One of the highlights of the Alltech festival is always (ie twice so far) the beers from abroad that we don't normally see here. Ticker heaven. Lots of unfamiliar European breweries had either sent beer along or showed up in person.
Next door was the Catalan brewery Espiga. They had just the one beer pouring: Bruna. It's red-gold and tastes powerfully of dusty grain sack. A layer of candy store hops and just a tiny touch of weedy dank rescues it, but doesn't bring it any higher up my approval scale than "acceptable".
I've tried. Amarsi is 7.1% ABV though tastes stronger, hopped with a combination of Amarillo and Simcoe for some lovely tangerine and nectarine, but the booziness kind of interferes with the fresh fruitiness. A lighter touch is needed, I think.
While we're on hot and Teutonic, a sample of Salm's Burning Hell was secured by Reuben after one of the formal tastings. It's a chilli-infused pale lager, pouring hazy yellow and reeking of vinegary sourness. The chilli element is sharp and long, dominating the flavour all the way to a dry chilli-skin finish. It's pretty disgusting, but I reckon that's more to do with the quality of the base lager than what's been done to it.
Simon) took it to school, exhibiting a sumptuous silkiness underlying warming satisfying cocoa. A real comfy armchair of a beer.
I couldn't help wondering if anyone pointed out to Danish contract brewers Coisbo that their name translates as "FootCow" in Irish. They have some very stylish minimalist branding, alluring beer names, and ended up taking the top prize in the professionally judged competition for their Four imperial stout. I was surprised when I heard. I mean, it's nice, but my notes say it was rather light and plain for a 10% ABV beer, never mind for an international award winner.
A handful of Americans to finish us off, in the next post.
Westmalle Dubbel - *Origin: Belgium | Date: 2008 | ABV: 7% | On The Beer Nut: October 2007* It's a longtime favourite today. Westmalle Dubbel goes back to the very beginnings...
1 week ago