the ablution block

24 October 2006

Kiwi-based McKinlay Clan Kick Back in Caloundra

The McKinlay clan (Gille Gorach, some may say) enjoy their last full day in Caloundra. No doubt all the locals really needed their sunglasses once we arrived at the beach. We enjoyed ourselves in good fashion - a plunge into the the cool sea, a wee bit of football and, as always, plenty of food. Only Shona's blood was good enough for the biting ants.

Cheers Mum and Dad - thanks for the holiday. I love hanging out with the fmily, especially now that the boys are all growing up. Just a shame that the other half couldn't have joined us here on the Sunshine Coast.

Looking back at this photo now makes me think that Fritha needs a bit more help with that monster baby.

Anyway... here's tae us. Posted by Picasa

22 October 2006

July Beer of the Month: Traquair House Ale

It’s been some time between the last Beer of the Month and this one, so much so that I’ve actually got a few to catch up on. There’s always the fortnightly Beer O’Clock posts on Not PC, for those of you who are missing a recommendation.

July’s beer was the smooth 7.2% House Ale from Traquair of Scotland. Not bad for a bunch of old Jacobites. Enough with the guff, here’s the low-down:

Tasted 10/06/2006. 330ml bottle from Rumble’s, Wellington.
Dark brown with ruby highlights. Tan foam rises, then diminshes to a soapy film with light lacing. Carbonation minimal. Mild port-like nose of poached plums - both sweet flesh and some sharper skin notes - with old fashioned oranges. Nicely balanced in the mouth: fruity esters, lightly tannic wood notes, toasty specialty grains, late season bitter oranges, and a sweet caramel base. The flavours come and go, mingling perfectly, getting better as I get through it - until it’s gone.... Woody notes linger, with a slight peppery note late on. Full and soft. Here’s tae us. (4.2)

Other highly recommended beers from a dark and delicious month of July:
  • Emerson’s Bourbon Porter (4.3)

  • Scotch Silly (4.3)

  • Limburg Porter (3.5)

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August Beer of the Month: Herold Cerny Lezak

August revealed something quite new and unusual: a dark Czech lager. Famous for their soft water, which helps produce the outstanding malt profiles in their pale lagers (most famously Pilsners), the Czech Republic sneaks out Pivovar’s Herold Cerny Lezak - a lovely dark Schwarzbier. Herold proved to be yet another winning beer out of leftfield from the marvellously stocked shelves at Rumble’s. Here’s the detail:

Tasted 25/08/2006. 500ml bottle from Rumble’s, Wellington.
Deep dark chestnut, near black, with a very light tan tinge to the head. Head droops but lingers and laces. Roasty malts on the nose hint at coffee, wood, rum and mollasses. Good underlying base of malt sweetness in the mouth with a woody, roasty backbone and a slight hop spice. Hops are slightly fruity on the palate and alcohol is warming in the finish. Silky smooth: softly carbonated and a lovely fullish weight. Fantastic schwarzbier. (4.3)

Other highly recommended beers from a very varied selection in August:
  • Eastwood and Sanders Fireball (4.0)

  • RCH Ale Mary (3.8)

  • Emerson’s Weissbier Dunkel (3.8)

Slainte mhath

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Living with the Hamburglars

Fritha's friend Vanessa is staying with us for a couple of weeks before she heads back to Auckland to begin life as a family (with partner Paul and soon-to-be-born "Pipi Mena").

I can't help but feel like one of the two of these girls might steal my hamburger...

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