Thursday 19 December 2013

Slow down selector

Brett plucky: takes more than a dash of
daring to face this monster
Why is the last mile the hardest mile? So sang one Stephen Patrick Morrissey when asking the massed ranks of indiedom whether it was really so strange way back in 1997. Some 16 years later, it's still a fair question. 

Because faced with what could quite easily be dispatched in an enthusiastic evening, I'm now beginning to hit the wall. And this despite thinking this will be the first year I actually manage to keep it regular and drink each beer on a separate day.

Cumulative effect? Feeling the pace? Running out of ideas? Maybe all of these, but one thing is for certain. I'm beginning to flag just as the end is in sight.

Take this evening's beer, for example. An old ale fermented with brettanomyces yeast. Had this come out at the outset, I'd have been falling over myself and several other things in my haste to try it. But today, I'm almost resentful of its inventiveness. In contrast, I couldn't get enough of last night's low-strength mild.

Which begs the question, can you have too much of a good thing? Now I realise this calendar probably wouldn't exist were it not for the huge variety of interesting beers available out there. And that maybe I'd have done it for a couple of years, then binned the idea. Nevertheless, I can't help thinking a few more bland, standard ales would have been more than welcome at the business end of this year's crate.

This is, of course, a pathetically veiled attempt to elicit sympathy from the reader as I'm about to plunge into the unknown and slug back a hefty, most-likely challenging beer. Of potentially dubious taste at that. Worse still, I've a beery bash to attend later. Oh woe, etc.

Well with any luck, there will be a commercially available calendar for sale next year so you can all join in and try it yourselves.

Beer: Old ale with brett
Strength: A particularly unwelcome 7%
Smell: Like walking past the Sarsons' vinegar factory along a damp Lancashire canal towpath
Tasting notes: Hahahaha! It's a triumph and a colossal blunder in one glass. Yes, it tastes of a pretty good old ale and there is some interesting stuff going on with the yeast that gives it a Belgian flavour. And right at the end there's a distinct if miniscule flicker of '70s confectionery delight Caramac, which is always a treat for me. But always in the back of my mind is the thought this is a beer that hasn't just jumped the shark, it's riding bareback on the thing clinging on to its dorsal fin and doing a passable impression of a rodeo cowboy. That's not to say it's unpleasant; it isn't. In fact, it is perfectly drinkable. I just can't help feeling it could have done with an editor (thanks, Boak & Bailey) before it came out of the brewery.
Session factor: Fairly low as it's pretty hefty and takes a bit of effort.
Gut reaction: Worried about the wild yeast, I imagine this one could run and run.

Actual beer: Wild Beer Modus Operandi. Ooops. I had their Schnoodlepip earlier this month and it provoked a similarly giggly response. I think I like this brewery.

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