Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Driftwood Gose-uh

Unless you have been camping, you will most likely have tried the new beer from Driftwood. The gose style originated in the city of Goslar, Northern Germany. This town also happens to be on the Gose river, hence the name. Like many beer styles, witbier is included in this list, it fell out of favour
after the Second World War and the sweeping popularity of the Pilsner. Lucky for us, brewers are looking for something new and are turning their gaze to the past. Salt Spring Island Gruit,which is also a great beer, is another example of old beers being newly brewed. Why would anyone want to add salt to beer? Sweet and salt are a classic contrasting food combination. Don't believe me? Try some salted caramel chocolates.

Gose-uh = 7/10 

This is not simply White Bark with added salt and lactobacillus. Although the nose is reminiscent of this combination: the sea air with coriander and a slight acidic tartness. Each sip is predictably dry and effervescent with a familiar spiciness. What's new is the salty residue on the lips; it is akin to swimming in the ocean. This only draws you back in for more straw malts with a refreshing lemon edge. Not a flavour powerhouse but very tasty.

Taste +4
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 5% ABV
Value +1
Appearance +1 (a reasonable description of expected flavour is provided)

Glassware: There is no traditional glassware choice, so I went with a witbier glass. This was mainly because I rarely use this glass.  Other options would be a weizen or a stange.

Food Pairing: Stick with light fare. Think goat cheese omellete, fish, lobster or a ham and cheese sandwich. Serving with a salad topped with boccaccini and capers would draw out the saltiness a bit more. Hard cheeses, like pecorino or parmigiano, would be a good pairing choice.

Cellar: I wouldn't, but then again the Lacto might increase the tartness over time.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Lighthouse 15th Anniversary Ale

15 years of brewing in Victoria, very impressive. With unexpected fanfare, Lighthouse brewing released their 15th Anniversary double red ale. There were newspaper articles, parties, and photos of this beer taken all over Victoria. This beer is essentially a double Race Rocks. Don't roll your beer geek eyes; often I abruptly end a bartenders tap list chant once the beer 'Race Rocks' is mentioned. It's a good beer, people in Victoria drink a lot of it. So what happens when you order a double Race Rocks?

Lighthouse 15th Anniversary Ale = 9/10

The nose doesn't really do much, it smells like Race Rocks. There is a small quantity of little grey cells whose only function is to recall this aroma. An abrupt sensory acceleration occurs when the unexpected full and chewy mouthfeel hits the tastebuds. This warm and creamy sheet delivers ample malt sweetness. Flavours of sweet vermouth, biscuits, raisins, cashews and toffee are everywhere. Once these flavours paint your mouth red, it is hard to remove the sweet linger. Very nice.

Taste +4
Aftertaste +2
Alcohol Content +1 8%ABV
Value +1
Appearance +1

Glassware: Pint glass or dimpled mug. Pictured above is a double sized stange. While the style of glass is normally reserved for Kolsch beers; I used it because it looked pretty. Sometimes I like to feel pretty.

Food Pairings: Cheese would be cheddar or Gouda. Both of these cheeses have a rich nutty flavour. Pair this with rich, wild game, sausage or a creamy pasta dish with nuts. I like the sound of a walnut ravioli with a little sage butter sauce.

Cellar: Perhaps. The alcohol warmth might fade to allow more malt richness.