the ablution block

30 July 2006

The Colonel, with the Cigar, on the Balcony

The Colonel (aka Detective Thwaites) puffs up a Pacific Cigar storm on deck at Wigtoft, a fitting end to a night of DAC - dinner, ale and Cluedo (Two wins to Stu, one to Fritha, one to Terri and a big fat zero for Detective Thwaites!).

This Pacific Corona, made in the Philippines, was my first quality cigar. Fruity and mild, with hints of rum, it was most enjoyable and gave me some indication as to why cigars are so popular, and so highly valued. Though I won't be rushing out to buy more, Andy P's Cuesta-Rey Centenario is now very eagerly anticipated.

JT rolled a fair dinkum yahtzee, early on the Saturday morning, to win something of a Coup d'Etat... yahtzeeeEEEE!!!!!

23 July 2006

Joy: "Mamma!"

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22 July 2006

Rambling: Travers Valley, September 2004

18 July 2006

June Beer of the Month: Dent Ramsbottom Strong Ale

Just like the month of May, June came and went before I knew what was going on.  Looking back over my notes there are some nice beers in there but nothing much with the “wow” factor.  That’s good, in a way, because the beer that I remember enjoying the most was a nice sessional Best Bitter.  Tasted on the Devil’s day…

My notes, also posted at Ratebeer, for Dent Brewery’s Ramsbottom Strong Ale:
Tasted 06/06/2006.  500ml, bottled-conditioned, discounted at Rumble’s Wellington.
Golden-hued garnet, bright, with a light tan airy head, a venting of carbonation and light lace. Definite crushed pale and crystal grains on the nose, with a touch of roasted malt.  Some light stone fruit and vinous esters like I’ve had off the Thames Valley yeast. Mild and gorgeous. At first it’s a bit too carbonated to get the true flavour but once it’s aired it’s lovely - dry, toasty, mild chocolate malt notes and nice subtle crystal malt sweetness underneath.  Good spicy bitter finish, which lingers on with the dry roasted malt.  A bit of a hoppy mild for me.  Lovely balance and a good showpiece for the benefits of bottle-conditioning.

Re-reading it makes me want to pop in and see if they have any more bottles.

Other notables beers (marks out of 5, in brackets) from a great quality month in May:
  • Eastwood & Sanders Elland Back (4.0)

  • Adnams Broadside Strong Original (3.9)

  • Burton Bridge Empire Ale (3.8)

  • St Peters Spiced Ale (Cinnamon and Apple) (3.70)

All notes, as always, at yalnikim on Ratebeer.    

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13 July 2006

Handpumped: Extra Sherpa Porter

It doesn't get much better than this: Fresh Porter, homemade and handpumped. Brendon came across this fantastic form of beer delivery, from where I've got no idea. Good kiwi ingenuity. While it's never going to instill the kind of confidence you want in your own brewpub, it's great for friends and family. Gives you an idea whether a eer lends itslef to the handpump too.

This particular picture is Brendon's Extra Sherpa Porter. Needs some refinement but it has been the big surprise. Well balanced bitterness (even at 60 IBU's!)with a big malty backbone and a nice amount of roasty notes to take out some of the sweetness.

Brewing has been going well, with the processes getting better and better. Sampling is not too bad either, though our processes there seem to get lost after 3 or 4 pints...

So what's coming out of the Liberty pilot brewery? Here's the list so far:
  • Sou'wester Steam Beer (a well hopped, fruity, California Common, 5%). Gone!
  • Extra Sherpa Porter (a bitter Robust Porter, 5.7%, full of liquer like chocolatey malt). Almost gone.
  • Single Sherpa Porter (an underhopped Brown Porter, 5.5%, may ferment drier but looking too sweet early on). Drinking.
  • Sticklbract Steamer (herbal hopped California Common, a little lager malt cleans up the malt profile and at 4.5% it's more sessional).
  • Underboiled Festivus IPA (very fruity New World IPA, 6%, gas ran out with ten minutes of the boil remaining!). Bottled.
  • Festivus IPA (hugely bitter but smooth and fruity New World IPA, great malt profile, 6%, looks and tastes superb). Secondary.
  • Fat Elf Ordinary Bitter (sessional ordinary bitter, 3.9%, bubbling away). Primary.
The ordinary bitter, a steam beer, an IPA and a Stout or Porter are shaping up as regulars to refine towards. After we get them going, we'll start thinking about some seasonals.


Boy, you'll grow up to be the Prime Minister one day...

Frankie and "Friend"

Brewpubs, babies, mamma, puppy, brewing, studios, work, beer writing, families... there's a lot going on in our life at the moment. Just enough to push my own blog out of the picture.

Here's a pic of Frankie, to keep the masses happy. Or Joe, at least.

It should get easier with broadband. Yes, I've finally buckled.

03 July 2006

May Beer of the Month: Hofbrau Munchen Maibock

We did have a month of May this year, and a high quality beer month it was.  Though it’s taken a while to post the post, the actual beer of the month has been my regular thing at The Malthouse and, as such, is still biscuity fresh in my beer memory.

My notes (also posted at ratebeer): Tasted 19/05/2006, 355ml bottle from RW&S, Wellington.  
Vibrant copper (Fritha reckons amber), bright, lightly carbonated, with a disappearing off-white head.  Mild nose, very pleasant, shows off caramel malts, spicy continental hops and a hint of lager yeast.  Sweet and sappy malts blend well with grassy spicy hops and end in a slightly astringent finish (probably the only downfall as it just leans away from perfectly balanced).  I’ve seen these Hofbrau beers on the shelf for a couple of months now and the Maibock is a very pleasant surprise (thanks for the lovely surprise Fritha).
24/05/2006. On tap in a lovely earthernware stein at the Malthouse, Wellington.  Superb biscuity notes from the toasted malt. Upped aroma and overall impression 1 point each. 3.9/5.

Other notables beers (marks out of 5, in brackets) from a great quality month in May:
  • Green King Strong Suffolk (4.0)

  • Hog’s Back A over T (4.1)

  • Rochefort Trappistes 8 (4.0)

  • Gales Jubilee Ale (3.8)

All notes, as always, at yalnikim on ratebeer.    

Also wrote a few Beer O’Clock words at the Not PC blog.

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