This is the (neatly lined-up) aftermath of a beer night from a few months ago (plus a bottle opener, it seems - I guess this was to add artistic effect, or something). I won’t go through every beer we had as the picture should do the hard work for me. Instead I’ll just tell you about the best ones.
Kernel Brewery Export Stout 1890 was the most handsome beer of the evening, a charcoal black and a creamy head. It’s smooth in the mouth, smoky, roasty and delicious – another Kernel cracker.
De Hemel’s Nieuw Ligt Grand Cru 2005 was a real playground of flavours: fruity, boozy, vanilla, pepper, plums, raisins, banana bread and rum. It was fantastically interesting.
AleSmith Speedway Stout was thick, dark and sexy, filled with loads of coffee and chocolate, a real tongue coating dark-beer-lover’s dreams. A wow beer (only bettered by the bourbon-barrel-aged version which is double wow).
Russian River Damnation 23 was another wow beer (cool label blurb too). An oak-aged tripel with so much going on it had three of us talking about it for the duration of the bottle: lots of apricots, pineapple, honey, huge vanilla oak presence which I really liked, stewed apple, roasted oranges, toasted nuts; very smooth bodied, a drying bitterness. It’s the oak that makes this and gives it something cheeky and playful, although there's nothing subtle about it being there. Where can I get more?
We threw a few wild cards in there and some duds too. Surprisingly Utenos did pretty well, unlike the Brodies Mint Choc Chip Stout which we had high hopes for – it neither tasted like chocolate nor mint and was disappointing (if you call a beer by that name then it has to taste ridiculous for it to work, if you ask me. See Saltaire’s Triple Chocoholic).
This lot was demolished between three of us. We did the usual scoring which you can sort of see below. There was a slight theme to this night of 'good beer and shit beer', although that was only very loosely followed...