In the doldrum days of boring arse January I concede that finding the inspiration to do almost anything is difficult to come across. Thank Christmas then that I still have a few Yuletide brews sat in their bottles to enjoy. Please find below a couple of reviews of two quite different ales.
1st offering :
Brewery : Tucher, Germany
Beer : Kristkindlesmarkt Bier
Strength : 6.0%
BCA/none BCA : None
Purchased : Archer Road Beer Stop, Sheffield
Colour : Pale gold perhaps Baltic amber, with a thin but quickly none existent white head.
Carbonation/Pouring : The cap departs with no noise and there is a big fizz when you pour the beer into the glass, but then very little visible carbonation follows - this despite serving the beer a degree or two warmer than would usually be ideal.
Aroma : Clean lager with a mellow slightly sweet biscuit malt.
Taste : a very drinkable beer, this has sweet malt and a pleasing lager malt flavour with hints of banana somewhere in the background. The finish is clean and understandably the mellow lager malt dominates but there is a slight bitterness in the aftertaste that lingers between swigs.
The beer takes on a more balanced malt texture with the sweetness changing to a warming malt flavour, that ensures a big mouthfeel with each drink. Despite the fact that the beer rests almost entirely flat, the beer fizzes on the tongue if you take a swig, and it seemed to me that the balancing agent that "warmed" the beer up was perhaps a wheat malt, although the beer is perfectly clear.
Head Retention : None. I kid ye not.
WBrating : 7.0 - yep, its flat alright, and that's quite weird, but its shandy strength drink-ability belies its ABV and made me wish I could have tucked straight away into another.
Brewery : Summer Wine Brewery, Honley West Yorkshire
Beer : Teleporter 10 malt porter
Strength : 5.0%
BCA/none BCA : none
Purchased : Archer Road Beer Stop, Sheffield.
You will note that the image above (apart from being a bit dark, which is the camera's fault, obviously, because the battery decided to run out before I got a good shot), shows the SWB porter modelling a Sheffield beer festival glass, in order to create an unbiased reflection of my pint glass collection...
Colour : Black as coal, with a pleasing dark cherry when held with a light behind it, topped with an enticing mocha head.
Carbonation/Pouring : pours frothy initially and the level of fizz is appreciable without being in your face.
Aroma : Burnt sugar, hops, roast malt , and a hint of lemon zest if you breathe in.
Taste : Delicious astringent bitter malts flood in, bitterness coming from burnt malt and espresso characteristics which are amply reigned in by a creaminess , which perhaps reflects some of the less harsh malts used in the mix.
The second taste reveals some chocolate malt and and a smokey flavour, along with a balancing seam of pleasing creaminess which could almost be malted milk. This mingles effortlessly with the bitterness from the hops and roast malts. The bitterness builds trough the drink and lingers long after each taste.
Head retention : Good throughout, following the malty tide obediently down the glass right till the end.
WBrating : 8.8 - showing that SWB can pull off a tricky balance in their beers, and for being a damn good bitter, roast malt, porter at the same time.
I hope to be free of my homely shackles tomorrow so may have some beer news to post - it is a beer and pubs blog after all....