the ablution block

16 March 2006

Frankie Padruic McKinlay

Born 09/03/2006, at 19:53, after a torrid 25 hours. A healthy, strapping, 4.1kg boy.

Frankie, we look forward to you growing up as we grow old. Love you, you little monster. Here's tae us...

And a glass, of something very special, raised to The McNamees for posting his birth notice, just an hour and a half after his birth.

01 March 2006

February Beer of the Month: Pale Rider

A quieter tasting month in February had me sipping on the odd beer as we prepared for a house move and a baby. Late in the month a new shipment arrived at Rumble's. Most of these will hit the March notes but this month's winner was one of most eagerly anticipated of the bunch. Kelham Island's Pale Rider took out CAMRA's best beer in 2004 and I can see why.

My notes (also posted at ratebeer):
Tasted 24/02/2006. 500ml bottle from Rumble’s, Wellington (it says here bottle-conditioned but I’m not so sure that this one is).
Pours bright - a gorgeous, rich, pure gold. Little visible carbonation and an airy just off-white head that collapses quickly and laces mildly. Big, perfumey, english pale malt aroma: sweet grains with a small hint of oranges and sea air. Some spiciness in there too and then some lovely banana esters as it warms. In the mouth there are more sweet grains up front, suggestions of barley sugars; dry and bitter fruit through the middle, without the "american hop flavour" I expected (mAybe the journey to NZ dulled them?); then a long finish that is woody, spicy, and ever so slightly astringent. Medium weight, low carbonation balanced by a pinch of prickly hopping. I began this ale with trepidation, after my last two Kelham Island efforts, and it didn’t knock my socks off immediately. However, I ended it knowing that I’d just enjoyed a subtly world class ale. 4/5.

Other notables beers (marks out of 5, in brackets) from an average beer month in February:

  • Unibroue Trois Pistoles (3.5)
  • St Peters Suffolk Gold (3.4)
  • Three Boys Wheat (3.3)

All notes, as always, at yalnikim on ratebeer.

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