After I ran out of Hoegaarden (Hoegaarden is my beery dirty little secret) on Saturday night when watching the football, I was tempted into trying the bottle of Rochefort 8 which I mentioned here. E was watching some scabby film or other, so I sought solace in Twitter, where Ghostie egged me on to do live tasting notes. It was actually pretty good though, with just a hint of staling coming towards the end as it warmed up. It started clear as a bell with perfect carbonation. Light chestnut in colour. Nose was slight, but of perfumed honey. Same perfume in taste - rose petals - with an underlying dry pepper note and alcohol warmth. The middle was spicy and figgy, but still fresh, though a touch thin. Finish was cough linctus with tongue coating dried fruit and alcohol and that's where the cardboard just crept in. In truth it stood up well, but I wouldn't leave it 15 plus years.
Thus giddy with excitement and inflamed by the Hoey, I rooted around and pulled out one of two surviving bottles of Hen's Tooth brewed by the long closed Morland of Abingdon. The brewery was taken over by Greene King and closed, though GK brewed Hen's Tooth for quite a while, though I don't know if they still do. I reviewed this beer here in December 2007 and it was stunningly good. Would it have survived another three plus years? I needn't have worried, though the beer had become a darker brown if memory serves. Here's the notes: Best before 9 Feb 2000. Sharp hiss of carbonation. Clear and properly carbonated with a firm sediment. Russett brown in colour. Caramel malt nose. Slight metallic notes lead to a complex taste of alcohol, vine fruits and malt loaf. Not at all tired, though the Seville Orange I noted then has now matured into raisiny vine fruits. Finishes with plenty bitterness and alcohol. No evidence of staling.
This was a piece of brewing history. I wasn't too surprised that it was still good, but I'd be pushing my luck to keep its surviving sibling much longer. All in all I enjoyed my little trip into the past, though of course, I'd rather be tasting a fresh one from a still existing Morland.
Now I know what you're thinking. "Fine for a sad old fart like Tandleman to spend a Saturday night on Twitter, but what the feck was a fine young man like Ghostie doing?" And you'd be right of course.
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, local CAMRA Chairman and activist, beer writer, beer reviewer and pursuer of all things good in beer. He lives in the North West of England and London. Despite his CAMRA membership, he does not limit himself to cask conditioned beer, though he believes that cask conditioning, when done correctly and appropriately, brings a quality to beer that is hard to equal by any other kind of presentation. He is a strong supporter of Northern methods of beer dispense and avidly detests poorly presented beer and dislikes pasteurisation. He regularly visits Germany, has conducted corporate British and German beer tastings for CAMRA at the Great British Beer Festival where he has worked for years on Biere Sans Frontieres and was Deputy Organiser at CAMRA's very successful National Winter Ales Festival in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and at the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival from 2013 to date. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink.
This blog mentions specifics; pubs and beer, good and bad. The opinions will be forthright, but you can always disagree, just don't be offended. Comments from those mentioned are particularly welcome and a right of reply is hereby offered.
Read my information and links and then decide for yourself. You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes.
If you wish to email me you can do so by using this address: tandleman[at]yahoo.co.uk
These are the life blood of any blog. Please feel free to comment. I do not practice censorship if you stick to the point, but personal insults are frowned upon and may result in deletion. Anonymous entries may have the piss taken out of them or be deleted.
Beer samples are welcome, but I cannot guarantee a good review. You, the brewer, on the other hand can.
I do not currently accept adverts on this site, but if you feel so inclined, make me an offer. If you wish me to wear your brewery stuff, great. XXL please
The contents of this blog represent the personal views of the author only. They do not represent CAMRA policy in any way whatsoever.
The contents of this site and individual articles may not be reproduced in whole without the express permission of the author and will require an appropriate credit. Extracts may be reproduced with a credit to the author.