the ablution block

16 April 2006



March Beer of the Month: Harviestoun Schiehallion

Another quiet hunting month in March, with the main priorities being the birth of Frankie and the move to Wigtoft Villa. I worked through the last of the February shipment from Rumble’s and picked up a few extra treats from both there and Regional Wines and Spirits.

This month I’ve gone for something new. There has been so much written, already, about the top two ratings – Rochefort Trappistes 10 and Anchor Steam Beer – that I’ve opted for some words on number three: Harviestoun Schiehallion.

My notes (also posted at
Tasted 05/03/2006. 500ml bottle from Rumble’s, Wellington. Pours a very pale straw-gold, almost green-hued, that hints of wheat malt. Thin white head diminishes quickly but leaves a thick lacing. Lines of tiny effervescent tiny bubbles trail up the side of the glass. First sniff reveals a minerally lager yeast. The nose then opens up into a lovely hop dominated bouquet of passionfruit and lychees, with a faint, underlying, grainy sweetness. Mildly sweet lager malt hits the mouth first and lingers all the way through. It’s followed closely by more of the hop hits - more tropical fruit, with a citrus edge, and a cedary bitterness through the middle to the clean finish. Some slight yeasty notes near the end are the only negative but these are very faint. Medium weight and carbonation lead to a slightly creamy mouthfeel. Superb balance. This lager is right up there with Emerson’s Pilsner. I’d certainly love to try it on cask. 4.1/5.

Other notables beers (marks out of 5, in brackets) from a high-qality beer month in March:

  • Rochefort Trappistes 10 (4.3)

  • Anchor Steam Beer (4.2)

  • Liefman’s Goudenband (3.8)
All notes, as always, at yalnikim on ratebeer.

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Little Monster

Almost six weeks into being a dad and it’s certainly a change of life - no more spontaneous decisions to head out to the Boulcott Street Bistro for dinner. Every trip out, with the little monster, involves a methodical bag packing exercise to ensure that no specialist item is left behind.

Routine is the key. With routine comes the ability to plan ahead, and to do your own thing. Life doesn’t stand still so much.

The first six weeks are about enjoying two things – watching him sleep and showing him off – while maintaining the level-headedness to get through the screaming and the dark hour feeds. Thankfully nature makes them cute enough for the enjoyment to win out...

09 April 2006

RateBeer wants you!

A new article, to encourage beer rating, at RealBeer's blog.