After Birmingham and Cardiff, what I really needed was some sleep... But sure it was a weekend of sport, sport, and more sport, and all of it good (as an Ulster, Ireland and Liverpool fan anyway). So with all that I just supped a few beers over the weekend, none from the list so just a quick round up below:
153. Farmageddon India Export Porter
Style: Porter. ABV: 5.2%. From: Light House Wines.
Description: Poured dark, tan head, looked quite fizzy for the style. Whiff of coffee and toasted malt. Taste wise some chocolate, liquorice, and some definite light hoppy bitterness. Mid bodied, a slightly oily hop finish.
Conclusions: A beer that shows potential. Definitely a porter with some hop profile rather than a black IPA. Something was slightly off with my bottle that I couldn't quite put my finger on, but a solid effort. Belfast Beer Blog have covered the rest of the range here - along with some interesting thoughts on the local beer scene. This is a discussion I might add to in due course...
154. Ilkley Longhorn
Style: Aged Milk Stout. ABV: 8%. From: Light House Wines.
Description: More ruby red/dark brown in colour than the usual black. No head at all and transparent. Bit of an odd smell, I got candy sugar and something vinegary. Taste is again vinegary and sour - where's the milk, or the cranberry? Not much Barrel or wood flavour either. Oddly thin.
Conclusions: Has anyone else had this? Is it supposed to taste like this? I'd guess my bottle was skunked, but I couldn't say for sure... If this is what they were aiming for then it's a mess. I'd say it was almost like a bad example of a Flemish red/brown rather than what it said on the label. Either way its one of the first beers I've poured down the sink in awhile.
Score: (A generous) 1
Style: Smoked Porter. ABV: 5.4%. From: Light House Wines.
Description: Poured dark brown with an off white head. Aroma is chocolate, roasted malt, and smoke. Flavour is smoked peat, toasted malt, liquorice, chocolate. Mid to full bodied, smooth.
Conclusions: Here we go, following the Longhorn this was a beer to restore my faith. Nicely balanced, very drinkable, interesting without being over done. Good stuff.
156. Beavertown Black Betty
Style: Black IPA. ABV: 7.4%. From: Light House Wines.
Description: Black with a decent white head. Straight up zesty smell: citrus, hops and grapefruit. Taste starts off dark malt and chocolate, and then the hops come through with more citrus and grapefruit. Smooth, decent body but not overly heavy. Hides its strength scarily well.
Conclusions: This a great, one of the best balanced Black IPAs I've had. This beer actually started me craving good strong resiny IPA having been on a stout/porter run for the last while. I'd recommend this to anyone!
Assuming the longhorn stout wasn't off, it reminded me of this interesting post from Boak and Bailey. Basically they took what wasn't a great base beer, and barrel aged the shite out of it to make it "uber craft". I'm all for trying new thing and experimentation, but surely someone should of tried this and went "You know this shouldn't be put out there". Ah well, drink as many different types of beer this and you're going to kiss a frog every now and then! Saint Patrick's and not a Guinness in sight...