Here we go again. I’m already up to 20 new beers, and it’s barely mid-september. I’m trying not to bore you by posting them all in one go.
8) Oettinger Pils (can): In some quarters this beer is being blamed for the alleged decline in German brewing. It is, apparently, Germany’s biggest-selling beer which some observers claim is purely down to the very low retail price when sold in supermarkets (is it available on draught?). The only time I’ve seen it being drunk in Germany is by lads just released from national service, or football fans swigging rowdily in Munich’s main station, watched by twitchy Polizei. Taste? Well, it doesn’t really have one – except for the faintest orange notes and a distinct metallic flavour, which presumably wouldn’t be there if this was from a bottle rather than a can. There was no discernable nose or finish. It’s crisp and refreshing, but then so is water. Despite all this, I actually quite enjoyed it.
9) Brewdog Punk IPA (bottle): Pungent, herby, hoppy nose. Cloudy, straw colour and an intensely hoppy and floral smack in the mouth. Long, long bitter finish. Deserves all the praise it’s been given. Not an easy drink, but a supremely enjoyable one. Really sorts the men from the boys, this. I just wish it was easier to find – this bottle was bought in a branch of the Edinburgh Woollen Mill, stacked next to the tweed skirts and shortbread biscuits.
10) Fraoch Heather Ale (bottle): The colour of malt whisky with a strongly sweet ‘botanic’ nose. Fast-vanishing head. Sort of ‘medicinal’ cloying sweetness with distinct notes of Coca-Cola and honey. Less full-bodied than a first whiff suggests. Faint but lasting sweet finish. Did I mention this was sweet? It was too sweet for me, but might go well with a curry.
11) Dent Brewery Owd Tup (bottle): Pours dark with a khaki, lacing head. Oak chips, barbecue smoke and treacle in the nose. Thin and sweet tasting, with liquorice coming through. Nothing distinctive – a bit of a disappointment. Champion Winter Beer Of Britain 1999 (it says here). Maybe it was a duff bottle.
(No pictures of the beers, I’m afraid, so I hope this shot of my brother-in-law’s dog Amy will do.)