Tonight is Tempest Brewery night in our house. Dionne is drinking one of the first real craft saisons I ever had, which they have re-released after a spell and its tasting superb!
Ive gone for their Imperial Oyster Stout. Not a style I profess to know. Think this is the first oyster stout I’ve ever had. But this is delicious. It pours thick and dark with a very creamy off white head. It’s a very enticing looking beer. Ive no idea if it matters but I love the way a creamy head sticks to the side of the glass. This is laying down some serious trails!
Strip it back, the first taste is all about the voluptuous texture. So smooth, so silky. I imagine that’s the oysters. Full body but while it’s got the roasty coffee edge to the flavour it’s mild and not bitter at all.
This is exactly the beer I wanted right now. Smooth, chilled and luxurious. Feels special. It’s Christmas after all!
Best beer so far of my #12beersofxmas!
Christmas Day beer, went for this as Steve had one lined up for Christmas Day and the good lads at Coppers were able to get one for me. Always better to drink along!
As a style this is very underused in the UK. We don’t see many barley wines around, obviously they’re not cheap to brew but also high abv, complex flavours don’t always appeal to many.
Two years ago I had a Magic Rock Strongman and it was amazing. I have campaigned ever since for its return, I’m promised it will one day!
This is a very different beast. Actually, it’s much less of a beast. It feels very drinkable, light for its abv. The flavours are all raisins, black currants and red grapes with a teasing ribbon of boozy rum through it. Nice if alittle underwhelming.
So 4 beers in and I thought we’d things a little differently. Dionnes drinking the Ilkley Siberia, I’m drinking the Westwood.
White stouts are an unusual style. I think my preference in a stout is for as much roast flavour and intense texture as possible. The thicker the better, the roastier the better. So a white stout has a lot to do to appeal.
This one is subtitled as a white chocolate stout. And my word, it is every inch the White chocolate stout. The aroma, the flavour, everything oozes chocolate. The White stout edge means it’s not too bitter either as it’s not as roasted.
The texture is thicker, but not too intense. Nice gulp-able mouthfeel.
I really wasn’t expecting much from this but ended up really enjoying it. Nice work chaps!
So Christmas Eve is here and my sons eager anticipation of the fat dude coming saw him come and ask me this afternoon if If would mind if he left one of my special beers out for Santa. How could I possibly refuse! So he chose this beer for me.
Its a beer much heralded. The clamour for this beer made it a must try for me. Sadly I’m left a little disappointed by this. It ticks a lot of boxes. It’s smooth as it gets, thick in texture and has a lovely roasted edge. But the main characteristic is that peanut butter sweetness, which sadly is way too sweet for my palette. Can totally understand why those of a sweeter tooth would love it, but it’s not for me. Yellow Belly was exactly the same, although surprisingly I enjoyed the desert edition more. Just felt more rounded, perhaps more aging to it helped.
still glad to have tried it. Will always give my opinion, even if it’s not the same as others thoughts!
Day 2 and firstly an apology for keeping you up so late on what is a school night for some of us! Dionne and I have been to a local carol concert getting all festive and in the Christmas spirit. We’ve had a great night!
Whats topped it off was coming home to another great beer. Siren are a brewery I keep a close eye on, they seem to produce such random beers but all of which are nigh on perfectly pitched for their style. Last year I thoroughly enjoyed their Tickle Monster, I have recently been blown away by their Uncle Zester so I was pleased to get a chance to try their Caribbean Chocolate Cake.
First the aroma, there’s strong fruits in there, raisins and dark berries with a background of rum. The booze isn’t a strong aroma though.
The taste reaffirms those aromas. What surprised me was the texture. It’s more porter in style than stout but isn’t a poor beer as a result. Far from it. It’s juicy with a rich rum running through it which brings out the best in those fruitier flavours.
The roast flavours are mild, still there, but mild. You get hints of coffee and chocolate but not too dominant.
Day two and I think if yesterday was at 80%, this has taken it to 88%. Still room to grow but I’m in the torque zone! Loving these beers, I do save dark beers up for this and it’s great to finally get stuck into them. Also, loving everyone else getting involved. So many great beers, so many great blogs and most importantly of all so much good conversation being had. That’s what it’s all about!
Its our works Christmas night out tomorrow so I may not get my blog post written, or my beer drunk but we’ll see!
My third year in the running, having had such good craick in previous years. New twist this year is that the good Mrs Lambert, Dionne has decided to get involved too! So give her a follow on Twitter (@dionnelambert07).
Dionne was a champagne drinker when she first met me. So to now see her readily getting excited about beers is amazing for me.
So on to my first beer. This is a bottle I had pointed out to me by Drew from Coppers in Gosforth, and knowing the brewery I had no hesitations in putting my hand in my pocket.
As soon as I poured this beer I was blown away by the depth of the colour. This isn’t a beer which allows light through even at the edges. That depth of colour usually equates to flavour.
The aroma was sweet brown sugar, hints of espresso, hints of cocoa. I was ready to dive in.
First taste was rich molasses, subtle coffee and treacle flavours. The oatmeal comes through too, which gives it a pretty solid base. The sweet notes and boozy notes are smoother for having that oatmeal there.
This is a delicious beer. Exactly what I wanted my #12beersofxmas to be. I’m a huge fan of Impy Stouts and this one is bang on, whilst being sufficiently different and unique.
Good start, roll on tomorrow’s beer!