the ablution block

29 December 2006

October Beer of the Month: Twisted Hop Golding Bitter

October's beer of the month - Twisted Hop Golding Bitter - was initially tasted in September, from a bottle entered at BrewNZ. It was far from showstopping, on that first taste, but it ended up being my beer of choice on the annual Cellar-Vate crew's brewery trip (this year we hit Christchurch). That trip ended up revolving around The Twisted Hop, a brewpub which ended up being my beer highlight of 2006. Fantastic location, beautiful beer, great staff and a most generous owner in Martin Bennett.

Here's my RateBeer thoughts on Golding Bitter:

October 27/28. At the Twisted Hop. Beer engine, with and without sparkler, pint after pint. Light vibrant gold, with a creamy and persistent white head, and a lovely natural haze. Citrus and illegal-like resiny notes dominate the pungently hoppy nose. Might be a little intimidating for the uninitiated, if anything. Full creamy mouthfeel delivers a nice juicy sweet malt flavour, more of that pungent resinous hop flavour, with a subtle, fruity, lingering bitterness. Super fresh. So easy to drink that I had one too many. A touch cool from the handpump but it was good enough to never let warm up. My pick of all the beers tasted in Christchuch. Re-rated and upped from an original 2.8 out of the bottle, where and unpleasant hot astingency and lack of freshness didn’t let the beer show it’s special lively self. Forget that original comment and get down to the brewpub. (4.1/5.0)

There's more gushing about The Twisted Hop at Not PC.

Little else of note in October, where two weeks in Australia saw me tasting some of the least inspiring beers in the last few years. The only other beers of real notes were also from The Twisted Hop - the Rasbierry Lambic being an exquisitely balanced fruit lambic and the Plum Duff being a dark brown ale with nice tannic plum skin notes (neither rated at RateBeer).

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14 December 2006

Pippy Mina

Congratulation Paul and Vanessa, proud new parents of Pippy Mina Hitchcock.

This photo, like all other pics of newborns, reeks of parents who are going to be winging it for the next few months. Is she? Will she? What now? Should we? Don't worry guys, we're all the same - nobody knows what they're doing but we all manage to get there, somehow...

Slainte mhath
Stu, Fritha, Frankie, Ted and Wendy xxxx woof


08 December 2006

September Beer of the Month: Limburg Oude Reserve

It’s been a long time coming but September’s beer of the month now coincides with that brewery’s closure. Limburg brewery has just recently closed and, although the main line-up will still be available (brewed by Steam Brewing in Auckland), special beers along the lines of Oude Reserve will not be seen again.

Here’s my thoughts:

Tasted 15/09/2006. Leftover rigger from BrewNZ. These thoughts are from myself, tyrrell and bmackenzie... Pours a burnished copper, bright, with no head at all and just a tingle of carbonation (we’re drinking this a little warm, perhaps, at about 15c). Sweet malt - almost syrup-like - on the nose, with barley sugar, marmalade, a slight meatiness and a definite sherry-like oxidation character. Tyrrell is reminded of barley being toasted for haggis at Miro Street. Tempting and quite lovely. More malt sweetness in the mouth; toffee and liquorice in the middle; a warming alcohol and spice finish, bordering on hot; and a late lingering bitterness. More meatiness and sweet toasty malts linger on the palate. Softly carbonated and a full weight. I tried this first at BrewNZ 2005 and thought it was good but needed a bit more age to mellow. This taste proves it - a truly fantastic NZ ale! Well done to the Limburg team. We opened a Chimay Bleu after this, which seemed almost bland on comparison. (4.5/5.0)

More on this beer at my “Beer O’Clock” post on Not PC: promoting capitalist acts between consenting adults.

Other top drops in September:
Emerson’s Anniversary 1812 (4.4)
Twisted Hop Golding Bitter (4.1)
Dupont La Biere de Beloeil (3.9)
Deschutes Black Butte Porter (3.6)

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