|Aptly monikered: a best bitter that
actually lives up to its name
There's no getting away from it. Happens every year. At least this year I've not had some romance-related catastrophe to deal with, for which I'm terrifically grateful. And I haven't even looked at the webpage hits plummeting, so it's not that either.
No, I think it's just the hectic schedule combined with the relentless regularity of beer drinking that's chipped away at the resolve from the inside and finally the whole thing has come crashing down around my ears.
Actually, it's not that bad. I'm just tired out and work is being a pain. There isn't going to be any let-up either. More social nights out are in the diary, clients are going to get ever more frantic and still I have a beer to drink and write about till Christmas Eve.
I know what you're thinking. This is 'First World Griping' out of the top drawer. Poor chap has to drink beer. Diddums. And you'd be right. The upside is, and I don't know how he's managed it, Sam has scheduled me a nice and accessible low percentage best bitter for this evening.
Reckon even I can stomach that without too much bellyaching.
Beer: Best bitter
Strength: A well-timed 4.5%
Smell: It genuinely smells like bread and butter. Specifically, the stuff you get at cheap cafés to dip in yer Minestrone.
Tasting notes: That is a really top-notch best bitter. I'm not going to bleat on about finely balanced malts and hops because that's frankly meaningless to a whole load of readers (assuming anyone's still persevering). What I am going to bleat on about is the fact it has a taste profile not unlike a boa constrictor that's eaten a gnu several hours ago. Smooth and sleek at first, it's then huge in the middle before gradually tailing off nicely at the end. I don't mind that it looks a bit dank, like sodden bricks on a hillside in Bolton. It's providing all that I ask from a best and isn't going to upset the delicate applecart that is my long-suffering liver.
Session factor: Big. This is slipping down like Franz Klammer*.
Gut reaction: Soothing. Calming. Warming.
*downhill skier from the early 1970s, for the younger viewers.
Actual beer: Bath Ales Barnsey. One of their better ones, I reckon. Improves over the course of a glass too. Good stuff.