Sunday, 3 November 2013

Boozing With Brummies

Being an abridged description of our adventures at the local booze convention. As always, my dislike of ale and obsession with cider must be taken into account when reading my shockingly biased 'reviews'.

Delicious Ciders

Blaengawney Rum

This is tough to order without worrying about pronunciation (a thousand blessings to the person who invented pointing).  Once you navigate that issue, it's tasty enough, but other than an above-average sweetness, there isn't anything particularly special here.

Oliver's Perry

This is heavy as hell. It starts off dry, but there's a submerged sweetness that runs rampant across the aftertaste like an enraged sugar-caked wildebeest.  It's pleasingly powerful, as well.  Really the only problem here is that after a few mouthfuls it becomes indistinguishable from cheap squash, albeit a squash that will reduce your liver to burnt blancmange.

Sweet Crossman

Sweet sulphur, more like. This would be the perfect accompaniment to a hot day in Hell (which is all of then), for when the gibbering demons find themselves between scourings and with a thirst to quench.  Mortals, in contrast, should approach with some caution.

Gwatkin's Perry

Smells like port, tastes like unstoppable victory.  And port. I would make a nest in this.  I would marry it, and settle down, and not even cheat on it with cocktails.  Not least because I'd be too drunk to leave the house.  Even finding the front door would cause problems.

Princess Pippin

This is 8% and utterly undrinkable; the latter quality perhaps functioning as a public service.

Awful Ales

Jumping Pirate

Great name, terrible drink. It's like burnt yeast with a Dettol aftertaste. Avoid.

Space Hoppy

Strong, bitter, and not tasting of shit, like I like my women. The label says "pale", but this is amber through and through.


A blank canvas onto which we project our dreams and desires. Or, more likely, not.  But there's nothing else to do with this. Still, we refer you to Puddleglum's First Law of Consumables: "If it doesn't taste like anything, it can't taste terrible."

(This law does not extend to rice cakes.)

Bad Kitty

Vegan beer!  And dammit, it's brilliant.  At last a "chocolaty" beer that lives up to the name. I could have done with milkier chocolate, I guess, but under the circumstances that would probably have been too much to ask.

Foreign Beers

Lindeman's Framboise

This is just fizzy raspberry cordial that gets you slightly drunk.  Which would be an entirely awesome were it not 12p a centilitre.  Some of us are on budgets here, Lindeman!

Einstok Icelandic Toasted Porter.

What are the chances that in an island nation of 320 000 people someone would combine alcohol, coffee and - um, ash, I think? - so well?

(Don't write in. I know the chances. Or I could definitely work them out. Maybe.)

Leffe Ruby

"Red fruits and Belgian beer", it says on the label.  Probably. My French isn't all that good. The result is stronger than Lindeman's Framboise and not quite so sweet.  It's by far the best Leffe I've tasted, but again, you're most certainly paying for the upgrade.

Berliner Kindl Weisse

Well, this is a hell of a thing. I can't exactly say it's pleasant - the closest I can come to a description is "carbonated stomach acid" - but its so far out of the wheelhouse of British beers that it's worth trying just to see how the Germans do it. Which, it turns out, is to make beer taste as much like sour milk as possible.

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