the ablution block

22 May 2007

February Beer of the Month: Schlenkerla Rauchbier Maerzen

February was even quieter than January, though there were a couple of outstanding new beers amongst the few I tried. Three Boys Golden Ale was a marvellous showcase of the under-utlisied Sauvin hop. However the pick of the month, without doubt, was Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Maerzen. This was one of the most fascinating beers I've ever tasted. Big ups to Sam Bjornniskie for sending it over.

Without further ado, the sensory analysis:

Tasted 18/02/2007. 500ml bottle, from the brewery, sent from the UK (in a sock). Thanks to the TheGrandmaster. Pours a deep chestnut brown, reddish hued, with a disappearing off-white head. Strong ashy notes on the nose - Brendon calls it "a glass of smoky bacon bits" and Fritha calls it "billy tea" (campfire tea, not the dearly departed NZ comedian). Whatever you call it, and both of them are quite apt, I like it. Also has a rich background of Munich malt. In the mouth it is creamy, with med-low carbonation and a med-full weight. This allows a lovely, clean, toasty Munich richness to dominate. Lowly hopped, and the ash notes aren’t noted on the tongue. It’s pretty fresh but I can imagine it even fresher. World Class. Bamberg slips ahead of Portland in my beer holiday fantasy. I can’t believe I’ve already been there and missed all of the beer (but I do have a photo of the Rathaus in the middle of the river).

Sublime. See Schlenkerla's excellent little website for more info.

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January Beer of the Month: Cantillon Gueuze

January was a super quiet month on the beer tasting front. Providing the beers for Matt and Sarah's Wedding kept me super busy. A hoppy American Pale Ale, a couple of German-styles (unfiltered Kolsch and Pilsner) and a Brown Porter kept the masses happy there. I was particularly happy with the Kolsch, which was very clean and delicate.

On the tasting front it was a mixed bag Cantillon's Organic Gueuze was the beer most worthy of a nod. It's a beer unlike any other besides the other beers in the Cantillon range...

Ratebeer notes:

Tasted 02/01/2006. Lot 2.06. 375ml corked and capped bottle from RW&S. Pours a pale rose gold, lightly hazy, with a creamy white head that disappates into a thin film. Musty dry aroma is mostly sour, quite citrus, with woody, floral and yeast hints that remind of champagne. A touch of seetness is perceived in the mouth, at first, but that’s quickly wiped out by a dry sourness, slightly tannic in the middle to finish, and then a big citric tang on the palate (reminiscent of licking 9v batteries). Slight fruity note in the lingering citric/tannic finish. Soft carbonation, which is needed to allow the prickly acidity through. Definitely reminds me of a very dry champagne, with a sour edge. Very enjoyable. (39/5o).

The Cantillon beers also have the best range of labels I've ever seen, with Rose de Gambrinus being a particular favourite.

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15 May 2007

You lookin' at me?

Thank God for the rain to wash the trash off the sidewalk.
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C'mon blue!

More McKinlay fervour. I swear he's not yawning, he's barking orders.
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