|NOT the usual suspects,|
A run of later than usual lates at work,due to the weather, and a week of dieting, including the avoidance of alcoholic dalliances, meant that come Sunday, the first of my scheduled 2 rest days, I was ready for a little beery taster. We popped out to the local Aldi (other supermarkets are available), to reap any bargains, and, as usual, we were not disappointed. Besides the food savings, the drinks aisle always throws up a few good deals, as do the Lidl shops. Rummaging through, I came across two Innis & Gunn brews, as well as a German beer, all at “sale” price. Whoo-hoo ! Sunday afternoon was now sorted. I must hasten to add that there were a few more good bottled ales, all at the lower price ranges, also available, which was pleasing to see. Anyway, back to our chosen ones. First on the menu was Schwaben Brau “Das Helle”, a lager of 5% ABV. With it's straw colour, medium carbonation and thin veneered head, it certainly looked nice. The taste was very refreshing, with a grassy hint accompanying the initial maltiness and slight fruit flavouring to follow. The finish was long, crisp and dry. Not being a lager drinker, unless holidaying abroad, I was quite surprised at my overall enjoyment of this Germanic tipple. I thought it much better than the many “English” lagers I have tried to embrace. The second beer we sampled was the Innis & Gunn “Canadian Cherrywood Finish Oak Aged Beer”, weighing in at 7.4%. Presented in a 330ml bottle, and gift boxed, the anxiety abounded. The colour was definitely red-hued, and the head, although present on pouring, disappeared quicker than an opening batsman on an England overseas Cricket tour, and was no more than a memory by the time we came to tasting . The taste itself, we agreed, was rich, with caramel, malt and a sweet, almost sugary, punch. There was a hint of fruitcake in it, and, although not unpleasant, we both thought one glass was plenty. With me not having a "sweet tooth" didn't help, I suppose. To finish off this little tasting session, we tried the “Treacle Porter”, another from the I & G brewery. Dark, but not black in colour, this looked more like a Premium Bitter, or a Winter Warmer, rather than a porter, and, with a seemingly thin body and very little head, it came across, visually, as a little disappointing.. The taste was OK, but not outstanding, and, again, was very sweet. The treacle taste was apparent, but not in big way. Again, not unpleasant, but, certainly, an acquired taste. I would like to taste both of the Innis and Gunn beers in cask form, as I believe the bottled versions lacked that “something” which the packaging hinted at.
The bottled beers will take a back seat next weekend, as we are out for a few cask beers, and a meal, in Cleethorpes, a much anticipated sojourn in the company of friends of ours. Until then, it's back to the diet, self administered alcohol ban and those cold and snowy early morning expeditions to work, followed by lengthy attempts of thawing out those appendages caught out by the icy fingers of Winter. Never mind, it'll soon be Summertime, I hope!
Cheers and keep it “Real”.