Sunday, April 24, 2011

Just A Dash Of Liquid Courage: #3

Sorry for the short post here, folks. Not up to writing a bunch right now. At any rate, I came across this once, and thought it sounded interesting. I mean, it's the closest thing I can get to a braggot. So, I figured I'd try it. Mind you, even after trying it, I'm still not sure if it's a braggot or not, but it's pretty damned good.

Fuller's Organic Honey Dew
500mL bottle at 5.0% ABV
Appearance: 8/10 (B)
A light beer with a rich amber color, reminiscent of a clear honey, though lacking in clarity somewhat. The lacing is very white, even and unexpectedly clean.
Aroma/Nose: 9/10 (A-)
A delightfully rich and flavorful aroma, smelling of just the perfect blend of honey and hops. It comes on a little strong, though.
Mouthfeel: 6.5/10 (C)
A smooth and heavy beer, for a lager, with a rather slick finish and just the right amount of carbonation.
Flavor: 8/10 (B)
A rich blast honey flavor without the overwhelming sweetness, though sweeter than your typical beer. It has malty hops in the undertones, and a pleasantly heavy aftertaste.
Overview: 8/10 (B)
Hands down one of the best lagers I've ever had, and the honey is a pleasant addition to what would otherwise be an ordinary beer, and it's at a good price of only five dollars.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Just A Dash Of Liquid Courage: #2

Personally, I'm a big fan of mead. Unfortunately, the stuff is almost unheard of in this country here, quaint little New Zealand. So, I usually brew my own stuff. However, I was pleasantly surprised during a trip through the store when I found this particular bottle. So, I figured I'd try it out.

You might want to know that meads are particularly touchy when it comes to brewing them, though, pretty much like wines. Very subtle differences in the brewing methods can cause entirely different flavors, and so to get a really good mead is difficult. While it's not a bad drink in itself, I'm rather turned off from it by the off-flavors present.

Alchemy 1st Night Manuka 'Honey Wine' (Actually a mead)
750mL bottle at 11.5% ABV
Appearance: 7.5/10 (B-)
Though rich and golden in color, this mead is perhaps a little darker than is expected for such a drink. I expect it to be quite sweet, from the way it clings to the glass.
Aroma/Nose: 6.5/10 (C)
Though mild and thoroughly pleasant, this drink has an unusual smell that is difficult to pick up, of honeycomb and oak. It's a smell that I can only truly describe as being like sweet honeycomb stuffed into a dirty sock.
Mouthfeel: 7/10 (C+)
A little prickly and rather thin for something so sweet, the sensation of this drink on the tongue is mediocre, at best. It gains a bonus for a nice, throat-warming tail, though, without being harsh.
Flavor: 7/10 (C+)
Though sweeter than most dessert wines, this drink is still much less cloying than expected from a product made of honey, even with a hint of tanginess, and has the particularly unique flavor of manuka over the surface with fruity hints of apricot and cherry, underlined with a woody aftertone. I am unsure if I like it or not.
Overview: 7/10 (C+)
I suppose for a country that's never had any other experience with mead, it's surprisingly good for a first time product. It may not, however, be to everyone's tastes. From the flavors, I'm guessing they used a yeast strain intended for grape wine. Mead usually turns out better with an ale yeast, though.