Tag Archives: brewdog

Born To Enjoy By . . .

Two beers, that you are supposed to drink before Independence Day 2015 but saved for a year until the Aliens came back to be defeated without Will Smith (I assume they are defeated, I haven’t been to watch it yet).

First up is Brewdog’s Born to Die 04.07.2015

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Pours a glorious amber yellow with a slight haze.This isn’t as crystal clear as the last Born to Die that was released but I can’t remember if this one from a year ago was ever that clear. Pours with a fluffy white head that dissipates slowly.

On the nose is a sweet toffee aroma with a hint of citrus from the fading hops.

Still holds the bitterness with a sweet malt toffee backbone gives way to the last remaining hops fighting for their lives, more resin than citrus, to finish a slight burn from the 8.5% abv.

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Next up is Stone’s Enjoy By 07.04.15 (bloody Americans writing the date the wrong way round).

Pours a darker rich amber with a voluptuous fluffy white head. Even more murky than its predecessor. This beer has seen a much more dramatic decent . No floral hops have survived, giving way to a slight pine resin caramel on the nose.

More subtle alcohol burn despite the  9.4% with more caramel overtones and a darker resin replacing the once floral hops. There is hardly a hint of the hops that were once so prominent when fresh.

Overall both are still very drinkable beers despite being a year past their best before date. But Born to Die has held up much better and is by far the more drinkable beer after a year.

Unless you like how a double IPA turns into a barley wine with age then drink fresh. But if you find one in the back of the cupboard don’t pour it away, send it to me.

 


Food @BrewDogMancs

It’s been a few weeks now, but the last time I was in Manchester I took a trip to BrewDog. It would be rude not to. I had heard that they had changed the menu from burgers and pizzas to BBQ. I wouldn’t class the new menu as BBQ but that’s just me.

Before hand I was a bit gutted. I was looking forward to a Los Feliz or Lincoln (did the name get changed because Mancs can’t pronounce Los Feliz, Lincoln with the 2nd L isn’t that much better). I’ve had plenty of them in the past, even though the overlap between me living in Manchester and Brewdog opening was about six months. I took my brother on a bit of a pub crawl one time and we stopped for a Loz Feliz, he liked it that much (and it didn’t come with anything so didn’t fill you up) we ended up having two each. I think it was Dean who cleared our boards and said “did you enjoy the 2nd one” to which my brother said “even better than the first”.

I loved the Loz Feliz…

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But we needed food and I will give most things a try before I judge them. The price is a bit steeper, but at least you get a side. Why couldn’t you have had sides with the burgers, Brewdog Manchester? I went for the brisket with macaroni cheese (I’m not American so you can f*ck off with your Mac ‘n’ Cheese (shouldn’t that really be Mac’ ‘n’ Cheese?)). Mrs TramP went for pulled pork with burnt beans.

I have to say it was all really good. I think I made a good choice in side dish. The brisket was slightly spicy, but it was one of those that every bite added to the spice making it hotter and hotter. The macaroni cheese cut through it perfectly. The whole thing was quite filling, I wouldn’t really eat two in a row like I did with the Los Feliz, even though I probably could. The bit of pulled pork with BBQ sauce I tried was also really good. To be honest, you have to try pretty hard to mess pulled pork up. Then there was the burnt beans. Now I’m not a fan of baked beans, I will eat other beans but I don’t often chose to. Soft beans, lovely sauce with bits of meat in. I could be a convert. Mrs TramP said she could eat them all day and could have just had a big bowl of those without the pulled pork.

That was the good, now for the bad. The two slaws (if you can all them that) were crap. One was just shredded red cabbage the other white cabbage and onion. There was no dressing on them at all. Come on, a bit of vinaigrette or mayo based dressing could have made those slaws  and made the meal great. Leave them off or make them better.

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Over all the new menu is great and I would definitely work my way through it if I moved back to Manchester. But there will always be a place in my heart for the Los Feliz. Is it BBQ, I’m not sure.

 


Tokyo Rising Sun

Well, there is a beer from Aberdeen they call Tokyo Rising Sun and it’s been the ruin of many a poor boy and God I know I’m one.

Buried alive for four years only Sean Connery and Wesley Snipes know the true origins of how this beer came to be. Locked in a concrete tomb the first batch of Tokyo has finally been found by Colin and released from its Whisky caskets to produce 2,237 bottles from the Highland Casks and only 351 bottles from the Lowland Cask.

One beer went in, but two very different beers emerged from the darkness…

Lowland Cask

Popping the cap releases a perfume of light mellow Whisky sweetness. If no-one told you would you know this was a beer you are about to drink? Pouring unveils the super dark brown almost black liquid that creates almost no head that dissipates almost as quickly as it appeared. The mellow Whisky dominates the air trapping any previous aromas there may have been four years ago. I always chill beer before I drink it, this one came out of the fridge at 11.6°C and over the hour I spent nursing it slowly rose to 21.4°C. The first sip hits you with the Whisky and a sweet sweet dark brown sugar with an ever so slight burnt caramel coming through. Next a fruitiness appears, jasmine mixed with cranberries that hints at Christmas. Whilst cold, coffee ends the ride but as the beer warms the coffee background disappears and more Whisky alcohol ends the journey. Each sip warms the chest, this beer would be lovely to drink on a cold Winters eve. If you like sweetness, jasmine and Whisky then this is a lovely beer. It makes me want to create a Christmas pudding with the same balance of flavours.

Highland Cask

If opening the Lowland edition gives you a sweet gentle kiss, opening the Highland edition gives you a little slap. A very different Whisky aroma hits you, this time it’s much more of a medicinal hit rather than the sweetness of the Lowland Whisky. Pouring gives the same almost black liquid but a head is more willing to form and dissipates over a couple of seconds rather than instantaneously. The temperature for this one started at 11.8°C and warmed to 21.6°C. Unlike the Lowland edition there wasn’t as noticeable a change in flavours as the beer warmed up. The medicinal, peaty Whisky dominates this beer. More burnt caramel than sweet dark brown sugars come through with an afterthought of Oak. The jasmine and cranberries are all but lost. More of a coffee feel ends the battle. This beer reminds me a lot of Bitch Please especially the Islay edition, it’s a beer dominated by peat and medicinal flavours.

I have a sweet tooth and I’m not a huge fan of peaty flavours so the Lowland Cask is the one that does it for me.

But, and there is quite a big but, Tokyo* the 18% version (I haven’t had the original 12% Tokyo these beers came from) is my favourite beer. The first taste of Tokyo* blew me away, it was unlike anything I had ever tasted. So complicated but so well balanced, extremely easy to drink for something that is 18.2% and very very tasty. These two beers didn’t blow me away, the Lowland I haven’t had anything like it, the Highland I have. I’m sure there will be people out there who like one or both of these more than Tokyo*, probably people who drink much more Whisky than I do.


Edinburgh, Dogs, Pandas and Deer

Well last week I went on a little trip to Edinburgh, Mrs TramP was on a course for a couple of days so I arrived on Thursday night when she had finished.

I think I have said somewhere on here already that I had returned to alcoholism and I’ve gotten into “Craft Beer” (I hate the term “craft beer” as well as the term “real ale” but I think I will save that for another rant), so while in Edinburgh a trip to Brewdog was in order, well it would be rude not to. It was a bit smaller than I was expecting, the toilets are very small, for some reason I decided to go to the urinal that was set back in the wall, I could only just fit my shoulders in. It has a nice style in there, exposed brick, girders, old gym flooring on the walls, pallets turned into tables, and a couple of big leather couches. Where do you get those from on the cheap? I need one in my house. Mrs TramP doesn’t really drink beer and has tried most of the beers I’ve drank at home but they didn’t have any cider so it was a couple of Punk IPAs to start off with. Besides me being a fan of Brewdog I knew they did food so that’s the other reason we went in. The pizzas were pretty good, I had a hot one and Mrs TramP had one with a garlic base. There was so much beer to choose from and so little time. Mrs TramP went for a 1/3 of Cantillon Rosé de Gambrinus which apparently has 200g of raspberries per litre, it wasn’t like any beer I’ve had before. So I went for a Prototype 17.6, Brewdog’s raspberry beer. I liked the original Prototype 17 which had a 77 Lager base, raspberries and aged in a whisky cask, I disliked the next Prototype 17 that had a Trashy Blonde base, hardly any raspberries worth mentioning and no cask ageing. Prototype 17.6 has the same Trashy Blonde base but much more raspberries, this was better than the other Trashy Blonde version but still not a patch on the 77 Lager base one. Oh well, I needed to try it, next up for me was a Libertine Porter, nothing extraordinary, supposed to be hoppy but I can’t remember at the time thinking it was, but still a very nice porter. Last up new Dogma. Now I’ve only had a tiny taste of Dogma from someone else who was drinking it and can’t really remember what it was like, this new version was like the Scotch Ale Prototype but not exactly the same, I’d certainly drink it again though. And that was it for Brewdog Edinburgh, Mrs TramP couldn’t drink any more raspberry beer, were as I could have stayed there all night. Oh, I think I forgot to mention, Mrs TramP said if anything ever happens to me she knows where to get another one from, referring to the bar man with long hair and a beard who may well have been separated from me at birth. Well my Dad did have a bike.

The next day was the main event, a trip to Edinburgh Zoo. We have been there once before and it is easily the best Zoo I have been to. We had a long walk down the road works where they are putting trams in before we caught a bus to the Zoo. Pandas were booked for eleven and we got there at ten to. For some reason they had let about 30 people in the group we were in but the next group only had about ten people in it. If you are going don’t book on the hour. First up was the inside enclosure where the male Panda was having a kip. After ten minutes of having an old woman barge in front of me to see the Panda and then repeatedly walk into me when I was stood in the middle where you couldn’t see anything it was off outside to see the female. People are such morons, the outside bit has a two level viewing platform. We had hanged back to let the pushy idiots go first and then when I got round no-one had gone up to the second level where you had a much better view. The male Panda is apparently a very large example and the female is very small, you can see why, the male was having a kip, the female was doing laps of her enclosure. After another ten minutes of Panda watching it was off to the rest of the Zoo. It didn’t disappoint. The thing about Edinburgh Zoo is that most if not all the animals are out and visible. A highlight was seeing the Black Jaguar getting released into his outdoor enclosure, having a little lick of a chunk of meat that had been left out for him and then picking up a huge log in his mouth like it was a tiny stick and moving it away from his bed. I was a bit disappointed that the honey badger wasn’t there anymore or the ring tailed lemurs, but that was my fault for not checking before hand as I had with the polar bear which I knew was gone. The Sun Bears were slightly depressing, one was inside walking up and down a log and the other was outside walking back and forth about two meters. We went past twice and they were still doing it. But there was a Red-Bellied Lemur Mrs TramP fell in love with when he kept grunting and following us.

We had decided to go out for a meal that night, I had done a little last minute Google search for restaurants in Edinburgh before I got on the train and managed to book a table at The Grain Store Restaurant. It was really good to be honest, bit pricey but good. I had Pigeon for starters, Mrs TramP had Foie Gras. Mains consisted of Venison and Pork then desserts of Chocolate Fondant and Tarte Tatin. I had an Armagnac to end, they didn’t seem to get what I meant when I asked them to put it in a warm glass but I couldn’t be bothered sending it back a second time. All in all it was a nice end to a nice trip to, after only two visits might be my favourite City.