Thursday, 7 February 2013

Seeing the Light

After singing the praises of dark weaker beers in this post a couple of days ago, imagine my surprise to be thrilled silly by yet another 3.5% beer, in the same place, in splendid condition and this time pale and clear.  I mentioned my circle of trust in that piece and one brewery that is firmly within is Saltaire.  The beer that caught your Hero's attention was Saltaire South Island Pale, a delightful little number with all the tropical flavours you'd expect from New Zealand hops and no trace of wateriness whatever.  Saltaire's website shows the fantastic range of beers brewed and they rarely disappoint.  Unfortunately the website is remarkably uninformative about what actual hops are used on this occasion, so a point off for that, but it displayed the usual mango, lychee and soft, easy citrus that you'd expect from NZ hops.  It gives my old favourite Windermere Pale a run for its money - and in my book, you can't say fairer than that.

That said, into each life a little rain must fall. Heading back to the bus station, we called into the Regal Moon.  I had only time for one pint and wanted a contrast to the excellent pale beer above.  I had enjoyed Old Moor Porter earlier for its earthy complexity and for a change, despite the inner Tandleman saying "This will be a mistake", I ordered a pint of Butcombe Porter.  Now I have always thought Butcombe as the kind of beer that to this writer at least, is dull as ditch-water.  It was. The porter showed no character or prominent flavours whatever.  A typical Butcombe beer in other words.

I should have listened to myself.  I always talk sense.

In case you haven't got the message, Butcombe are NOT in my circle of trust, but my mate Derek thought it OK.


Cooking Lager said...

I want a venn diagram of this circle of trust. One I can print off and put in my pocket. Or better still keep on my phone and refer to in beardy weirdy cmara award winning pubs when faced with 15 hand pumps of obscure pongy grog I've never heard of. A pdf will be fine.

Tandleman said...

Ah but my circle of trust is a personal one. It would be no use to you.

For example Butcombe may be in other people's circle of trust. OK, these are likely to be from Somerset, but you get the picture.

Cooking Lager said...

Ah but any ignorant wipper snapper starting upon the road of pong needs a starting point, a map, a guide for those first tentative steps towards cask conditioned enlightenment.

As the road becomes well trod such things may become discarded but to start the journey with the map of Tand, one can expect to be led unto the gates of nirvana, being without the fires of delusion and free from all stench of karmas.

Go on, put it in a Venn diagram.

Tandleman said...

Alas the whipper snapper (note spelling) will have to make his own way in the world.

Circles of trust are built from bitter experience and indeed, experience of the bitter. Through such trial and tribulations lies the enlightenment that you seek.

The stench you refer to may well be hops. Young Dredge can help there.

Tyson said...

It's awhile since I visited the brewery-Nov 2011-and I was more interested in supping than listening, but I think Motueka was mentioned in the case of South Island Pale.

Bailey said...

Butcombe aren't in my circle of trust, either: too many rank bottled beers and bitter, being a fairly simple beer, is often rough as hell if you drink it in the wrong pub.

As a Somerset bumpkin, however, I do cut them quite a lot of slack. Have had too many really great pints of BB in The Shire not to.

Would like to try their porter.

Professor Pie-Tin said...

I'm with you on Butcombe, old cock.
I used to drink it occasionally in a pub in Salisbury and invariably it was bland and uninteresting.
Besides,whenever I'm in Somerset I only ever drink cider - it's the only way I can understand what the local turnip heads are saying.
Wahaay !

leigh said...

Yep, agree with you on that one. I too made the windy pale and nzpa connection - seems that great minds think alike. SI Pale seems to be appearing more and more, which is testament to it, given the amount of beers Saltaire brew. A truly tasty, light, refreshing beer packed with flavour. Glad it's making its way to you.

JohnB said...

I think we all have our own equivalents of Butcombe - beers to avoid. In Scotland I'm 'spoiled' for choice with the likes of Strathaven, Arran and Skye with Houston, Kelburn and others not too far behind.