Saturday, April 2, 2011

Quick Kayak and Then NERAX

Last Wednesday was going to be the most Spring-like weather anytime soon, so took the kayak to work with me and went to the 225 put-in afterwards for a quick paddle up the river and back down. Saw an angry beaver who gave me a big tail-slap, lots and lots of trees beginning to put out some red buds, fields of brush with a very subtle rosy tinge, and beautiful streaks of clouds against a darkening sky.

On Friday we woke to an April Fool's Day blizzard and then went to NERAX in Somerville after work.

They had 4 beers from Fullers but we were very disappointed that none were on Friday, and neither was the Marian Ale from Marshall's Wharf (our favorite place in Belfast ME). We struggled through though. In approximate order of tasting:
  1. Dark Star (Sussex) Hophead Citra (Golden, single hop) - hoppy nose and good bitter taste; nice and light; subtle malt; very good
  2. Brecon (Wales) One For the Road (Special Bitter w/apple juice) - refreshing but thick, crystal mouthfeel; apple flavor not too strong; bitter, round aftertaste
  3. Bray's (ME) Old Church Pale Ale - honey-sweet and musty; bitter but no hop flavor; odd, tastes like an old church
  4. Calvary (CT) Marauder IPA - good mouthfeel; nice aftertaste; not a lot of flavor; good carbonation
  5. Cheddar (Somerset) Potholder (Best Bitter) - citrusy fore-taste; some hop tingle; good taste of malt on the back of the tongue; soapy nose
  6. Lowell Beerworks (MA) London Special (Special Bitter) - bit of a smoky nose and taste; nice slightly bitter mouthfeel; some malt flavor, great balance
  7. RCH (Somerset) Old Slug Porter - not too crisp; nutty, horehound overtones; wonderful, flavorful dark malt; uses hops like they should be used
  8. Magic Hat (VT) Blind Faith IPA - totally hoppy overkill
  9. Kernel (London) Export India Porter - acidic nose and taste but not aggressive, doesn't ruin your palate like an American beer; nice roasted mouthfeel
  10. Meantime (London) London Porter - a chocolate bar!; great English balance; beautiful taste
  11. Butternuts (NY) Dilly Dally (Mild) - refreshing, cutting taste
  12. Gritty's (ME) 21 IPA - good balance; hoppy but doesn't try to knock you over
  13. Willimantic (CT) In Your Rye (Amber Ale) - pleasant grassy taste with just enough hops; clean tasting; great session candidate
  14. Shipyard (ME) Chamberlain Pale Ale - nice hop overtones; good carbonation; classic balance
  15. Brains (Wales) SA (Best Bitter) - soft and gentle; high, bitter feel on the palate; well blanded
  16. Kelburn (Scotland) Dark Moor (Old Ale) - multidimensional, deep flavor; how many malts were used??; slight taste of peat; hard water; slightly sweet approach and then hop tingle and then bitter malt taste flows in; excellent and alive
  17. Brecon (Wales) Cribyn (Best Bitter) - [Sarah liked it but had lost her ability to take notes by this point.]
  18. Sambrooks (London) Junction Ale (Brown Ale) - not good; flat with no blend of flavors; like a sloppy snowstorm
  19. Skye (Scotland) Hebridean Gold - likably musty nose and flavor; light hint of citrus; very nice and drinkable
  20. Run of the Mill (ME) Alewife Ale (Pale Ale) - thoroughly bitter in scent, flavor, and aftertaste; smells like a starched collar
One amusing encounter was when the guy in line in front of me returned his quarter-pint, saying that it was "off." The guy behind the bar asked him what he meant and he said, "It's spoiled." The guy gave him a great look of polite astonishment like, "You mean that a panel of experts has determined that this beer is at its peak and you're telling me that you disagree? What are you doing at NERAX anyway?" He closed his mouth, dumped the quarter pint, and asked what the gentleman would like instead. He asked for a rye beer. The guy behind the bar and I probably had the same thought: "If this Philistine didn't like the other beer, he's *really* going to disagree with a rye."

No comments:

Post a Comment