The Beer Gatherer

Blogging about Israeli beer in general and Israeli craft beer in particular, following 1001 Beers You Must Try Before You Die and other beer musings.

Archive for the category “Witbier”

Live Blogging

We just came back from an event hosted by Mr. Colin Scott, Master Blender of Chivas Regal, who is visiting Israel. Drank some cool Chivas-based cocktails, a nice portion of rich, condensed and a little smoky Chivas 25, Chivas 18 and water – diluted by the Master Blender himself and enjoyed meeting friends and colleagues off-hours. We munched on so many dried fruit that not only are we not tipsy, but we have some capacity for beer. This, and the lack of space in our fridge and the fact that tomorrow we’re hosting a session that requires some shelf space, are good enough reasons for a night cap or two. First is St, Bernardus Tripel – long time since we last drank this Abbey ale. I used to love these beers when I first started drinking, but my taste has shifted since. Anyway, I’m enjoying this one: It pours cloudy amber with a small foamy head. I smell peach, some clove, a little alcohol and maybe butterscotch candy. The taste is slightly bitter, rich and fruity – peach again, mostly sweet and very, very lightly sour – in a fruity sort of way. Full-bodied, carbonated, long, peach and apple finish. Not bad, I’d drink it again.

Next is Maredsous Bruin, or rather Maredsous 8, that pours dark brown with a pretty, big beige head. Pretty beer. I smell prune and some raisins and taste dried fruit and vanilla. It’s nice. There’s also some chocolate. Full-bodied, long, finish with hints of carob. Haven’t drank this beer for ages too, and I like it more than I thought I would.

Me and Maredsous

Me and Maredsous

 

As I’m writing this text, I’m also updating ratebeer and my Beer Gatherer Tracking list. It’s a colour-coded Google document, that’s so ahead of this blog it’s beyond embarrassing. While I’m at it, allow me to write about Hoegaarden Grand Cru, that I last drank in November or December. I love Belgian Witbier and I love Hoegaarden. Grand Cru, an 8.7% abv, is lethal: it’s a cloudy amber beer with white head that doesn’t look too suspicious. It has a dry apricot candy, orange, clementine and coriander aroma and yeasty juicy bitterness. Full-bodied, bubblegum finish, very drinkable and the 8.5%ABV aren’t too apparent. Quite an amazing beer it was, and if it was still available in Israel – the distribution stopped about 3 years ago – I’m sure I would’ve drank it when I had a chance. Anyway, it’s a live-blogging session, right? Let’s proceed to St. Bernardus Wit, cloudy blond ale and the last for tonight. Its dominant aroma is coriander, but it also has some dried apricot – quite a cool aroma! It tastes rather juicy – mildly bitter and just a little sour and – surprise! – a little malty, too. Unsurprisingly, it’s a full-bodied beer, carbonated, with slightly sour finish. Quite good.

We really didn’t expect to enjoy this little late-night tasting, but surprisingly, the beers appealed to our jaded palates.

St. Bernardus Tripel, Maredsous Bruin, Hoegaarden Grand Cru and St, Bernardus Wit are beers #311, #312, #313 and #314 I Must Try Before I Die.

See you next time!

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Past Deadline

When I returned to work after the long Rosh HaShana weekend, The Beer Greek remarked that I flunked the deadline I gave myself. 300 ticks by Rosh Hashana, then by the end of the holiday. I know. I had life to attend to. What can I do?
It’s the morning of Yom Kippur now, time for me, non-observant, to catch up on all sorts of things, from laundry to travel plans to work (cos Paris and London and New York and Dublin don’t care much about Yom Kippur and neither does the tight schedule I’m on in real-life) – and to blog. So here it is – the 300 count-up!

Love this ad.

Love this ad.

Yesterday evening The Secret Agent’s metalhead cousin dropped by. Other than rum educational we opened our bottle of beer #289 – Estrella Damm Inedit. It’s a magnum bottle and we were looking for an opportunity to share it with someone. I fondly remembered this Belgian-style wheat beer, but last night’s bottle was a little oxidized. Hazy golden with a frothy white head – looks as elegant as the bottle – sweet, fruity aroma and sweet taste. Estrella Damm Inedit was created for El Bulli restaurant that was since closed but the beer is still in production. Sexy bottle, if there ever was one, but that’s it.

Then we opened another big-ish bottle, Stone Arrogant Bastard Ale, beer #290. I love Stone beer and so do the 1001 Beers book editors, as there are 4 beers from this brewery in the book. This American Strong Ale is both very hoppy, fruity AND chocolatey and no, it isn’t cacophonic at all.

this must be tattooed on more than one shoulder

this must be tattooed on more than one shoulder

Blixa and the first beer for the Jewish year

Blixa and the first beer for the Jewish year

Last week, in Rosh Hashana morning, right after I blogged, I opened a bottle of Fuller’s Honey Dew. Timing for beer #291 was perfect, as honey is a traditional new year food – for a sweet start. I try to avoid honey but beer is somewhat of an exception for everything in life.  The UK’s first organic beer pours honey-gold and smells like honey that was left standing and became sweeter and thicker. Honey also dominates the mouth but this is definitely a beer, and a good one, too, with nice maltiness, full body, and a lingering, honey-bitter finish.

Later that day we drank beer #292: Svyturys Ekstra – good-for-a-hot-day-on-the-beach kind of helles that smelled a little corny, even though it contains rice. The Secret Agent and I are not the target audience for beach beer .

Let’s move on – just before Rosh HaShana 4 of us gathered at the Dancing Camel Pub for a small tasting/ rating/ untapping/ ticking session. The Secret Agent didn’t join me, so I brought bottles that he could care less about, i.e. ‘exotic’ (i.e. nasty) lagers from Tahiti and Laos. Yup – after months of searching I finally found a bottle of Beerlao Lager – the light one, which is beer #293, another ricey beer. Hazy golden it poured – and I was expecting clear beer – corn and petrol aroma and unpleasing bitter sensation in the mouth. Ugh. Things got better when Dead Swedish Girl schlapped beer #294 – Samuel Smith’s Taddy Porter. We’ll be in Yorkshire next week, but our beer sampling agenda is full already so I’m glad I got to taste this lovely roasty-smoky goodness. It tastes a little alcoholic and has these really cool hints of sausage that I’m a real sucker for – guilty pleasure for a 21 years vegetarian…  Beer #295 was a real tread – Ninkasi Tricerahops Double IPA from Eugene, OR. It’s a good one. Orange, clear-going-hazy with a big white head, faint hoppy aroma of onion peel and floral, oniony bitterness and a little dry – tasty and refreshing. Thank you Baseball Tom for getting your friend to bring it!

dancing_camel_september2013

5 more til the 300th beer in this project and I’ll stick to American beers, that dominate the book. Widmer Brothers Hefe Weizen is beer #296 and it is a disappointment: tasteless, aroma-less. This is probably yet another case of getting old bottles to the beer desert we live in, because seriously, our bottle was like a homebrew gone wrong and it can’t be the case. Earlier this year we sampled their Reserve Raspberry Russian Imperial Stout that was wonderful, so I’m sure it’s not the beer or the batch, but rather shipping, storing and handling of this specific bottle. Next.

Great Lakes Brewing Company from Cleveland’s been caught our attention lately, with curious beers such as Elliot Ness and Rye of the Tiger. They have 2 beers in the book: Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold is beer #297 and the second helles/ Dortmunder in this entry. As opposed to the Lithuanian beer above, this stuff is good: A little pickle juice, sweet and a little plastic aroma, sweet  and then bitter taste, pickly too. Medium body, fizzy and yet smooth, bitter finish. Nothing too complex, but something I’d be happy to drink again. Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald got its own entry in the best beer blog I’ve ever seen: Beer Labels in Motion on tumblr- whata wonderful homage to a wonderful porter, that is beer #298: very dark ruby-red with tan head. Slightly roasty aroma with a little wine and condensed coffee, tastes roasty and bitter with a little cucumber(!) Medium bodied, slightly roasty finish, robust.

Last two beers in this loooong entry/list are brewed by Avery Brewing Co. from Colorado: beer #299 is Ellie’s Brown Ale is nice and complex: chocolate and warm carrot juice aroma, chocolate and malt taste. Medium body, soft chocolate finish. Avery The Maharaja is the second Double IPA in this post and it is also the very random beer #300 I Must Try Before I Die. It’s a hoppy beer with pine, many flowers and lychee notes that tastes a little old, yet bitter and hoppy with some almond bitterness too. Full body, long and bitter finish.

And now what? 701 more beers to try before I die. Got a couple more that I drank and haven’t written about – hopefully I’ll get to it in the next holiday, around Tuesday-Wednesday, a bunch of bottle in the fridge, an upcoming trip to Northern England and a long journey ahead. At least The Beer Greek won’t scold me tomorrow at work.

And then there suddenly appeared before me…

...a six pack of Blue Moon...

…a six pack of Blue Moon…

Spotted: bottles of Blue Moon Belgian White Ale in that decent, cheap and underrated liquor store in Tel Aviv, posted one of the beergeeks in one of the beergeek Facebook pages. Yup, samples of Miller-Coors attempt at being crafty in the lines of Celis and Hoegaarden, arrived at the country. I was on a sick leave when the message was posted, recovering from a surgery, but didn’t think twice and hopped on a bus, wearing a coat over my PJ’s and got off after 3 stops. There they were, blue-labeled bottles, reasonably priced, relatively to Israel. 15 nis. per bottle ($4, which is, I believe, below the craft beer average here). I got a sixpack. One for The Secret Agent and myself to share, four for fellow Ratebeerians, one for Cousin Michele, who moved to Israel last year and misses her favourite beer.

I asked at check-out WTF and was told that one of the importers considers importing it. Now, I’m all for new beers in our small market, but if you go all the way to import West Coast stuff, why not opt for Sierra Nevada or Anchor that have the commercial appeal as well as variety and creativity? Haven’t seen the beer around since and I wonder what happened.

A few good months have passed between buying our bottle and pouring its content, but we did it a couple of weeks ago. Still it was far from the best before date. The smell was soft – tangerine-orange juice and a little sweet, apricot leather aroma. It was pretty nice and I wish it tasted just as nice but it didn’t: delicate, floral bitterness that does not compete or suit the aroma. The body too was incompetent – too light for a wheat beer. The carbonation was delicate and the finish – floral and fine. I drank slowly and after a while nice maltiness took over the aftertaste. Cool.

Let’s make it clear – this is not a bad beer. It’s nice, but it seems like factors such as marketability and sell-ability and drinkability are more important factors than making a good product. However, I am well aware that I cannot take Blue Moon from its context. Maybe a blind taste would have yielded a different impression and review.

Blue Moon is beer #225 I Must Try Before I Die. Happy dairy-free shavu’ot to those who celebrate.

US Does Belgium (and vice versa)

Ommegang3

new label art – fancy!

Reading blogs and forums, it seems that for European US is Beer Heaven, whereas Americans, as much as they take pride in their beer, carry their inferiority complex to our beloved beverage. This is not surprising. Give them Italian Sculpting, English literature, Swiss cheese and French luxury bags – and Belgian beers. Two of the finest Belgian beers we came across as of late are actually American.

Brewery Ommegang has two beers in the book We already covered Ommegang Abbey Ale, which we drank at least twice in the past year. The brewery resides in the Belgian colony of Cooperstown, NY, where good beer is made and no arms are cut during the production. The brewery is owned by Duvel Moortgat, whose beers are quite popular in Israel – this keeps my hopes to get Ommebeer in Tel Aviv quite high.  Ommegang Three Philosophers is probably the brewery’s crown jewel: this Quadruple is a blend of 98% Quadruple ale and 2% Liefman Kriek. This results in a layered, complex drink that has cherry and sour elements in the nose as well as alcohol and flowers in bloom. It tastes slightly sour, but also sweet and yeasty. As in other beers I drank from the brewery, this one too is pretty carbonated.

I adored Three Philosophers the first time I drank the beer and I’m glad to say that hundreds of beers later, I still like it alot.

CelisWhiteCelis White is the creation of Pierre Celis, who is the mind behind Hoegaarden. This is another hardcore-Belgian beer that’s brewed in the US, Belgian wheat beer this time. This is a beer with rocky history behind it. After selling Hoegaarden to Interbrew-Labatt in the 80’s due to a financial mess that was caused by fire, Celis family immigrated to Texas where Pierre started brewing under his name. In 1996 Celis Brewery too was sold to a multinational and after the Miller plant where the beer was brewed was shut down a couple of their brands, among them is Celis White, were sold to Michigan Brewery that was closed in 2012. Pierre Celis died in 2011 and a few months ago his family bought back the trademark and is now planning to reopen and brew Pierre Celis’ original recipes in Celis Brewery original hometown, Austin, TX. It’s a story with a happy ending but as of now it is unclear when the beer is available again. Luckily Shachar fetched a bottle on a trip to Germany. I’m glad we don’t have to hunt it down. This is a great Belgian witbier, pale cloudy blond with white head, delicate spicy aroma with the necessary orange peel, sweet taste with sour touch and some petroleum, full body, chewy texture and this unique, delicate balance that makes it all such an enjoyable drink.

Ommegang Three Philosophers and Celis White are beers #195 and #196 I Must Try Before I Die.

Little Birds Sit On Your Shoulders

hiachinonest

With the way SEO goes, there’s a good chance that the next person who’ll look for Kenneth Patchen’s haunting love poem will land here, in this geeky beer blog. The link is for that person, but hey, you are welcome to stay and read about beer too!

Today’s catching-up menu consists of Japanese beer that comes in the cutest packaging ever. So cute that when my Excellent Little Brother unwrapped/ unsocked them, his BFF, esteemed illustrator Shimrit Elkanati said that at first glance it looks like a bottle of pop,with its bright colours and owl, and that only the neck label indicates that there’s beer in the bottle. Yup, it’s Hitachino Nest beer I’m writing about today. A beer that its branding screams of kawaii; look at the website, it’s so, so pretty ^___^

The Excellent Little Brother brought 2 bottles from Wholefoods in New York and The Beer Greek shared a third at a tasting.

The first beer I tried is Hitachino Nest White Ale – probably the brewery’s most popular beer. This is a Belgian Witbier  that pours murky light blond  and smells of ripe apricot – typical of Belgian wheat beer – but also of roses and nutmeg; all nice and aromatic. It tastes lightly sweet with a hint of apricot sourness. A delicate, tasty and juicy beer and the best of the three.

hitachinoxh

Hitachino Nest XH is another Belgian ale of the strong kind (eXtra Heavy?) that is distilled in sake barrels. The sake is apparent in the nose, along with grapes and summer fruit. It tastes sweet, like dessert wine, has a delicate fizz and is a rather satisfying beer with a light body despite the 8% abv.

The Beer Greek brought a bottle of Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale, also from New York. We began cooking red rice only recently and I love its taste, texture and flexibility, on top of its nutritional values. The bottle was probably infected, with a weird aroma of olives and paprika – two things that go well with red rice, but probably weren’t supposed to go with this beer – and slight bitterness with hints of black pepper. Again, the beer was probably spoiled.

Still, my curiosity about the other beers from the brewery remains, as well as the desire to collect their merchandise.

Hitachino Nest White Ale and Hitachino Nest XH are beers #179 and #180 I Must Try Before I Die.

 

Multi-Taps in Israel

Despite the recent craft beer renaissance, With an annual beer consumption of 14L per capita Israel still has a long way to go until it truly becomes a beer country. Like in many other countries, the local industry is dominated by two multinationals: Heineken (represented by Tempo Industries) and Carlsberg (represented by Israeli Beer Breweries). Each markets a number of beers. The former has local icons such as Macabbee, Nesher and Goldstar as well as Murphy’s, Newcastle, Samuel Adams, Paulaner and of course, Heineken. The latter has Wheinstephan, Guinness, Carlsberg, Tuborg (and Israel’s own Tuborg Red), Stella Artois, Leffe and probably a bunch of others. The duopoly enjoys a market share estimated in 95%-98%, which means that until a serious shift in consumers’ taste occurs, importers and local craft breweries hold 2-5% of the market.

The way things are, it is a miracle that Israelis are actually in the business of making and marketing beer  in the first place and a wonder that there are bars that serve more than the taps offered to them by the big player they are connected to. There are a bunch of places that offer 10 or even 15 taps, but real multi-taps that operate a system consists of 50 taps or more are still a rare sight here. As far as I know there are three bars like that. All three are located in Central Israel.

porterandsonslogoThe first and oldest, i.e being in operation for 3 years or so is Porter and Sons in Tel Aviv city center. Opened by industry veterans, owners of Norma Jean bistro/ former owners of Norman bar/ the people behind Norman Premium who import brands such as Duvel Moortgat, Chimay, Brooklyn Brewery and Fuller’s. With 50 beers on tap, dozens of bottles and special keg-events in occasions such as Independence Day (Israeli craft beers), Oktoberfest and winter – time for heavy Belgian ales, this is a favourite spot and a must for beer lovers. We sit at the Porter and Sons quite alot and the place has been mentioned in the blog before. Recent visits yielded notes about Erdinger Dunkel on tap, that had sweet plastic, caramel, malt and raisin aroma and sweetish yet slightly bitter taste. Of all the German beer available in Israel, I think that Erdinger is our least favourite. It just isn’t as great as other, even commercial, German brands have.

hoegaarden

I also got to drink a couple of Belgian beers there lately: Hoegaarden is widely available and its jar-sized glass can be seen in plenty of bars, only The Secret Agent and I don’t frequent plenty of bars. Visit The Beer Gatherer’s Facebook page to see where we usually drink – we posted a link to DSG’s picture gallery that sums it up. Syncing my 1001 follow-up list  to my Andriod allowed me on our last visit to the bar to look up beers that need to be sampled, so Hoegaarden it was, and it was not bad at all – quite good even. Fresh, citrusy, chewy and as rich as Belgian wheat beer gets. We also ordered Tripel Karmeliet on tap. I used to love Karmeliet but now it’s just too sweet and heavy on my taste buds, with too much honey and too much flower.

2 more multi-tap bars joined the local scene last summer. Both are located in the monstrous suburb Rishon LeZion (which is actually the 4th largest city in the country). 55 Drafts & More is a corporate bar that is a part of a cinema multiplex in the western industrial area. Size matters, the owners think, and quantity counts more than quality. Mostly commercial beer, apathetic staff and high prices to captured audience or perhaps an audience that doesn’t really care about beer and is just happy to have another faceless, soulless night out option in the ‘burbs.

The Pirate Pub is the complete opposite. Located on the other side of town, in the old eastern industrial area in what used to  be a wedding hall and then a night club that caters to the Russian immigrant crowd, the Pirate is huge, filled with endless wooden boots and a great, rustic atmosphere. Despite the trilingual menu, it is clear that the target audience is Russian: the food served there is not your typical bar food but mostly Russian dishes, the beer in the 50 taps includes plenty of German and Czech brews that are popular among this crowd, the staff is Russian and so is the default language you’ll be approached to. The rustic atmosphere mentioned above is expressed in the relaxed, homey feeling on one hand, but on the other hand it is also apparent in the somewhat low-maintenance of the taps and some lack of knowledge among the friendly and willing staff.

The Pirate Pub. This goes on and on (note the ceiling)

The Pirate Pub. This goes on and on (note the ceiling)

Being Tel Avivians who don’t drink and drive but are also too busy to take the long bus ride to the suburb we don’t frequent the Pirat as much as we would have liked. Last time we visited was 3 months ago. They threw an Oktoberfest event with Bischoff Kellerbier, Löwenbräu Oktoberfestbier and Tucher Bergkirchweih Festbier on tap. We drank them all and also took a mug of Gambrinus Premium that was a bit old but we drank it anyway because it’s a pretty hard to get pils. Its aroma was delicate and crispy and it tasted somewhat sweet and a little medicinal – not what you’d expect to taste. Old. The Pirate Pub is one of those places where it’s good to ask what’s popular or keg was recently replaced, but despite all its flaws, which might have been fixed since our visit, it’s one of the nicer places for beer in central Israel.

Erdinger Dunkel, Hoegaarden, Tripel Karmeliet and Gambrinus Premium are beers #163′ #164, #165 and #166 I Must Try Before I Die.

Last Call

Mikkeller says hi.

So… we’re flying to Switzerland for the weekend.

Ain’t the above sentence sounds, well, European? A featherlight getaway, one in a few that The Secret Agent and I take every year. Not as exciting as the tracks in Vietnam or the parties in Ibiza, but still fun and necessary break.

Of course, being Israelis who struggle for every shekel that enters our bank account, this weekend getaway is anything but obvious: we are going to The Young Gods’ show at the Rote Fabrik, a silver jubilee of their first album. Needless to say, we plan to cram the weekend with as many beer tastings and hunting as possible, although neither Basel nor Zürich seem like big beer cities (you can buy  Mongolian beer there  and we know enough people who consider this fact a good enough reason to visit a town but still…).

Before heading to the Land of Expensive Brews, we stopped in Jaffa, at REL’s parents’ lovely apartment, for a short tasting in Riedel glasses, with a smaller group than usual and a smaller variety of beer than usual. Yet, there was a variety. We brought 4 beers from the book and Teva Boy, a lucky bastard who has just returned from a business travel to Copenhagen, provided two more listed beers.

We started the tasting with Boag, James Boag’s Premium Lager. A mediocre lager that traveled from Tasmania to Tel Aviv via New York, and spent too much time in metal containers for its own good. I find it hard to believe that there was anything special about this beer when it’s fresh. Apparently there was a clash of kings between the Late Michael Jackson to Boag’s brewery owner regarding the nature of Australian beer. You may call it hubris, but as opposed to The Beer Hunter, I cannot praise this generic pale lager.

Next followed Gouden Carolus Hopsinjoor that Alma7 brought back from her visit to Bruges and Unibroue Blanche de Chambly, both from breweries I appreciate, both I was looking forward to drink.Unfortunately, both were rather disappointing. You’d expect a beer named Hopsinjoor to be hoppy. Well, there were *some* hops in the aroma and there was *some* bitterness in the mouth, but the general feel of this Belgian Stong Ale was of yeast. It’s an OK beer, but I find it a case of false advertising. Blanche de Chambly was disappointing in a different level. A Belgian-style white beer/ witbier/ wheat beer this one’s supposed to be, but instead of bold coriander and citrus aroma and taste, we drank a delicate, almost tasteless, peach-coloured and peach smelling brew that was very drinkable but that’s about it. There’s nothing to this beer besides drinkability.

The one good beer we shared was Green Flash West Coast IPA. Its mild skunkiness can be attributed to age, but I can live with that. Piney hoppiness, green, grassy bitterness and light-to-medium body.

Other than the 4 bottles we brought, we should thank Teva Pharmaceuticals for sending Teva Boy to try out machinery in Denmark. He brought a bottle of recently retired Nørrebro Bryghus Bombay Pale Ale. As the name indicates that’s an IPA. A retired beer, it’s waaaay past its prime. The one we shared was skunky and watery and smelled of yeast, malt and cleaning detergant. What a shame.

[Edited to add:

We actually drank Nørrebro Bombay Pale Ale (Økologisk) which is a new, all-organic version of ye olde BPA, launched last November. This makes it even sadder that the beer was off. Thanks, DSG, for yet another correction.]

Luckily, the other bottle Teva Boy shared, Limfjord Dark Porter, a baltic porter with an unattractive label, was superb. Roasty, woody, a little port and fenol in the nose, apparent barrel in the mouth and all in all an interesting and good beer.

To sum up this tasting, no heights but not true lows. Just beers  #142, #143, #144, #145, #146 and #147 I Must Try Before I Die.

Fear and Loathing in an Imperial Tasting

The mandatory post-tasting pic.

The (soon to be) Texan’s Texaness is getting closer and closer. He’s probably all excited about finally being entitled to a ten gallon hat and a lone star belt buckle, but us local beergeeks are less than thrilled. For once, who will treat us to guided tastings of beer that will never, ever be available in our neck of the woods?

In the past couple of months The (soon to be) Texan held 3 themed tastings of mostly American beer, with some German and Belgian sidekicks. The first and the second tasting were seasonal: Christmas/ Winter ales and Springtime beers. The third and last tasting took place the Friday before Last and was imperial-themed: heavy brews, rich in aroma and flavor, that are meant to be shared, because drinking straight bottles of their content almost makes no sense.  We sampled seven beers, three of which are in the book and one was already ticked, Ommegang Abbey Ale.

Southampton Double White opened the event and poured cloudy pale golden with a nice frothy white head. It had a fine orange and bun aroma which sadly didn’t match the taste: soft, forgettable, watery bitterness. Medium body, short, yeasty finish and not quite imperial in my books.

However, Flying Dog Gonzo did the job. Nothing short of amazing it was, as the insane label predicts. Opaque, brown-black with a dark tan head, great aroma of coffee, cocoa and delicate roast, bitter and dry with a full body and roasty finish, it immediately became a favourite (mental note: find the time to re-read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Oh, retirement, when do we meet?).

We also tasted Mad River Steelhead Double IPA, Thirsty Dog Siberian Night that The Actuary brought to one of the recent tastings, Flying Dog’s Double Pale Ale and Augustiner Maximator. All were great, but Gonzo and Double White are beers #58 and #59 I must try before I die.

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