|Bok solid: a surprising drop of brown|
ale that bears further scrutiny
It's around 10 weeks since I became self-employed and I've only been in to the old office once since, to pick up a few things I couldn't carry off the day I left.
That changed today as I nipped in to collect the keys I'll need to man the place while they all go off for the annual Christmas party, this year being held in Paris.
I did get a chance to catch up with the blokes who bought my leaving presents, one of which was a voucher for Utobeer that I spent on stocking the calendar a few weeks back. So by rights, it's only fair to credit Ben and Gary for their amazing gift-buying prowess and in helping furnish me with the wherewithal to compile yet another bumper crop.
Today's is one I've never had before and having read the sleevenotes, I'm not particularly looking forward to it. A brown beer made with honey from Belgium. Cloying, overly sweet and heavy isn't going to help cut through the now traditional mid-calendar cold I've developed.
Never mind. More than halfway there after this one and there are some corkers still left to be opened, so I'll work my way through it I'm sure.
Beer: Barbar Bok
Strength: A sickly 8%
Colour: Dark, blood-stained wood
Smell: Big, bold, vodka-stained sticky toffee pudding
Tasting notes: Just goes to show you shouldn't really judge things too quickly. I thought I'd hate this, but as I started pouring it out of the bottle it began fizzing up, like I'd just dropped a couple of Alka-Seltzer in a cold cup of Bovril. And while the overall taste is fairly sweet, that's actually beautifully offset by whatever's causing that fizz. So what you get is some kind of Newton's Cradle effect on the tongue, with sour and sweet sides going off the scale at either end as you drain your mouth. The fizziness stays around much longer than the honey, though. A plus point in my book as it encourages you to have another go.
Gut reaction: Volatile stuff this. Tread carefully.
Session factor: Pretty low. Honey's OK in small doses, but you wouldn't fancy more than a glass of this every so often.
Arbitrary score: 320