Monday, 11 April 2011

The Eighth Blackhurst Beer Festival (Part Two)

Continued as promised...

Beer Number Six - Schöfferhofen Hefeweizen (Germany, 5%)
Try saying that three times fast before and after drinking a bottle. This wheat beer rates quite highly in random lists of ‘my favourite beer’ and is apparently ‘quite savoury and spicy for a wheat beer’. Actually I have very little to write about this beer as the only comments I can find on the internet are in German. The only German I know is ‘schnell, schnell; achtung, achtung’ and, ‘ve have von the vorld cup more times’ – and it didn’t say that.

This beer is a wallflower at the alcoholic drinks annual ball
Cloves; wheaty
Fruity, dishwatery; someone dropped an orange in the sink and left it there for three weeks
Sieved through fish! Add to a fish pie – it may improve it
Like Robert Mugabe; separating the wheat from the chaff
Six kids in a bath leave a cleaner, fresher taste than this fish-soaked communist ‘must have or die’ national drink
OMG – who left the fish in? Radioactive!
Yes please!
Cloudy, like Invercargill; made with aftertaste in abundance
Didn’t like it – nutmeg flavour
Cloudy, frothy and strong – I had three sips but I still wouldn’t say I liked it
Yeast for Africa, maaaan, and cloves – I bet the monks made this; cheeky little monk ees
Wheat beer with lots of head – ooh er, Mrs
Foggier than a North York moor
Baked trout with coriander seed aka dirty fish and chip shop oil what’s been emptied in the sink

Another polarising beer - you either like wheat beer or you don't - this garnered a total of 69 points and ended up seventh overall.

Beer Number Seven - Tuatara Hefe (NZ, 5%)
Beer reviewer Neil Miller writes, ‘One to shake up your beer preconceptions is the Tuatara Hefe (5%). Hefeweizen literally means “yeast in wheat beer” and the suspended yeast gives the beer the characteristic (and desired) cloudiness. The classical aroma and flavour characteristics are there – vanilla, banana, juicyfruit gum and spicy cloves. Challenging to some palates, this beer is spritzy and quenching.’ And we like Neil Miller so we’ll believe him.

Strong fruity lager
Too fruity, spicy –ick!
Is this what they call eggnog? Would go with an omelette
Tight, like the nuns in the monastery where it was brewed
Rustic Norwegian flavours flow favourably throughout
A befitting tribute to the Belgian Beer Cafe in Christchurch – angelica aftertaste
Serve with mussels and chips
A great beer which is then strained through Spaz’s used running shorts to add extra body and those bits that get stuck in your teeth
Brewed in old miners’ socks; strained through his undies – didn’t like the look of it; it tasted even worse
Overtones of vomit
Sweet and apricoty – this would be a good beer to have in the fridge because my husband hates it
Fizzy – nice and strong
I want to say nice and light and really tasty but, well, 30% isn’t a pass, is it? Not heavy enough to pin me down

So, we can conclude that my friends are not really wheat beer drinkers, then - this beer came 8th overall with 67 points.

Beer Number Eight - Belhaven Wee Heavy (Scotland, 6.5%)
Wee Heavy is a style of beer also known as Scotch Ale. Scottish beer used to be rated on the invoice price of ale per barrel based on the shilling currency; ‘wee heavy’ would have been known as 160/-. Strong ales were typically sold in bottles in ‘nips’ of 6 fluid ounces which equates to 1/3 Imperial pint. These ‘nips’ were also known as ‘Wee Heavy’, hence the origin of this term.

The Beer Advocate explains, ‘Scotch Ales traditionally go through a long boil in the kettle for a caramelization of the wort. This produces a deep copper to brown in colored brew. Compared to Scottish Ales, they'll be sweeter and fuller-bodied, and of course higher in alcohol, with a much more pronounced malty caramel and roasted malt flavor. A low tea-like bitterness can be found in many examples.’

Meanwhile, the Belhaven website opines, ‘It may have come from a right old recipe but Wee Heavy fits the bill today as much as it ever has. It is a classic Scottish heavy but has a lightness of flavour and a great reddish colour in the glass. A beer to be sipped, savoured and fully respected. Cracking stuff if we do say so ourselves.’

Chocolate bitter – very full and warm flavours
Now we’re talking! Malty, sweet chocolate, roasted malt, soft finish
Would put a gloss on your coat
Cocoa, caramel, thick as Paul Faulkner and equally harsh on the nose
Sweet desert beer – heavy German tang; European flavours hand heavy in the mouth as an aftertaste
A confusing number much like Morris Dancing – inexplicable
Sweet, darker, malty, sitting on top of my pie and peas
Pure liquid wonderment
Malty and sweet – bring it on!
Malt vinegar, but sweet and brown and fizzy – oh, and yucky
Darth Vader turns good – chocolate, molasses and treacle
Dark chocolate
Smells like a student flat in Castle Street – tastes like sweet liquorice and malt; a tad too sweet to have a session on though

Ladies and gentlemen; we have a winner. No one ranked this beer lower than five, and it was the only beer to score over a hundred (only just, with 101, but that makes it a 7/10 average).

Beer Number Nine - Chimay Premiere (Red), (Belgium, 7%)
Chimay Red is a Trappist beer brewed by the Cistercian Trappist monks to go with their cheese since 1862 – probably not the same monks, although possibly the same cheese. All Trappist beer is sold only for financial support of the monastery ‘and good causes’ – clearly such as the BBF.

When sold in the 75cl bottle, the Chimay Red is known as Première. It is a top-fermentation beer (see  Coopers Sparkling Ale) and is noted for its coppery colour and creamy head. The (interestingly translated) Belgian website notes, ‘The taste perceived in the mouth is a balance confirming the fruity nuances noticed in the fragrance. Its taste, which imparts a silk sensation to the tongue, is made refreshing by a light touch of bitterness. To the palate, the taster perceives a pleasant astringency which complements the flavour qualities of this beer very harmoniously.’ I imagine the translator moved on from this website to the latest Stieg Larsson novel.

Bit fizzy; very tangy; old socks
Smoky; hint of possum urine and old goldfish water finish
Ah, now that’s me!! Sit on the deck and drink all day
Soda stream – get busy with the fizzy
Vitamised, carbonised, yeast-flavoured, mouth-staining shit; not to be used if you plan t kiss a female
‘Beers Fizz’ – an 80s band; making my mind up...
I like beer
If this beer was human it would be called Kevin and drive a Ford Capri Ghia
Rainwater left to rust in a 23-year-old 44 gallon drum
Aromas of apples, and indeed has flavours of burnt apples
Nuts! Well, you’d need to be to drink this
Muddy, murky, strong apples
Looks like a badly-poured home brew – very malty and far too sweet

Very disappointing after the last offering - I think we were all expecting more from the mighty Chimay - however, this limped in equal last with 58.

Beer Number Ten - Epic Porta Marillo (NZ, 7%)
The cheeky chappies at Epic (producers of New Zealand’s finest IPA in my not-so-humble opinion) co-operated with America’s Dogfish Head brewery to create a new brew for Beervana in August 2010. The beer, Porta Marillo, is an ‘imperial sorta-porter’ made with tamarillos. These weird fruit are an acquired taste (you have to eat them as part of your citizenship test); they have been roasted over Pohutukawa wood to impart a smoky flavour to the beer and Southern Cross hops are used.

The beer was launched commercially as a festival ale in November 2010. According to Wellington blogger, Nick Churchouse, it’s a sort of ‘Christmas carol in a pint glass – looking like a beautiful dark Christmas Eve, sparkling with all the promise of the Star of Bethlehem’. He may have had one too many. Can there be such a thing? Discuss...

Heavy, dark, molasses and coffee
Dark roasted espresso – nice bitter; Ay, that’s loverly, chuck!
It would make me shit through the eye of a needle
Cuban cigars and wet dog
Like the Irish: thick fluid, arrogant, ignorant and leaving a bad taste in the mouth
Stouty but thin
Bicarbonate of soda, or green lipped mussels
Luke, I am your father
Blacker than a bailiff’s heart – lovely sarsaparilla
Delicious malty and Irish with a hint of liquorice
Bitter stout with a very strong flavour – good for your daily iron intake
Gives me a headache – too much aniseed
Very dark
Roast toasty winter night with beef and oyster stew – Aged in port barrels?

So the other Kiwi beer came fourth overall with 83 points, although three people rated it their favourite beer of the night - more than any other.

And that's it for another year...


Anonymous said...

Did you see this? Two beers named after The Fall and one after Kraftwerk.


Anonymous said...

Wow - I don't know whether I want to try any of those beers - based on the reviewing.
Wish I could have been there though to partake in the festivities.
pipi d

Kate Blackhurst said...

Ha, I like the comment about The Fall beer being, 'extremely bitter and takes time to finish'. 'The short sharp sensation' of the Blitzkreig Hop sounds good though!

Kate x