Friday, 3 January 2014

Interview with H.R.H. Prince Luitpold of Bavaria

Beer Goggles Interviews H.R.H. Prince Luitpold Of Bavaria
The Prince's family have brewed quality beer since 1260, and have been responsible for so much influence on the beers we drink today both inside and outside of Bavaria.
The Reinheitsgebot that the royal family introduced in 1516, not only saw to it that Bavarian beer was a pure product, but it set a bench mark for outside competitors, and thus brewers around the globe had to take heed.
The fantastic Oktoberfest began in 1810 as the Bavarian royal family wedding celebration and is now the biggest fair or festival in the world with an incredible 6 million plus revellers. Rather perversely now though, Prince Luitpold's own, Kaltenberg König Ludwig beers have no tent at the festival because the brewery falls outside of the required area.
Thwaites brewery has a unique on-going partnership with Prince Luitpold, so look out for more Kaltenberg König Ludwig beers in their pubs soon. They may seem strange bedfellows, but it's a marriage made in beer heaven.
My thoughts on interviewing royalty.
As a young boy, I was truly the original Oliver Twist. The holes in my school shoes were not patched inside with the cardboard from Cornflakes boxes like the poor waifs in the movies. Instead, in my ragged shoes, the wet pavement was held back by the cardboard from cheap supermarket home-brand boxes.
OK, I now have a little more spending money, but I like many of you, have never been able to afford to munch Michelin meals, I’ve never had the required readys to relax at The Ritz and I’ve never shelled out saved shillings to stay in St. Moritz.
I tell you this, dear reader, to show the stark contrast between myself and royalty, and thus prove a maxim that I’ve always shouted loud and proud about the beer world. Unlike any other form of enjoyment, with a quality beer in your hand, you can actually live like royalty for mere pocket money.
In juxtaposition, the Prince may well live in a fairy-tale castle, above a fairy-tale brewery. He may watch jousting tournaments in his capacious grounds, but HRH Prince Luitpold Von Bayern feels just as enthusiastic about great beer and quality brewing as we do. He shares our passion.
Beer crosses the boundaries of class, creed, country, and culture. It is the universal language.
Words from the wise.
His Highness, Prinz Luitpold Von Bayern said: “I’m delighted to be in Manchester to celebrate Christmas with König Ludwig International’s British friends and brewing partners. The long bar has such a distinctively Bavarian feel, that I could almost be at home in my native Germany, Frohe Weihnachten (Merry Christmas).
His Magnificentness, Steve Magnall, managing director of Thwaites, said: “On behalf of Thwaites, we are delighted to welcome His Royal Highness Prinz Luitpold to Manchester at Christmas time. Bavarian beer has never been more popular in the UK, and we are honoured to be a licenced partner of König Ludwig International. The Long Bar is the perfect place to welcome our German friends and to toast the festive season with a glass of Kaltenberg.”
His Dishiness, Phil Dawson, The Long Bar’s manager, added: “The Prince’s visit has added a real touch of authenticity to the Bier Haus. The extent of his beer and brewing knowledge are astonishing, and it’s been tremendous to learn more about the heritage of Bavarian brewing.”
Beer Goggles-   Hello and welcome once again to Beer Goggles Reviews. I’m in the presence of royalty. I do pray forgiveness (for sound and picture problems). This is Prince Luitpold of Bavaria (Von Bayern). He is not just royalty, but he is royalty in brewing terms as well. I’ll leave the Prince himself to tell you. What influences have your family had on the history and traditions of brewing beer?
Prince Luitpold- Well, we have a very, very long tradition with beer. Our family was ruling the country of Bavaria since 1118, more than 800 years, but we have also had breweries in the family for 750 years. Beer in the early days was the most safe and best food product you could have. Water was always polluted and dangerous. Beer was always safe. Because of that, beer had a significant influence on Bavarian history and Bavarian economics. Over the centuries, our family have had breweries. Our first brewery in 1260 in Munich, and over the centuries we’ve had about 70 different breweries. Brewed beer was always one of the most important products to forward the country of Bavaria. We were interested in beer. To tell you what our interest in the beers was like, the family drank beer themselves. It is stated in the 16th century, the daily consumption at that time was 2 litres per head per day. Understandably, people were moving a lot and needed more liquid if they were running around a bit more. In order to protect the quality of beer, we put some legislation through, and the German purity law today (Reinheitsgebot) is the oldest existing food regulation law in the world. It was done by my ancestors in 1516 saying that beer could be made out of malts, hops and water, and no other ingredients. No cheaper ingredients, no sugar, no corn, no potato, and particularly, no other spices. At that time, many people were poisoned and killed by the addition of dangerous ingredients, by dangerous spices, poisonous plants and all. So limiting to hops, water and malt, was restricting the quality and so protecting folk. Later for many years, we had the only production of weissbier in Germany. We had about 40 weissbier breweries in the centuries. We started the Munich Oktoberfest with the wedding parties for my Great-Grandfather. We also started the brewing university in Munich, so that many, many, many connections with the brewing fraternity. But in particular, it was always a personal interest and also a pleasure in running breweries for the family, because it’s one of those industries where you are very close to people. If you are in a position of running a country, it’s important that you have a basis of speaking to your people. Beer does that. If you run a brewery besides, you hold a platform where an exchange of opinions goes out to the people, and I think we have got something which is rather unique in Bavaria which kept us together.
Beer Goggles-   Now you mentioned the Reinheitsgebot, the purity laws (1516) governing the ingredients included in beer. Do you still think that has relevance in today’s brewing?
Prince Luitpold- ABSOLUTELY! WHO WANTS AN UNCLEAN PRODUCT? Nobody. So, if you can produce a beer with zero chemicals, with good ingredients, you don’t need to necessarily experiment with other ingredients. This doesn’t mean that a licensee shouldn’t be able to make a beer cocktail. There are thousands of cocktails for beer, but for a brewer, it should be required that he doesn’t reinvent a product. If he wants to make an alcoholic beverage which is malt based, maybe adding completely different things, chocolate, whatever, coffee, why not? But, it is not beer. It is maybe an alcoholic beverage of its own kind, but it’s certainly not really correct to call them beers. And on this theme, what many people don’t realise is that this omission of products is very important on the beers gaining control. If the product beer is not defined in a precise way, people don’t know if they’re getting beer or not, and success is really the key if you want the achievement of Reinheitsgebot. In Germany, with all the beer, you know you get an absolutely pure drink with malt, hops and water, and a what they do in flavour can be dramatic. You can have strong beers, less strong beers, beers which have a fruity aroma, a winey aroma, a very light aroma, a hoppy aroma. All those things depending on the style of fermenting, the style of hops, there are something like two to three hundred styles of hops, hundreds of different yeast strains that produce completely different aromas. And so if you have the knowhow, you can make very interesting, very different things comprised out of those very pure ingredients going in. Hops, malt, water, it’s amazing what we can do with them. There’s no need to use any other ingredients. There’s no need to use any chemicals whatsoever. We’ve proved that it can be done. You can make a beer with no pasteurisation, no chemicals, with a one year shelf life, as a natural product, using standards in the German industry. Why do you need chemicals if it’s not absolutely necessary? And the basic idea is, if you cannot possibly produce it without chemicals, then OK, but if it is possible, why not BAN IT and only allow what is naturally pure? An that’s the way that we still do beer. I feel sympathy that people may be OK with pouring in different flavours and if they need that, I’ll give them a book, ‘1000 Cocktails Based On Beer’, and they can make any mix they want
Beer Goggles-   (Laughing) I almost feel like crying when you speak like that, because that is so passionate about putting proper ingredients in beer.
Prince Luitpold- Yes, and I think in England, you have a great history with beer. You have a slightly different way with finings, but this is English tradition. But listen, at the end of the day, people still want beer made from hops, malt, and water, and not from any others. I don’t know, lumps of sugar, spiced with chocolate, and I don’t know what.
Beer Goggles-   There’s nothing wrong with those beers, but as you say they are a different..
Prince Luitpold- There’s nothing wrong with those drinks. As a Bavarian I would say, nothing wrong with the drinks. It’s a question of what you’re getting. You’re getting an alcoholic malt based beverage, or say, a chocolate based malt beverage, or whatever, but it’s not a beer, and that’s a different thing. Now if you have a beer, and you say, OK, I want to add something into it, leave this to the inn keeper. They can say, OK I’ve bought this clean beer from the brewery and I make my special recipe for the consumer by adding things in the cellar in the pump, or adding something in the cask. This, I have no problem with. I have a problem with the way that a brewer should think about making the most perfect, clean, natural product.
Beer Goggles-    It’s been proved in tonight’s tasting. In tonight’s tasting, you have shown with just a few beers, just how wide a variety you can get. And that’s with just a few beers.
Another question for you if you don’t mind. I was called to beer later on in life. Before that, I was into what I call the indoctrination corporation chemical McLagers. You yourself have been born into history. You’ve been born into a brewing family. How has that felt as a child growing up in the beer world?
Prince Luitpold- Always fun. The beer world is full of enjoyment. We had parties, festivals, interesting people, and it’s not uniform to Germany. It is an international brew, it’s a family. And you can go wherever you want in the world, if you come as a brewer, or come as a consumer, you can speak to a brewer, you have a base platform to start off with, and this I think is a very friendly platform the world over. It’s something I’ve always enjoyed.
Beer Goggles-   A universal language, yes. Thank you very much for chatting with us here. Finally, for any brewers out there,have you got any pearls of wisdom, any bits of advice for people either starting breweries up, commercial brewing, or hoping to venture a bit further forward in the brewing world?
Prince Luitpold- I think one of the key things in beer is, we should make products which are not necessarily reinventing the wheel. We should try to make beers which are pleasant to drink, which people enjoy drinking, we should make things which are long lasting. I think the key thing is that if you make a beer, you say look here, I’ll work enough to make, in that style, something which is continuous,the best of it’s kind, in each style. Not try to go for this, or go for this, or the next beer, and the next stage, or something else. This is testing, but it’s not something maybe industrial for the one brewing. But at the end of the day, the consumer always wants to have something with a certain amount of reliability. I think brewers should try to really work hard to get the best out of their own facilities that they could possibly do in a consistent way. Now this could be a very different style of beer, but they should say, OK, that’s my favourite one, we should really try to go long term with it. Not just jump into the beer and say, add a bit of this, maybe a bit of that. They may stand for an immense amount of variety, but we loose the feeling of quality. Quality only can be achieved with dedication over the long term, in trying to tweak the little screws which make it perfect. Perfection is something you always need to work towards.
Beer Goggles-   Your Royal Highness, thank you very much for spending time with me.
Prince Luitpold- Keep enjoying good beer.
Beer Goggles-   Oh I do, thank you. Cheers!


Thursday, 15 August 2013

How to get the best out of a beer festival


1. Visit the festival website and note any beers that are rare, limited, or special editions.

2. Aim to hit the festival on the early days. Even big festivals run out of both bottled and cask beers. Also, some beers may get a little old, so going at the start means you get the best of fresh casks.

3. Arrive early, as some beers are in limited supply and may be in high demand.

4. Buy a program.

5. Buy a pint glass but only drink thirds (third of pint measures).

6. Give the beer a twirl in the glass and bury your face into the glass for a good long sniff.

7. Let your brain chew over the different aromas gathered in the glass.

8. Put lips to the glass and fill your head by breathing in deeply through nose AND mouth.

9. Hold that breath and take a big gob full. Fill your head and your soul.

10. Whoosh it for a second and swallow.

11. Don't slurp and whistle in reverse etc (people WILL giggle. Even at a beer festival.)

12. No matter how much you enjoyed the beer, make a note of your thoughts and move on.

13. Mainly though, HAVE FUN. Beer is a serious art, but it is, first and foremost, FUN.


Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Thwaites 13 Guns American IPA

Yo, dude this beer is goddam sick! It's frickin' bad man! Whoop whoop whoop! You da man! Etc.
OK translation time before you get the wrong idea.
My poor U.S. colloquialisms, believe it or not, are actually trying to state the sheer quality, class, and panache of this colossal and monumental brew.
When you hear about a quintessentially English brewery taking on an American 'Style' IPA, you think, "oh dear, I've seen this go wrong before with beers labelled (or rather libelled) as 'American' IPA". This though was SO GOOD at playing our Yankee cousins at their own game, that it was like the Lancashire County Cricket Club winning the World Series Of Baseball.
Whilst at the 2012 GBBF (Great British Beer Festival) I had the pleasure of sampling, on cask, a few BIG beers from across the pond. I'd just finished a third of the delicious 'Stone Brewing Sublimely Self Righteous', when friend and beer god, Rob 'Hopzine' Derbyshire lead me excitedly, on a meandering pickled path towards the Thwaites bar. "Oh dear", I thought, "Rob has taken me away from Stones to lead me to Thwaites. He really must have had too many samples." I needn't have worried, for he'd sniffed a real winner out, like a Bloodhound on a promise.
We met with Ian Bearpark (Thwaites Director Of Brewing) who promptly bought us a round of 'Thwaites 13 Guns'. The majority view of the several reviewers, attracted to the news of this beer like bees around sugar, was that this was simply the best beer of the festival. Whilst chatting with Ian, I mentioned that this absolutely MUST be bottled and shared with everyone. The seed must have found a fertile mind, for after a few attempts to perfect the conditioning etc, Thwaites had finally bottled a beer to match ANYTHING in the world.
To use an American vernacular, IT'S AWESOME!!
Well worthy of a 13 gun salute. Make them magnums too please.
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Thursday, 28 June 2012

Durham Brewery - White Stout 7.2%

Durham White Stout
Brewery: Durham Brewery

Beer: White Stout 7.2% (Bottled)

Style: Stout Pale Ale

Brewery Address:
The Durham Brewery,
Unit 6a, Bowburn North Ind Est.,
Bowburn, County Durham, DH6 5PF


It's not often you are at the birth, or even rebirth of a beer style/category, but this really is it.
To be brutally and rudely honest, at first I just thought a beer called 'White Stout' was sure to be a gimmick. Now I've tasted it for myself though, as much as it may receive a certain amount of media attention due to the almost oxymorial name, it is definitely no gimmick.
Look at the meaning of the word 'stout' and you'll see that it can also mean big and strong. The beer term 'Stout' that has become synonymous with jet black dark beer, was simply the adjective in the old term 'Stout Porter', meaning a strong or heavily malted porter. Stout was also used to describe other strong beers. Therefore you could have a stoutly hopped beer, with a stout abv, and stout malts, all poured into a stout glass for a stout hearted man. This is a resurrection of an old style revamped to the max. Hefty and powerful in both pale malt and hops, it is a symphony of massive rich luxury in a perfect harmony of resinous resonance. A devilishly decadent cadence of percussive foot stomping hops are in stonking stereo chorus with a velvet wave of an angelic malty choir soaring to the heavens.
The ABV says 7.2%, but this is Alcohol By VOLUME, and this one goes up to ELEVEN!!!!

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Thomas Hardy Ale - What Would You Do?

Quicky question-
You have a bottle of 1974 vintage Thomas Hardy Ale.
What do you do with it?
1. Take it to the grave?
2. Drink it now?
3. Wait 2 years for its 40th Birthday?
4. Sell it?

The beers that came with this.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Harveys Albert Le Coq - Imperial Extra Double Stout 9.0%

Tiny bottle
Brewery: Harveys

Beer: Imperial Extra Double Stout

Style: Imperial Stout

Brewery Address:
6 Cliffe High Street,
Town Centre,
Lewes BN7 2AH

Brewery Website:

Shakespeare was a much better wordsmith than I, but he didn’t review beers, so there.
I would though, like to borrow his words to approach the tongue tied feelings I had whilst writing about this heavenly stout. In the play ‘Henry V’ the eponymous hero is trying to win the heart of the fair maiden, Princess Katherine. Stumbling upon his inarticulacy, he tells her, “I have neither words nor measure. I cannot gasp out my eloquence. A speaker is but a prater, a rhyme is but a ballad.”
I know his pain oh too well.

When attempting to describe this gloriously complex rapture of the senses, I felt like a blunt instrument. My oafish monosyllabic monochromatic words struggled to express my emotions and were mere dyslexic dribbly scribblings with all the passionate expression of a methadone metronome mangling Mozart. It is said that the pen is mightier than the sword. Whoever said that (probably Euripides originally) obviously wasn’t bought up on my manor. OK I jest, but I did feel I was nakedly brandishing a McDonald’s plastic knife whilst the other clan, consisting of a myriad of huge flavours and mighty bouquets, all came flourishing monumental Claymores. Great thinkers and poets from Aristotle to Wordsworth have tried to describe and define beauty using sharper pens and wits than mine.
I’m now going to try putting this magnificence into words with my blunt non-toxic crayons. Please forgive my lack of eloquence.

Hands shaking, I opened the tiny 275ml bottle, and after a pensive pause, poured this black beauty. It exuded rich as Scania engine oil into my cheap glass and I almost expected an escorting fanfare. I stared into the darkness; it stared back and beckoned me in to dance. I was already lost, and like a snorting bull in a china shop, I went blustering blindly in for the foreplay of sensual perfumes. A velvet gloved fistful of exquisitely expressive aromas immediately punched me on the nose, and it was absolutely heavenly. Trying to be more genteel, I shoved my snout in for another snuffle. The fragrances were a beautiful brewtopia of bulging buxom bouquets. Blackstrap molasses mingled with plummy prunes, new leather, raisins, ristretto espresso and sweet pipe tobacco. The sip I took weighed a tonne and was the most monumental beer experience I’ve yet had. A frail tangerine was being gang molested by an army of lush flavourites that included; high cocoa chocolate, vanilla, cashews, liquorice, cloves, over ripe cherries, well toasted muffins, Garibaldi biscuits, caffé latte, Marmite, the kitchen sink, a partridge in a pear tree, and Uncle Tom Cobbly and all. There were so many complex flavours packed into such a diminutive bottle, that I was absolutely flabbergasted, in fact, my gast had never been quite so flabbered. Every time I rose from the canvas and went in for more, I was knocked out by those mighty heavyweight flavours and aromas once again. Yet every single mouthful offered more still.

Sit down with one and tell me how many you find.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Sadlers - Mud City Stout 6.6%

Brewery: Sadlers

Beverage: Mud City Stout 6.6% (Bottled)
Style: Stout

Brewery Address:
 7 Stourbridge Road,
West Midlands, DY9 7DG

Putting a Head Brewer and a Head Chef together could be a head butting recipe for disaster. A dangerous case of 'Too many heads spoiling the brew'. Well this dynamic duo is heading to the rescue of tired tormented taste buds throughout the land. This bottled beauty is a perfect pint of poetic harmonious heady flavours. Caramel sweet and smoky bitter dark malts combine with fresh vanilla pods and raw cocoa beans to compose a pure heady symphony of delight. Too often these types of drink can be a bit too Cocoa The Clown and taste sickly of dry grainy powdered chocolate thrown unceremoniously into your beer. This sensual stout, on the other hand, is a luscious wet dream of being afloat on a sea of liquid chocolate. It has managed to be both lush and bouncy, and yet still grown up and refined. Just like what I am.
It’s pukka class in a glass.
Head out and neck one.

Beer, Ingredient List Or Not?

Ingredient List Or Not

Views: Beer, Ingredient List Or Not

Information Websites:

Whether you're gulping mouthfuls of 'Spotted Dick',
slurping down a thick juicy 'Cock
Soup', or perhaps even dumping a steaming dollop of 'Shito Hot Chilli Sauce' into your cooking, you are still making an informed choice upon ingredients.
We can choose to avoid chemical additives, because each of those products has to, by law and by pain of death, include an ingredient list. Everything we drink or eat has this type of legal binding ingredient list except, that is, for alcohol drinks.
Why not?

Most beer, especially quality beer, is made from four wholesome, pure and tasty ingredients. Using just Barley, Hops, Water, and Yeast, it’s been possible to make many thousands of beautiful and very different beers, and proper brewing is still mainly a noble art. There are though, some underhanded brewers that are chemically disguising cheap insipid ingredients such as rice, maize corn, etc. by shovelling in colouring, sugar, sweeteners, flavourings and thickeners until their beers are mutton dressed as Lambic.

OK, you can now relax.
I’m not gonna get too technical and bore you with the science behind additives.
I won't be rattling on about chemicals such as propylene glycol alginate, and the way it adds a snotty, gummy, Vaseline like, gluey, meringue head on those indoctrination corporation McLagers and McAles, as that would be boring.
Neither am I going to rant on about reports of E150 colourings having circulatory system toxicity, or carcinogenic (cancer causing) properties. I promise not to weigh down this piece by going into why the Centre for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) are petitioning the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to revoke the GRAS (Generally Recognised as Safe) status of the E150 colourings. I’d also be sending you into the land of slumber with the mere mention that many drinks using the E150 colourings exceed the NSRL (No Significant Risk Level) by 1063% per 500ml bottle, and thus dive headlong, way beyond the Significant Risk Levels. 
Many Drinks Are Loaded With Over 10 Times
The Significant Risk Level For E150 Dyes
Yet believe it or not, that is not my main gripe here and the science is boring (believe me, I know just how boring because I've waded through shed loads of it). Anyway we also consume other food and drink products that further add to those risk levels. The BIG difference is in the knowledge we are given about these additives.

We are kept in the dark about the science of unnatural chemical additions to the food and drink that we put into our bodies, and hear many conflicting reports as to their safety. From childhood, we learn about the dangers of smoking, of drugs and of excessive alcohol consumption and can make educated choices regarding these. Alcohol drinks must legally exhibit their ABV, as well as scientifically documented medical guidelines regarding our intake. We can then set an informed benchmark for our own consumption. We have little or no education, though, when it comes to the dangers and/or side effects of consuming chemical additives, flavourings, sweeteners and E-Numbers etc. Even if we did know about this oily rainbow of additives, we still couldn’t possibly make an informed choice upon whether we want to ingest them or not. That's because there is seldom a full ingredient list on beer, wines or spirits. When a brewery does volunteer an ingredient list, those illusive and almost secretive additives are rarely on. Just try looking for them on brewery websites, literature, labels, etc. I have hunted these (invisible to the naked spy) ingredients down and it gives me a headache just thinking about it. Perhaps the Vogons have them filed somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse.
Vogon's Filing System
If one Christmas, a friend gave your child a 'Dr. Frankenstein Jr. Chemistry Set' and the ingredients list read; rho iso-alpha-acid (RIAA), protease, E150c ammonia caramel, E220, beta-glucanase, silicone, E290, amyloglucosidase, E405 propylene glycol alginate etc you'd probably be concerned. Would you be concerned if you found out that a few underhand breweries were quite legally hiding them right under your nose? Hiding them not under the carpet, but IN YOUR BEER!! Hidden in the beer you believed to be pure of body and spirit. Beer that you just paid your hard earned money for. It's an ugly looking list to see on a beer label, and maybe that's why a full disclosure of beer ingredients is as illusive as unicorn shovellings.
I hasten to add here that most of the smaller breweries are doing the right thing and are lovingly brewing liquid art using purely natural ingredients in the time honoured tradition. I applaud them and feel their pain that they have whilst competing against a loaded deck.
To quote Jamie Oliver, "If it reads like a chemistry set, you shouldn't put it in your basket", but we need that same choice that food consumers have.
Whether it is expensive beer, costing three figure sums, or beer libelled as 'premium' there is still more respect given to a penny chew sweet label, than to a beer libel.
You, the beer buying public are given less respect than those buying cat and dog food.
So, what do you think?
Ingredient list, or not?

What's in your beer?

Friday, 4 May 2012

Innis & Gunn - Original Oak Aged Beer 6.6%

Brewery: Innis & Gunn

Beverage: Oak Aged Beer 6.6% (Bottled)

Style: Speciality Ale

Brewery Address:
Innis & Gunn Brewing Company,
Reg. Office, CBC House,
24 Canning Street,

Brewery Website:

Imagine Justin Bieber and Katie Price going down in a lift at Canary Wharf, when the cable breaks. Some nasty people would say that’s the definitive happy accident. Well it’s not even in the same league as the happy accident responsible for this beer.
Whisky distillers, William Grant & Sons, wanted to make an 'ale cask' matured whisky. Previous attempts to match ale casks to whisky/whiskeys had failed, so Dougal Sharp, the present top dude at Innis & Gunn, was asked to brew a beer to fit the bill. A symbiotic, harmonious beer was brewed to leach out the whisky, and this added a smooth beer character to the oak casks. When the casks were ready, the ale was then thrown away (WHAT?), and replaced with the spirit. So delicious was the HIC beer that was being HIC throw away BURP, that the mystery of the wobbly employees was eventually solved and this fabulous beer was born. Nowadays, the casks are Kentucky Bourbon, and they impart smokey oaky notes to a chorus of honey nuts, malty milk biscuits, and vanilla. All these gorgeous flavours are spangled and entangled with deep joy blood oranges and sun dried mixed fruit. This beautiful drink is lusciously lusty and beautifully busty. It coats the roof of your mouth with a smooth full fat buttery velvet and hugs the tongue like a full fat woman on a cold night. I have only those three little words left to say.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Sainsbury Taste The Difference - Sparkling French Cider 4,0%

Brewery: Val De Rance (Les Celliers Associes)
as Sainsburys Taste The Difference 4.0%

Beverage: Medium Dry Sparkling French Cider 4.0% (Bottled)

Style: Cider

Brewery Address:
Val De Rance - Celliers Associes
24 Rue De Dinan,
22690,Pleudihen Sur Rance

Brewery Website:

I think I'm gonna cry. This royal throne of kings, this precious orchard set in the silver sea, this blessed plot, this Earth, this septic isle, this realm, this England, produces the very best apples in the world. We have the perfect apple growing climate for the finest ingredients, plus years of experience and tradition, yet the very best cider I've tasted is French. It's smooth, sauve and suffocated cider that's full of complex flavours. Lovingly made from the juice pressed from hand picked Brittany cider apples that is then slow fermented. It's not too harsh and not too sweet. It has a sexy bitter oak & sensual vanilla aftertaste, that mingles with a fresh bouquet of apple blossom, and gets glamourous and amorous with the whole olfactory factory in an orgy of decadence.
IT IS BEAUTIFUL. To quote a famous Anglo/French oxymoron (the best type of moron), it has that certain je nais se quoi.
Félicitations à la France.  C'est magnifique!

Fullers - Golden Pride 8.5%

Brewery: Fullers

Beverage: Golden Pride 8.5% (Bottled)

Style: Barley Wine

Brewery Address:
Fuller, Smith & Turner P.L.C.
The Griffin Brewery
Chiswick Lane South
W4 2QB

Brewery Website:

Don’t just take pride, take Golden Pride.
Golden Pride may well have a high abv, but unlike many strong beers it's not a rugby player in a tutu. The flavours are powerfully taste full, yet tastefully subtle and balanced. Its hefty 8.5% alcohol presence isn't just there for numbers, but adds to the spectacular symphony and helps carry those heavyweight flavours. The malts are bold, but are neither imbalanced nor bulging. Those rich shortbread, Garibaldi biscuits and toasted fresh bread notes are smoothed and soothed with the thick cut mature marmalade of Challenger hops and air dried with a gorgeous Northdown hop edge. These brewers really are artists and should be celebrated as such. The Tate gallery should have a Fuller's exhibition.