingers crossed they're not that interested in the synopsis.

I'm not going to bore you with too much information. We stared the tasting with Bateman's Combined Harvest 4.7%, quite similar in style to Whitstable bay. This is a multi-grained beer, citrus and floral notes, really easy drinking and good fruit on the palate.

Meantime London Pale ale 4.3%, this was my favourite of the night , as per usual I was the only one who thought this. Apple and hoppy aromas on the nose with biscuit and honey notes on the palate and a slightly sharp finish.

I was most excited about tasting Timothy Taylors strong pale ale but a little disappointed, light in alcohol at 4.1% and kinda light on flavour. bready biscuity palate with little evidence of fruit, the nose had some candied aromas and heavily hopped.

Sharp's single brew reserve '08 was number 4. Initially it was a little cold to pick up any fruit character but as this warmed up there was lots going on in this. Raspberry, brambley fruit combined with hops and malt on the nose. the palate is heavy with ripe fruit with malt.

I expected not to like Bateman's Dark Lord and was really pleasantly surprised, this is a dark ruby beer, the nose is rich mocha, hints of black liquorice chocolate and malt. the palate is silky smooth with coffee chocolate and roasted malt flavours.

The last Ale of the night was not my bag at all but for a stout drinker this was heaven. Meantime London Stout 4.5%. Opaque black with slight hints of ruby, the nose was coffee and garden soil - earthy and dark. the palate had a sharper edge with similar coffee flavours but far heavier and not as creamy. I've never tried anything similar to this.

We then drank Knappstein Reserve Lager which has a post of it's own due to favouritism... See Exclusive beer from Knappstein winery.

I'm hoping to see you all for July which I haven't nailed the line-up for yet. Will keep you posted.

Kate and Leslie- Ann that includes you, no excuses.


Exclusive beer from Knappstein Winery...

About 2 weeks ago on a very wet and miserable Monday morning I received a large box via DHL addressed to me from Australia- alcoholic beverage in a box, the quickest way to my heart!!!. Knappstein wines are possibly my favourite boutique winery from down- under, these guys produce an amazing trio blend called- surprisingly enough, Three, a blend of Riesling, Gewurtztraminer and Pinot gris and they also do a stunning Hand picked Riesling both of which if you're a fan of Indian, Asian or spicy Mexican food, you have got to try. The newest addition to the portfolio is Knappstein Reserve Lager - it's as impressive as the wines they produce. Paul uses a hop called Sauvin which apparently reflects the characteristics of Sauvignon Blanc, I thought it was closer in style to a new World Pinot Gris. On the nose loads of peach and melon but the palate was elderflower and floral perfumed notes with a slice of acidity on the finish. We sampled it after the the 6 new English ales last Thursday and there was lots of approving mmmnnnnn's, especially from me!!!!!
At 5.6%, it's definitely a beer you could drink over and over - bottle after bottle, I loved it.
Thanks Matt and maybe you could get 20c/s on the back of your next wine container destined for Dublin, it was a big hit in Dundrum!!
All wines available at Deveney's Dundrum - beer to follow, hopefully!!!

09 June, 2009

11th June Line-up.............

Just to keep you all in the loop and also I've never been very good at keeping surprises. This is our line-up for Thursday 11th June.

Hope that you can all make it....

Really looking forward to Timothy Taylors.

See you Thursday. Ruthx