Sunday, August 15, 2010

Orval & Some General Thoughts

Well, what a beautiful few days its been. This has given me more time to sit in the sun and drink, as well as working on things at home. At the moment, I'm embarking on a "Good Life" type thing at the moment, planting out a large garden for fruit and veg and, dun dun daah, starting brewing.
It still in the pipeline though, so I'll be talking about that in a the coming weeks.
In the meantime, I'm going to talk about a beer called Orval. This is a Trapist beer, so, like the breed, its a fairly aromatic ale. However, it goes beyond what you'd normally expect, and it stands out from the crowd. Where it stands is pretty much left field. It's scented, almost to the point of being perfumed, with a nice little taste of wheat in the background, just to remind you that it is a beer, and not channel No.5. In many ways it was similar to a sparkling wine, and I find myself wanting to state that it had a fine mousse, in that it formed a strong head of small bubbles. If it were a wine, it would be something in the Gew├╝rztraminer area, and incidentally I've got one of those in the fridge (again, courtesy of Ben), and I'll be talking about it in the near future. In what may turn into a tradition for me, here's a picture I borrowed to give you kind people an idea what to look for.
File:Orval et son verre.jpg

If anyone would like to know more about this particularly interesting beer, here's the website for their brewery http://www.orval.be/an/FS_an.html , of course, it's no substitute for going and buying a bottle and tasting it. However, for me it's not going to be a regular, it's a bit too perfumed for me, but I aim to drink a few Trappist beers, and then have another go at it to see if I change my mind. For now, I gave it 14/20.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A bit of a Bock

So here goes, my first real attempt at beer blogging, or blogging of any kind come to that. First though, in the manner of all great things, I should start with a thank you. This is to a little shop in Bare called The Wineyard and Delli, and its social networker and head tweeter; Ben.
Now I assume that most people reading this, if anyone can work up the urge to read it, already know the shop and the man, if you don't and you have any interest in food or drink, even if that only stretches to eating, then you need to check it out.
Ben tweets as @thewineyard, and all the relevant info; blog, FB, etc is available from there. This place is like an Aladdin's cave for foodies, in fact I don't know how they get it all in, the wine, beer, spirits, food, its literally crammed to the rafters people.
Right, that said, its time to hit the beer!
The one I'm going to talk about today is fro San Francisco, and is Anchor Brewery's Bock.
Here's a picture I borrowed from their website if your interested,

and just in case you fancied a look, here's their website http://www.anchorbrewing.com/beers/bockbeer.htm.

Now according to the blurb on the bottle, a "bock" is a stronger, darker alternative to a brewery's normal product, and having drunk Anchor Steam on the odd occasion, that's certainly true.
On first pouring, you see a dark, almost syrupy beer, with a deep rich set of flavours, malty and a lovely dark caramel scent.
When you taste it, all those lovely dark flavours remain, but the sweetness goes, and the rich dark malty caramel is balanced by a lovely hit of hops. Now this beer's only 5.5%, which is quite light in terms of alcohol compared to a lot of the craft beers I've drunk recently, but it's still no light weight. It delivers big wonderful flavours, and it's just as good drunk when you're sat in the sun, or inside hiding from the rain

All in a spectacular beer, really drinkable, and great big; well balanced flavours.
I gave it 18/20 when I first drank it, and I'd give it that again today.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

An Inauspicious Start

Right,
I've decided to start a blog because I keep running out of room in twitter for my beer, wine and food reviews.
That said, I don't know anywhere near as much about food and drink as I want to, so I'm blogging in an attempt to clarify my thinking.
Based on this, especially at the start my posts probably wont be especially regular, or maybe not even that reliable, however I will do my best, and constructive criticism, or anyone's thoughts on commestables will always be appreciated.
I think that'll do for a first post, I'll start uploading some of my reviews in the next day or so.