Wednesday 17 December 2014

The Treat of Utrecht

All-day session: Rooie Dop have
brewed a blinder here.
Brought to you by Mark Love

First off, a public service announcement. If you're in the Chicago area tomorrow, you could do worse than head along to the Pusha T show, as promoted by Eventful.

Now, where was I? Oh yes. Today. Been a bit of a strange one if I'm honest. Woke up at daft o'clock again and couldn't get back to sleep – a ruddy annoying thing that's happening with increasing regularity lately. I appear to be developing into something of a crepuscular creature and I'm not enjoying it.

It was just about acceptable when I knew there was a damn good reason for it earlier this year – nothing like an extended bout of emotional angst to disturb the sleeping patterns. But now? Now I've no excuse, which is making my nocturnal awakenings all the more bothersome.

And it's not as if the alcohol is helping either. Time was a swift couple of pints followed by a calendar beer would see me through the night. Not any more. Either I need a couple of nightcaps too or, strangely enough, nothing at all before I'll get a decent night's sleep. The latter not being possible in December until gone Christmas.

The funny thing is, I'm not feeling particularly tired as a result of missing a couple of hours in the night. If anything, I was relatively spritely for most of today and have managed to work through the evening's chores with something approaching brio.

Now I'm going to carry that vigour through into this beer. It's a new brewery to me is Utrecht-based Rooie Dop. The city isn't, though. I've been a couple of times to visit one of my then clients, a large Dutch banking group. It's got possibly the ugliest station in the known world – and I've been to a few – but the canalside areas in the old town are worth a visit.

Tonight, despite the insomnia, in the new-found spirit of quasi-temperance, I'm leaving it at just one. At least I'm rattling through my book thanks to the waking hours.

Beer: Rooie Dop 24/7 Session Ale
Strength: A relatively sessionable 4.9%
Smell: Sweet, sweet beer. That's what it smells of. And an ever-so-faint whiff of catpiss.
Tasting notes: Interesting. And not in the mildly sarcastic way either. I thought it'd be much sweeter than this, but after an initial burst of fruitiness, it drifts slowly and inexorably into bitterness and insistent douleur. In a beer, this – for me – is a wonderful thing. This is a cracking little session ale that's got a fair bit to shout about and isn't afraid to speak its mind. Small it may be, but it has all the punch of a well-trained bantamweight in peak condition and, right now, it's pummelling the living shit out of my tastebuds. And, you know what? I don't care. I can take this and more. I've coped admirably in the past and, now I've developed a taste for it, am bang up for doing this all over again.
Session factor: With a name like 24/7 Session Ale, you don't really need to ask. But since you are, it's stratospherically high. If challenged, I reckon I could drink this all day.
Arbitrary score: 191,214
Sponsor: Mark Love

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