Tuesday, 9 July 2013

The Vineyard for the win

Its a little thing called style...
So, the London trip didn't give me a chance to tick off any beers from the list. To console myself I headed to the vineyard to see if they had anything new in. Looks like I timed it perfectly, not only where there a great selection of beers – there was also a number of beer styles I had yet to try. I love try new beers styles so I was in beer heaven!

Beers from the List:
  • Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier. Style: Rauchbier, ABV: 5.2%.

    Description: German smoked beer, lovely woody/malty smell. Tastes a bit like smoked bacon. Nice head that stuck around, in diminished form, through-out the pint.
    Conclusion: This is one of the beers I spotted skimming though “1001 beers...” that I really wanted to try. I'd never heard of rauchbier, but how could you resist a description that includes “tastes like smoked ham” and “probably the lowest ABV extreme beer in the world”. I really enjoyed it. May not best to have it these warm nights but I’ll certainly have more (and another bottle is in the fridge!)
    Score: 7.5

  • Saison Dupont. Style: Saison, ABV: 6.5%
    Description: Pale straw colour, fruit aromas, with a slightly sour finish.
    Conclusion: Another new style of beer for me. I am a big fan of pale ales and golden ales, and this comes across as a bit of a hybrid between the two. Very refreshing. The sour note at the end of the tasting (like many Belgian sour beers) really helped making sure it wasn't too light. Very interested in the style and the beer – I’ll be looking out for more Saisons and will buy this one again when I see it.
    Score: 7.5

  • Frau Kolsch. Style: Kolsch, ABV: 4.9%
    Description: Very light golden lager/pilsner in look. Poured with a nice head and plenty of carbonisation. More hoppy and less bitter than most German lagers.
    Conclusion: Had this on a warm summers night and it was light and refreshing. I'd never had Kolsch before so I wasn't quite expecting it to be as lagerary (I think I just invented a new word) as it was, but it was tasty. Not a huge fan of the style but I’d have it over a watery “pint” any day. Interested in trying different versions to see if there is much difference between brewers.
    Score: 6.5

Off the List:
  • Wild Raven. Style: Black IPA, ABV: 6.6%.
    Description: Jet Black, with a thin head that disappears quickly. Fruity and citrus aromas, including pineapple. Really nice hoppy hit to taste and a slightly thicker mouthfeel than most IPAs.
    Conclusion: I love IPAs. I love porters, stouts and Schwarzbier. Could this hybrid be better than the sum of its parts. For me it works really well, nicely balanced hoppiness and bitterness. But there is a slight disconnect between how the beer looks and its mouthfeel – it looks like it should taste thicker and that is slightly disconcerting. However, overall it a really good effort and one i'd try again. Are there more/beer black IPAs outthere I should be trying?
    Score: 7.5

  • Leffe Radiuese. Style: Strong Ale, ABV: 8.2%
    Description: A malty, thick, boozey Belgain string ale.
    Conclusion: I'll be honest – I just bought a lovely Leffe Challis glass and I wanted a strong Belgian ale to christen it. This did the job. But there are better versions outthere to my taste.
    Score: 7

That puts me up to 156 beers tried from the list (and a further 44 scored and rated) - just 845 to go!

A quick disclaimer. This blog is about better beer, not more beer. Quality over quantity if you will. There are many reasons why you shouldn't overdo alcohol, therefore responsibility (and sensible drinking) is the key. But if you do drink, then you should drink good beer! These posts may also cover more than one “session” but have been put together to stop me posting incessantly.


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