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Elusive: Pomona Island: Rippin’ Rick (England: IIPA: 8% ABV)

Visual: Clear yellow, with just a slight bitty haze. Thin white bubbled head.

Nose: Musty malt drinks. Pineapple. Grated choc lime sweets. Chocolate eclair sweets. Granted choc orange to orange zest. Crushed nettles.

Body: Orange zest. Lemon cakes. Sugared lemons. Nettles. Earthy touch to the core. Slight bready character. Thick mouthfeel. Pineapple.

Finish: Malt drinks. Sugared orange. Good bitterness to greenery. Turmeric. Pineapple. Lightly fresh. Grapefruit.

Conclusion: This is a very satisfying beer. The double IPA malt load gives it a lot of weight despite how dry the flavours are for that west coast style. The malt is much more evident than normal, in a way that gives a malt drink choc orange/lemon/whatever set of notes that show up semi regularly behind the hops. The notes may make it seem that they are a bigger deal than they really are though. They are a competitively subtle set of notes, but it alters and informs a lot of citrus flavours in the beer so it is worth noting. It is never heavy, just a slight chocolate malt drink, kind of dry ovaltine like note that shows in the malt character, which heads into a more bready weight.

The bitterness is solid, not an assault – but I may be a bit blasé about bitterness levels these days, so keep that in mind if you are not a hop head. Still, solid bitterness is good. It had enough pop to it to give a nice hop punch.

The citrus character from the hops is lightly tart, mainly showing as orange and lemon notes which gives a lovely freshness to the whole thing, but with sweeter pineapple and tarter grapefruit doing some work at the edges.

It is nothing new, but it is a solid west coast IPA given bit more weight from the thicker mouthfeel that the extra abv a double IPA gives it, and with that a touch more evident malt.

What I am saying is I am enjoying.

Background: Elusive and Pomena are breweries I’ve had a few from recently, they haven’t managed to get into my fave brewery category but both are good enough that I’ve returned to them a bunch of times – so when they collaborated to make one of my preferred IPA styles – West Coast IPA, BUT DOUBLE – I decided to grab it and give it a go. I am always charmed by Elusive’s 8 bit style can images anyway and I am that easy to sell to. Grabbed from Independent Spirit (yes I know, you are shocked) this loads up on Simcoe (an old fave), Columbus and Amarillo hops – leaning more old school in the USA hops which sounds good to me. Or older school. I’m old now I lose track of what is considered “old” in beer terms. Get off my lawn. Music wise I went with Kill Mirror Image’s new EP KLL MRR IMG. Bias warning, I know one of the band members, but also it rocks.

St George’s: The English – Rum Cask (English Single Malt Whisky: 46% ABV)


Visual: Pale greened grain. Slow, medium thickness streaks come from the spirit.

Nose: Raspberry. Caramel. Strawberry pocked digestives. Honeycomb. Mild rum. Water adds sweet red wine. Lightly spicy. Light wisp of sulphur and smoke.

Body: Light front. Marshmallow. Raspberry. Alcohol builds up over time. Dry rice. Dry fudge. Caramel. Water makes slightly oily, but smooth and generally slick. Lightly spicy. Strawberry. Sweet wine.

Finish: Dry. Raspberry. Strawberry pocked biscuits. Dry red wine, spicy red wine after a while. Water adds glacier cherry. Slightly oily. Strawberry jelly. Toffee.

Conclusion: This takes some time to build up and get going, but while you are waiting for that it brings a lightly tart raspberry front in from the first moment to keep you interested. That tides things over while the lighter spirit gets a chance to build up some layers on your tongue so it can start delivering the rest of the flavour.

I’m guessing it is the rum influence that brings those raspberry notes, though that is an unusual one for a rum cask, but its the best explanation I can come up with. The more traditional, and spicier rum notes seem to wait until you add some water to show themselves.

The base spirit still shows some of that youthful edge that I have associated with the main “The English” releases – not too harsh, just a kind of neutral to rice touched alcohol character.

Time brings out more toffee, and some spicy rum character as it builds up the layers, but to get the motor really running on this whisky you need to add a drop of water.

With water the character smooths right out, with a slightly oily touch. There is still a kind of grain spirit to rice character in flavour, but the texture is lovely and smooth now. The rum really comes out here as well, with that previous tart raspberry character now overwhelmed by dark rum, red wine and spice.

I mean, even now it isn’t a huge, heavy flavour, but before the flavours were kind of fragile – so it didn’t take much to crush them. Now there is sweet strawberry notes, and more evident toffee that makes it a tad more robust.

Now it is a gentle, sweet thing – I think the barrel ageing is doing the heavy lifting but despite that the smooth red fruit notes are pleasant.

Not a must have, not polished, but relaxed and tasty.

Background: The final of three miniatures got that cover “The English” main range of whisky releases and the most unusual being aged in rum casks. It has been a long road to get here, with the St George Distillery turning out preview bottlings of their spirit over the years, and now we have their main core line releases. Since I sometimes try to theme music by the country of origin, but rarely do that for England as, well I live here, I decided to go with some English music and put on Pulp: Different Class. That was the reason honest, I wasn’t just looking for an excuse to put it on again. Anyway, another one from Independent Spirit as the entire set was.

Again I break from the usual beer and whisky blogging in the hope you will indulge me again. Not only is the 10th anniversary capoeira event in Bath coming up on the 9th and 10th of march but also someone has kindly made a promotional video for it.

You can tell it wasn’t me who made it as the vid looks great.

Anyone who can make it hope to see you there. If not, just enjoy the video. More info on the event can be found at http://bathcapoeira.com/

Capoeira Event

In a break from Beer and Whisky- For anyone in the Bath UK area there’s a special Capoeira event to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the group in Bath on the 9th and 10th of March 2013.  Capoeira is a great Brazilian mix of martial arts, music and dance. There will be Masters and Instructors from around UK and the rest of the world. There will be demos and classes suitable to all skill levels. So if you can make it, and are interested in Capoeira it would be great to see you there.

More information can be found at http://bathcapoeira.com/

The organiser can be contacted on 07783 59 69 17 or at gira.capoeira@gmail.com

No New Articles due to SOPA

I found out about the blackout a bit late in the day, but to do my bit there’s not the planned update today. I may not be American but I recognise SOPA as the ignorant and harmful bullshit that it is.

I urge those of you in the USA to do all you can to strike it down

http://americancensorship.org/

The Alcohol Aphorist

Holidays huh.

Another short downtime. This time for inevitable holiday family time. I’m taking a few notes though, so should have plenty for my return. Also working on something just a bit different which I hope you will all like. Just waiting for feedback from my trusted fellow tasters and if they give the thumbs up it should be online before new year.

A Slight Delay

Sorry for the lack of updates, my sense of smell has been shot with a minor cold which makes tasting notes somewhat difficult. Back to normal now and updates will resume shortly

 

Back To Normal Soon

 

Sorry for sparse updates, been a bit off colour which ruins any attempts at doing tasting. I’ve been making the back catalogue last as long as I could., should be back to normal soon

Back

Hello, been doing a run around Belgium past week, sorry for the lack of updates. Found a damn near beer Mecca in Gent and brought back some nice oddities, and have a good wodge of tasting notes backed up for you all.

Proper updates will resume soon, just sorting the comments section.

UPDATE: Since the event has now passed, anyone interested in Capoeira in bath should check out the link on the right hand side of this blog to the Bath Capoeira web page, this will have the latest information on upcoming events.

MAIN POST:

Something a bit different

There’s an amazing Capoeira event in Bath this year, I’ve been to the past years and they are always full of energy and axé, with masters of the art turning up. There will be demonstrations, rodas, a reggae night and lots more. Every day tends to be packed to the gills with events to take part in.

For those who don’t know, Capoeira is a Brazilian art which mixes dance, martial arts, music and self expression. It’s amazing to watch, and even better to be part of. So if anyone will be in the area, be it experienced Caporistas, or just interested newcomers, come along and enjoy.

Facebook page

http://www.facebook.com/?sk=messages&tid=10150100188002731#!/event.php?eid=108791272532136

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