Also known as ‘Go to town and get me a barrel… bottle of chocolate!’
The aroma is red wine, grape, and chocolate mixed with cardboard. Taste is red wine, sweet like a brown sugar, a hint of bitter but cannot place what, coffee beans and a whole lot of chocolate. Aftertaste is dusty chocolate that fades into red wine finish. An oily texture thats not clingy, with low carbonation thats easy to drink. This has been Dubbel from Emelisse brewery standing at 7.5%. And I want another one.
Actually I just thought of something. At work we have these Cocoa nibs with a syrup on them. That are sweet, chocolatey and bitter. Rings any bells?
Today’s drink is Red Nose Reinbeer by Cotleigh Brewery. Self described as “copper coloured and richly flavoured” and sitting at 5%. Not sure why the reindeer is making that face, this tastes fine. It has a fairly muted smell compared to a lot of the beers I’ve had recently, only giving off a rather mild fruity smell. Taste wise, the fruits are there but not in the way of a proper fruit beer. More in a “we’re hanging out round the back and you’ll see us at the bar occasionally” kind of way. A little sharpness to it but nothing that will bother you. A nice relaxed ale.
Tonight we visit Santa’s Darkside. Which involves a trip to “premium strength dark brown coloured beer” town (as the label notes). This seems to be part way between a normal dark ale and a porter. The smell is more hops than the taste is. The taste has a sharpness to it that seems to be fading the more I drink. Some light chocolate flavouring lead to the porter comment earlier. There is also a tartness to the aftertaste that almost dries your tongue out. Very little carbonation make it fairly easy to drink as well, even if the aftereffects will confuse you slightly.
This is somehow completely tastes as you would expect but it makes up for it with ever other detail. Think more along the lines of Brewdog’s This.Is.Lager compared to supermarket deal time lager. This beer is named Fat earl from Lervig brewery standing at 4.5%. The aroma is light hops, sweet grassiness and a hint of spices. The taste is much the same only with a touch more malt and light bitterness. What made it for me was the super unintrusive carbonation, really made it pleasant to drink. Quite refreshing overall.
Up next is Very Bad Elf. A pale amber ale at 7.5%. The smell seems super familiar and I’m not sure which other beer it reminds me of. Though that might be the hopps in the smell. It’s surprisingly light and drinkable for 7.5%. The hoppyness is also the main bulk of the taste for me. There are some other tastes but none of them stand out enough for me to place. All in all, not a bad beer.
Today we have Suruga Bay From Baird brewery standing at 8.5%. I knew I had another one from Baird but didnt expect to pick it the next day. This beer is going down so fast. Its very tasty, leaves a super hoppy bitter aftertaste that demands you have another glug. Its somehow got a thickness to it that remains smooth. The aroma is super hops, fresh citrus, zest and a little malt. The taste is malty, fruity, hoppy and then bitter, in that order. The alcohol strength is very well hidden but you are aware of it. Quite a complex feat this beer is.
On the left we have Rising sun pale ale from Baird brewery standing at 5.5%. This is actually quite a heavy pale ale, which maybe why I am enjoying it so much. The aroma is bready, yeasty and hoppy. Taste is medium bitter, with only a hint of sweetness, a light citrus, hops and bread dough. Everything is light but well balanced. A nice medium carbonation is present too, which it really needs, i think if this was too smooth it would be forgotten quite easily. Aftertaste to very clean and dry. I really like this beer. Heavy and light in one.
On the right we have Blackhook from Redhook brewery standing at 5.2%. This one could be short and sweet. Its called porter and its not lying. It is the most blueprint standard porter you could ever imagine. So it is nice and well balanced. But also nothing amazing. But i would have another one as it is by no means bad at all. Aroma is dark dark fruits, coffee and dusty dark chocolate. Taste is the same. Medium body that it is not too oily. Gentle carbonation. With a nice chocolately finish that doesnt out stay its welcome.