Sunday, 12 February 2012

Light and Dark

I've been busy recently, lots of decorating, assembling furniture and a first turn at wallpapering hence the lack of recent posts. All good fun, not,  and now I have a weeks holiday just when its half term holiday.

I certainly though have not been denying myself some decent beers, including another trip to the Cardiff beer shop to pick up some new bottles. I did tend to hit the more well known names this time, Thronbridge and Kernel bottles, Mikkeller and Anchor again. I could have gone for some breweries I've not experienced before but the above mentioned when on the shelf I really felt I couldn't pass over.

Tonight however I drank one from my last shopping trip pre xmas, Orkney Brewery's Dragonhead stout, and then followed it with another bottle from the Mikkeller Single Hop IPA series, this time the Nelson Sauvin.

Obviously 2 very different styles of beer, but at the end of the day its still malts, water and hops.

 Orkney's Dragonhead, a surprisingly low 4% considering how it tastes, 500ml bottle.

On the other side is a Mikkeller Single Hop Nelson Sauvin IPA, a much bigger 6.9% abv, 330ml bottle.

 Both in excellent condition when opened, aroma's flowing free from the pour. One was chocolate, earthy notes and wood, the other bountiful exotic fruit, which was which??!!

The taste couldn't live up to the aroma's surely?
Oh yes, but first the look - black as a stout should be, with a head that clings on throughout being respectable to the image, and the colour of light melted chocolate, which I'm convinced got darker as I drank more. Oily in texture, good mouthful, you just keep swirling the glass to see how it looks and settles. Dark chocolate, light coffee on the tongue, woody and a little smoke. Total joy. Within the creamy sensation you get some vanilla, and then a good roasted end.

Why did i follow a stout with this IPA, I'm not totally sure. I know I wanted to continue the high qualitity I had just had had, I didn't want to be let down with a lacklustre beer and the last Mikkeller was a pretty good bottle. And I'd recently re-discovered Brewdog's 5am Saint and fancied another similar hit of hops, so hoped this would provide it.

Wonderful colour, sort of a bright copper, the citrus and passion fruit aroma. Great freshness again with this bottle like the last, the bitterness creeps back in your mouth and hits the back nicely, fades a little early but by then your going for another sip so it's a moot point. Crisp sharp orange that should be left in the fruit bowl a little longer, and a wonderful hop dryness.

Good choices.

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