Thursday, May 30, 2013

Fuller's London Black Cab Stout.

Ah English beers, I have a awkward relationship with you. I sometimes like you but sometimes you are so weird to my new world palate.

But the more I drink you, the more I like you and not just in a everything tastes good after the fifth glass way.

So I had the stout out of the fridge while I did a little housework and let it warm up to New Zealand winter room temp (don't know why I bothered really but I'm every the delusional optimist).
Once I'd earned my beer I retired to the gloomy deck and poured a glass. Oh my black beauty, attractive little number aren't you ;) I think the beer is flirting with me, although it may just be the migraine medication I had to take this morning. Anyway the beer invites me to take in some of its aroma's before we get down to business.  Well hello dark roasted sugary sweet malts you smell very nice, plus some really dark dried fruit aromas that must be yeast driven. Do I smell a little wood or vanilla and just the subtlest hint of coffee?

The flavour is all that on the nose with an excellent smooth creamy mouthfeel. There's some bitterness from hops not evident in the aroma that add a lovely balance and more coffee comes shining through. A little bitter cocoa with a roasty note also adds complexity. Its not too big, but not small either, there's enough richness in the finish to be really satisfying but its not so heavy as to become overwhelming.

I enjoyed the bottle more and more as it warmed up, a satisfying stout that I would drink again.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Tuatara Conehead

I pretty much love everything about this beer. From purchase to cleaning the bottle for homebrew its all a joyful experience. (Speaking of homebrewing, if anyone else is drinking this beer please save me the bottles.)

Firstly its $8.90 a bottle from Brothers Beer, Glengarry and hopefully other outlets I've yet to visit in my search. The bottle is damn cool. Scales and a Tuatara eye on the bottle cap, cool cool cool. The label reminds me of a house we used to rent in Whangarei with an original 70's kitchen, so brown, so orange (and teal green carpet with velvet curtains, oh god the place was a living museum). I don't know what they were thinking with the label actually. But its okay all is forgiven when you pop that cap. This brew is fresh, aroma, is so green and piney, fuzzy green green peaches, resin, hops, all so good. 

Its pours so clear, its like a lager in colour, a beautiful gold with a glass lovin lacey head. No chill haze, and unlike a certain beer I wont name (*cough...Hallertau stuntman) no hop sludge in the bottom of the bottle. No need to prove you put hops in by leaving some in the bottle, I can smell every single cone.

Sure its bitter, but in an oh so lovely way. There's a real art to balancing hop flavours and I can't fault this blend, its got Citra and Amarillo in the boil with Nelson Sauvin in the hop back. There's an impression of sweetness from the hop flavours too, a tempered and wise hand on the malt means theres no cloying aftertaste. Its a crisper finish than I'm used to in this style but works very very well.
It tastes like it smells and maybe thats because of the fresh hops, but it makes for satisfying drinking. 

I love it, more fresh hopped beers NZ brewers! (For 8 Wired.. high five!)