February 1, 2013 by 250 Beers
Well, here it is. Finally. The 5th and final chapter in the epic series charting my Christmas stash of beer…
Monday 31st Dec 2012
Minimum Chips – Matilda Bay (Australia) 4.7%
Hmmmm. I had higher hopes for this one. I’m still a little bit confused as to why the name ‘Minimum Chips’? I know what minimum chips is in the chip shop sense but why attribute that to a beer? Maybe it’s because the beer had minimum flavour, minimum body and minimum head. This left me with minimal interest. Maximum carbonation didn’t help.
Rapunzel (Rare Breed) – Mountain Goat (Australia) 8.3%
The Rare Breed releases from Mountain Goat never seem to disappoint me. I bought this bottle because I had to. That niggling part of me had to grab it from the shop because I didn’t want to miss out on another limited edition brew as I’d missed a few rare Goats previously. I have to admit that I bought it with some trepidation. You see it was billed as a Belgian beer and I’ve had some awful Belgian beers in the past. It’s gotta be right. Right? Mountain Goat have got this one spot-on. It’s incredibly tasty and it left me wanting more and more. The 8.3% alcohol content is nowhere to be tasted and very well hidden behind complex fruit and hoppy notes.
Northern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop Ale 2012 – Sierra Nevada (USA) 6.7%
This Northern Hemisphere brew (as opposed to its sister – the Southern Hemisphere) as the first beer in America to create havoc with the ‘wet hop’ phenomenon. It is brewed with wet hops that come straight from the fields and into the brew mix within 24 hours. This provides you and I with a very enjoyable fresh beer. I have not tasted a beer from Sierra Nevada that hasn’t impressed me. So there.
Brother Thelonious – North Coast Brewing Co. (USA) 9.4%
Holy shit. A 9.4% Belgian Abbey Ale was next up. It was New Year’s Eve and I was keen to see midnight as I hadn’t lasted until then since I can’t remember. I probably should’ve avoided this beauty or at least not drank it at as soon as I did after the other couple of big fellas that preceded it (above).
This is a hard-hitting abbey ale from my new friends at North Coast. As you can see it pours a deep ruby colour with not much head. Immediate palate reactions are from sweet malty tastes that are smooth. The alcohol is definitely there and very warming. A nice beer to sit and sip after the kids have hit the hay.
Before The Dawn Black IPA (Rare Breed) – Mountain Goat (Australia) 7.4%
OK, so I was already on a slippery slope downhill after the previous three beers that had passed my lips. It only seemed fitting to end the day (as far as beer was concerned) on another high note and on another Mountain Goat Rare Breed. This time it was the turn of Before The Dawn – a black IPA.
Regular readers of this blog will know that I love a great IPA. This is a VERY good IPA indeed. I’d given it around 30 minutes since finishing the Brother Thelonious before opening this one. A nice glass of water was used to cleanse the palate before I sat back to let this one overwhelm me. And overwhelm me it did – this was in complete contrast to the offerings on TV during the last few hours of 2012. I was glad that I was halfway to Tipsyville.
Everything about this was elegant…the bottle…the pour…the head…the bitterness(which was perfect). A decent hop hit here backed up by gentle fruitiness with just enough of a hint of coffee in there somewhere thanks to those dark malts.
Tuesday 1st Jan 2013
Hop Head Red IPA – Green Flash Brewing Co. (USA) 7.0%
A nice frothy head accompanies a deep amber pour which was enough to lure me in. The floral notes were high with hints of toffee and citrus leading me to wish I had bought a few more. I could easily have had another. It didn’t ignite a wild fire inside me as some recent IPA’s have but it’s a decent beer nonetheless.
Old Stock Ale 2012 – North Coast Brewing Co. (USA) 11.7%
I really enjoyed the significant English feel to this beer. This is mainly due to the malt and both Fuggles and East Kent Goldings hops being used (all imported from my country of birth – England). As you can see above, it pours as a deep, rich amber colour. It’s a very flavoursome beer and the alcohol really shone through. I’m not sure if this is a good or a bad thing?
Dragonhead – Orkney Brewery (Scotland) 4.0%
I finish my Christmas Beer Stash reviews with a jolly decent stout. This is 500 millilitres of how a stout should be in my opinion. The roasted malts and toffee hints are very, very smooth. If you’ve never ventured into stouts then this a great place to start…if you can find one of course.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my journey through the stash as much as I did?! Of course, I had the added bonus of being able to drink all 31 beers.
Hmmmm…what will I do for Christmas 2013…?