This beer caught my eye at the liquor store. It was marked as having a 100 point score on the “RateBeer” chart. Really? A perfect score? I have to confess that while I am somewhat of a beer snob, I really have no idea of beer ratings (wine ratings are a different matter altogether). However if an establishment puts out a notice declaring a certain beer to be, effectively, perfect, one does notice. The 4-pack was $12.25. The bottles had little plastic goats hanging from their necks. I am not sure if that added to the price. They are nice plastic goats, for sure. The cheap desi in me shuddered at the thought of shelling out just over $3/bottle, however curiousity prevailed and I purchased the beer.
Growing up in India in the 80s, I had very little idea of what good beer can be. The faintly chemical-tasting lagers of the day – Golden Eagle, Kingfisher, Haywards 5000 (that “beer” was barley wine) were all we could get our hands on. And we enjoyed them. Part of the enjoyment, of course, was just related to being college students having free access to alcoholic beverages for the first time in our lives.
In the early 90s (I am dating myself here) work took me to the UK and my friend Keith Jones introduced me to good beer. No, let me rephrase that, to GREAT beer. Now, as many would agree, there are two things that the UK does exceedingly well – beer and cheese. And so it was that my couple of years in London were spent exploring the many different ales that the city’s various establishments had to offer. An altogether pleasant experience. This was the time when American-style lagers were taking over the industry in the UK and the real ale industry felt threatened. The organization, CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) was trying hard to help educate the public and gain some of the market share from the likes of Budweiser and Molson.I am not too sure how the beer drinking tasteshave changed in the UK since that time since the last time I was in London was over 12 years back.
Anyway back to the review. I am not really much of a dark beer drinker. However, I do enjoy the occasional glass of Stout or a nice Porter. This beer, as dark beers go is right up there with the best of them. So here are my tasting notes.
Color – Very dark brown.
Carbonation – Mild carbonation with a smallish head.
Taste – Caramelly with a lot of other notes. There is a lot happening here.
Aftertaste/finish – Slightly sweet and very pleasant.
Overall, a very nice beer and one that I would consider if I wanted a dark beer. Would I call it a perfect beer? Probably not. Though a dark beer-drinker might.
Try it if you get a chance.