Tuesday, 14 October 2014

6.6 The Number of The Beast.....Flipside "From Russia with Love"

Saturday 4th October.

очень хорошо (Very Good)
Ahh, a weekend off. Working a 4 on, 2 off shift system means I get a Saturday and Sunday off once every 6 weeks. I am not one who lives and dies for weekends, I can enjoy a pint whenever my rest days fall, but the rest of civilisation, without who my games of “Likey, Likey”, (where we try to determine who in the pub looks famous, or infamous, with everyone from Kate Bush to Saddam Hussein has been “spotted”) seem not to be able to function without the weekend break and are somewhat lacking in numbers midweek. Still, we were both off on Saturday, and with The Nottingham Hotel in Cleethorpes staging a Beer Festival over the following two weeks, we knew where we were going to be going. The Notts is a regular in the Good Beer Guide and was voted, by the local CAMRA branch, POTY this year. Situated just off the seafront, at the top of Seaview St in the resort, this popular boozer is far enough away from the “Meggies Strip” so as not to attract too many of the Young Guns and Lager Louts usually found there. Snobs? Probably not, but we do prefer a quiet beer in a busy pub to a loud pint in a rowdy atmosphere as the Stags, Hens and Wannabe Gangsters vie with each other to be the most outrageous. Been there, done that! We jumped on the train from Grimsby and were soon there. After a bit of shopping (Irish Lotto from Betfred bought!!) we were at The Notts. This is one of the few pubs to retain 3 separate rooms in the area, most giving way to “open” plan styles, but a plain, but welcoming, public bar, warming snug and back bar all give there own special feel to the place. The selection of beers was quite good, with 7 or 8 pumps serving different ales on the bar, with most of the rest on the list on tap in the cellar. Started out on Black Hole “Cosmic” a 4.2% amber coloured Ale with a warm malty taste that gives way to a nutty lingering finish. A very rounded taste but not too complex. T'other 'arf went for Franklin's' “Citra” which was a much lighter beer and almost punched you with the citrus flavours and long,dry and hoppy finish. Certainly a contrast for our starters. We sidled from the Public Bar to the Snug and spotted almost the full cast of “Are You Being Served?” from our vantage point as we played “Likey Likey”. Mollie Sugden was a definite doppelgänger. Away from our childish chuckles, we chose our second drinks of the day. Mine was a 7.3% Russian Imperial Stout from the Flipside brewers called “Russian Rouble”. Wow. Dark,fruity and a lasting liquorice aroma made this extraordinarily smooth stout very moreish. I have never had a beer so smooth at this ABV. My half pint tester chose Coach House “Blueberry Bitter” at 5%. What can you say to explain the bleedin' obvious. It was a light hoppy bitter that tasted of …. erm... bluberries. Nice though. Next on the agenda were Castle Rock's “Black Gold” a spicy tasting 3.8% ale with a satisfying malty finish and, Titanic's Wheat Beer styled “Iceberg” for the Lady. Dry,zesty but extremely refreshing, this 4.1% ale certainly hit the mark. To finish our little festival appearance, I chose Exmoor “Beast” and T'other 'arf went for Goose Eye “Chinook Blonde”. As fruity and aromatic as a slab of the richest of fruitcakes, my 6.6% brew was certainly an acquired taste, and the flavour lasted well past the empty glass and seemed to include a cup of coffee too. I enjoyed it, but T'other 'arf's comments cannot be repeated after the initial “ Yaargh” She was quite happy to envelop the dry bitterness of her 4.2% Blonde. Time was ticking, and Young Mr Rumbold had given way to “..that bloke in Storage Hunters..??” when we decided to hit the chippy and head back home. On the way back we popped into JDW's The Coliseum Theatre, which was quite busy, for a quick beer. I had a lovely pint of Marston's 5.7% “Old Empire” whilst Jane had her favourite “Abbot Ale”. I can take or leave Abbot Ale, which always seems to lack a certain something, to me, but, after having the Marston's OE in bottles many times it was nice to taste the cask variety again. Almost IPA in style this Strong Ale has a wonderful spicy aroma followed by a lovely malty finish with a refreshing bitterness.
The Number 1, Cleethorpes Station.
Last stop in Cleethorpes was the No 1 ( the old Refreshment Rooms on the station) We haven't been in here for years. It is totally different from the No 2, also on the station. The No 2 is rather small and quite modern in décor, whereas the No 1 is very expansive and, I would say, a bit more “beaten up”. It also offers 2 separate bar areas, one available for private hire,and a pool table. Both offer a friendly welcome and between them a good selection of beers. Now the beer tasted. Bateman's was the prominent brew here with “XB” and “XXXB” on the pumps,opted for the “XXXB”. This malty, well balanced classic of a Best Bitter always goes down well. With a light, but noticeable, hopped aroma to it, the flavours linger in the mouth long after your initial tasting. We did have a “nudge, nudge” moment in here. “Would you dare to wear a onesie to come out drinking in? “ was whispered in my ear, after an elbow to the ribs detracted my attention from my ale. “Huh? What...........Oh!” I replied as I saw the young lady in question, looking like she was ready for an early night. “.........and she's got her slippers on.......oh no, don't look now, her mate's wearing something like a dressing gown!!!! and I am sure that's a teddy!”. As I was not looking now, as instructed, I let T'other 'arf describe the scene, vividly and with greater shock and surprise with every sentence. I finished my beer, smiled then pointed to the notice on the wall, proclaiming the Charity Sleep Walk. Nuff said..

Thursday 9th October
Just finished my Earlies so I decided to call in at Morrison's for some refreshment for this evening. After carefully scanning the shelves, I chose these little beauties
6 brown bottles sitting on the wall( ok, not the wall) But which one will fall 1st?
.My tasting notes are as follows:-
1 Wold Top "Headland Red". 4.3 % A rich and malty brew which leaves you with a warm glow. (Shared this one with T'other 'arf, or rather the other way round!)
2 Guinness "West Indies Porter" 6% This bottle, at only £1-50 a chuck, is a most excellent brew. A ressurection beer from The Emerald Isle, the flavour is mellow, with rich chocolate and toffee or maybe a carameled taste dancing in your mouth.What a belter.
3 Guinness "Dublin Porter" 3.8%. A lower ABV than the other beers today, but still undeniably smooth and rich. The caramel taste compliments the smooth malty finish. A good session beer.
4 Marston's "Stout" 4.5% Brewed for Morrison's, this is a lovely, velvety stout goes down very easily. The taste is not so intense as the WI Porter, but is quite similar. It does lack a little in the finish, which seems very short lived.
5 Acorn "Old Moor Stout" 4.4% The label stated the liquorice and chocolate flavours of this brew. I think I got the diet version! Rich, malty and full of the liquorice flavouring as promised, but try as I might, even sharing a few mouthfulls with T'other 'arf, the chocolate hint was just not evident to me (us). Not a bad drink though, far from it, and what it lacked from the label was made up for in that rich liquorice aroma and finish.
6 Greene King "Yardbird" 4% Ah, the last one, another to share, this was supposed to be an American Styled IPA. Heavy on the hops and full of flavour? No. This was a rather thin interpretation of what I have tasted, albeit on cask, and was lacking all round in taste and aroma to those robust US craft ales.

Overall not a bad line up, and I loved the West Indies Porter. Me and T'other 'arf gonna chill now with some Bob Marley on in the background and dream of drinking that porter in the sun, on a far away beach..If the lazy sod will hurry up and  get my LP's down from the loft of course.
Cheers and keep it "Real"

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