My party went well. The nine of Phoenix was sunk happily and then augmented by Wernesgruner Pils, a beer I used to drink in Germany long before Aldi kindly imported it and a Czech beer supplied by the good people at Laithwaites, Primator. Both might be described in detail some other time, but filled the gap nicely and were appreciated by the die hards, who made the switch from ale to lager with obvious ease!
I am always keen to impart some knowledge and to broaden my friends beer experience, so I did an impromptu tasting of Kriek Boon and Oude Kriek Boon. For those interested, I reviewed both of these on the Oxford Bottled Beer Database in 2006. We then got on to discussing aged beer. I have some quite old Young's Special London Ale, but as this was my friends, I dragged out a bottle of Morlands Hen's Tooth. Morlands were taken over by Greede King in 2001 and closed, so this bottle is around seven years old.
The beer is bottle conditioned and opened with a gratifying hiss of CO2. It is a clear bottle which had been kept in the dark from the date of purchase and a large yeast deposit was still affixed to the bottom of the bottle. The beer poured clear and bright. It had a toffee/marmalade nose and great body and condition. It opened up with fine Seville orange flavours, developing into a toffee/ madeira middle and ended with a distinct marmalade, toffee and hop finish. It was a stunning beer. I am not really into aged beers as a genre, but this was quite something. I have two more left! Might give 'em another few months, but I suspect they may be at their zenith now.
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. He also judges beer at both the International Beer Challenge and the World Beer Awards.
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