Mad Hatter Brewing Company – Cold Dead Eyes

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Brewery: Mad Hatter – www.madhatterbrewing.co.uk / @MadHatBrew

Style: Saison / Farmhouse

ABV: 7.2%

Purchased From: Source Deli –  @SourceDeliPaul

Pouring and Look: A really frothy tanned head with a dense black body. You can actually see the the light being sucked into the darkness, it’s that thick.

Smell: Sour and funky, there’s yeast in there as well and a sickly sweet smell.

Taste: The first mouthful is everything you’d expect from a sasion, tart, sour and funky like grandad’s dirty underpants left on the radiator. The second taste however, is heaven, roasted malts, dark chocolate, coffee, red berries and underneath all that is the now mellow sourness. Wow, I never new grandad’s underpants tasted like heaven.

Thoughts: The only way I can make you experience the range of emotions I felt with this beer is by comparing it to dancing with David Bowie. There’s a masquerade ball scene in The Labyrinth and this is exactly what this beer did to me.

I pick up Cold Dead Eyes and think I’m buying an imperial stout

*Jareth the Goblin King (Bowie) takes my hand and we start to dance*

I open and pour Cold Dead Eyes…. ohh yeah baby this is an imperial stout

*Jareth is spinning me around the ballroom and staring into my eyes…intensely

I smell the beer I think is an imperial stout but it’s not! …. holy shit monkey what sour work of Lucifer is this?! My world breaks apart and I fall into the abyss. Reality has literally been broken.

*The clock at the ball strikes 12, the Jareth buggers off and leaves me, I fall into the local tip which is inhabited by a nutty horsey-women who looks like the old women who used to serve me beer at the student bar.

….but then I taste this bad boy and wow! It’s an impossible thing, these flavors shouldn’t work, it’s part saison part imperial stout. If there’s a centaur of the beer world then this beer is it. Two normal everyday things mashed together to create something unique and utterly mind blowing. This is what craft wanking is all about!

Sixpoint Brewery – Bengali Tiger

 

TigerBrewery: Sixpoint Brewery – www.sixpoint.com@sixpoint

Style: IPA

ABV: 6.4%

Purchased From: JD Weatherspoons @jdtweets

Pouring and Look: Cloudy amber colour with a small but frothy creamy head.

Smell: The smell is like Marcus Aurelius a “dream that was Rome. You could only sniff it. Anything more than a sniff it and it would vanish, it was so fragile. You can get the faintest of smells of bitter hops, it’s really faint that my nose can pick out any specific citrus smells that I’d associate with an IPA.

Taste: An initial fresh, bitter grapefruit hop taste that never really goes. There’s not a lot of complexity to this IPA, you get the hop hit but there’s not a lot after that. You can, if you really concentrate, start to get a dark sugar and marmalade taste.

Thoughts: I actually really enjoyed this. It’s a very simplistic refreshing hop hit. I can see why ‘spoons have started stocking this. It’s unique enough to get a few beer geeks through the door and it’s not too extreme to scare any regulars away that might have one for a change. This is definitely a really good gateway beer for someone to drink on their first step of becoming a beernaut.

Click Play First and then read.

The Perfect Time to Drink It: Mos Eisley: never has there been a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. If this is the case then why does it contain the hippest jazz club on Tatooine, Mos Eisley Cantina? You’re beginning to suspect that the infamous reputation is giant smear campaign created by Mos Espa, Mos Eisley’s biggest tourist rival.

You’ve been sipping several Bengali Tigers as you’ve listened to the smooth jazz notes of the Mos Eisley house band.  The Bengali Tiger is probably the best tasting thing served in the cantina but you’re still struggling to understand why they serve it with a cocktail umbrella, maybe it’s to add to the ambiance. Your trailing jazz infused thoughts are disturbed by the bartender as he shouts at the two new cats entering the cantina ‘your droids, they’re not welcome here’. The bartender is not a hip cat; hygiene isn’t high on his list of priorities which makes you glad that your Bengali Tiger comes in a can. You might not like the bartender but you do agree with the no droid policy, especially as the current trend is to use droids to loudly play Wookie Euphoric Trance music. Hearing that in a jazz club would not be nice.

You take another sip of your Bengali Tiger as you watch the old cat and young farmer enter the cantina and order drinks. They look out of place, they don’t look like hip-cats and it looks like you’re not the only person to think so. The cantina’s resident pranksters Ponda Baba and ‘Doc’ Evazan seem to have taken an interest in the farmer. Ponda and the Doc like to play a game with all the new faces, their routine is to pretended to be wanted men, they mention something about having “the death sentence on 12 systems” and then the new face buys them a drink, they tell them it was a joke and then they all have a good laugh about it. It’s all very humours, especially for the regulars who know what to expect. Oh my god the old man just cut off big Ponda Baba’s arm!  Why would anyone want to do that?

The bartender looks sicker than normal as he races to the communicator. It’s not hip to call the law but when a cat gets his arm cut off then there’s not really a choice. You watch as the old cat and the farmer are ushered into a booth by the local enforcer Chewbacca. Chewbacca or ‘Chewie’ is Han Solo’s right hand wookie and he’s not a cool cat. You once saw him pull both arms out of a man’s socket over a game of dominio’s. Solo isn’t much better, a dealer and rouge who, unfortunately, happens to love jazz fusion as much as you. If there was another jazz club as good as the cantina then you’d be drinking there away from ‘shoot first’ Solo. Unfortunately, there isn’t.

Chewie, the old cat and the farmer leave. You see Solo about to get up but Greedo, the owner and manager of the local orphanage, sits down in front of Solo. He’s probably going to ask him for a donation for the orphans. Greedo’s heart is in the right place but he gives other cats way too much credit. You see Greedo pass over the donation form and as he does Solo shoots him. BOOM! There’s blood and guts everywhere! Solo flips a coin at the bartender and leaves.  You think it’s time you left as well but at that moment the cantina band start up with another jazz classic, you sit back and order another Bengali  Tiger as you become infused with the jazz.

Buxton Brewery – Axe Edge

Axe EdgeBrewery: Buxton Brewery – www.buxtonbrewery.co.uk / @BuxtonBrewery

Style: IPA

ABV: 6.8%

Purchased From: Holborn Cask Ales @Holborncaskales

Pouring and Look: Cloudy golden amber colour with a small but frothy cream head.

Smell: Fresh, dry hop bitterness with a sweet citrus undertone.

Taste: Initially you get hit with the bitter fresh hops but that quickly mellows and you start tasting the orange and grapefruit. Below all these big flavours there’s a nice mellow floral undertone.

Thoughts: This a truly fantastic IPA, it’s very refreshing and there’s a lot of complimentary flavours taking to the stage at different points to make it interesting. You can’t escape from the hops, they’re always there, but they are not as overpowering as similar beers which really makes Axe Edge a distinct IPA.

The Perfect Time to Drink It: “woo woo wooo” the intercom heralds the start of the announcement “This is Captain James T Kirk, can red shirts 89, 245, and 310 meet me in the transporter room for an away mission” the intercom clicks off. When did he start referring to us as just numbers? you ask yourself as you pull on your boots. You’ve had a good run, you’re the longest serving red shirt on The Enterprise; For two and half weeks you’ve been on Kirk’s floating love barge, you’ve protected the fool from the enraged male population of 72 different ‘M’ class planets as he cavorted with the local females, each time managing to get his shirt ripped. So far you’ve seen 152, or was it 185, fellow redshirts die whilst Kirk got his rocks off on an alien rock.  You know you’ve had a good run and you don’t mind dying for a cause, you just wish the cause was something more than Kirk’s trouser snake.

As you enter the transporter room Spock gives you an apologetic nod, it’s the closest thing to an emotion you’ll get from him but it means a lot. Bones is more forthcoming with his emotion, he begins to well up as he embraces you in a manhug and whispers “I’m sorry, the man’s an idiot but he’s the Captain and we can’t stop him”. At that moment Kirk struts into the transporter room, he walks like he’s got two melons down his trousers, he ignores everyone and walks over to the transporter pad “let’s get this show on the road” he barks “I’m horny and ready for some alien booty”.

You and the two other red shirts join him on the transporter pad and beam down to the planet.

5 hours later – There’s only you and Kirk left, the other two red shirts went for a burton when the local populace took umbrage to Kirk’s antics. You’re both running for your life as Kirk presses his telecom and asks for an emergency transport. The transporter room can’t lock onto you so you both have to make your way to an outcrop of rocks as the signal is clear there. You get to the rocks and can see the locals below you, they’re gaining and if they reach you and Kirk you’ll both be killed. Kirk’s got a crazy look in his eye, he can’t contain himself as he hops around like a mad man shouting insult at the chasing populace. Then he slips, it’s a glorious moment, he’s hanging onto the ledge screaming for your help, you can see the fear in his eyes now. Should I help him? you ask yourself and then you remember all of your fellow fallen red shirts. Your boot comes down hard onto Kirk’s face and he falls screaming to his judgement below, at that moment the transporter locks on beams you up, only you.

The transporter room is deadly silent. You can see it in their eyes; they know what you’ve done, they know you could have saved him but didn’t. It’s over you think, as dread begins to consume you. Then you see Spock smile, he slaps you on the back and then embraces you, he can’t speak but mouths the word “thank you” as Bones walks over and hands you an Axe Edge, you take a well deserved swig as a solitary tear rolls down your cheek.