We went up to @davelozman ‘s where he’d pulled a few special bottles from his stash and cooked a huge chunk of lamb stuffed with haggis, It was then we realised that in our haste to choose some special beers we had ended up with a fridge full of rather strong beer
in big bottles, luckily the night was young so we set to work.
Bottle one was Mikkeller Funky E Star (9.3% ABV), a Belgian inspired pale ale, the label was brilliant, really psychedelic, unfortunately the notes on the back were all in Danish so we had no idea what to expect. It poured a light copper colour with a little bit of yeast haze, it smelled of sugar and had a prominent yeasty smell too. Taste wise it was smooth, quite sweet and hoppy with a lovely funky spice and some hops there fore good measure, a great start to the night.
Next up was D.W from Sharp’s, it poured very similar to the Funky E Star, it also had a similar sort of nose, yeasty, sweet and slightly hoppy, this carried through into the flavour, it was a little bit softer, slightly less bitter, more rounded, it hid the ABV very well and despite it’s sweetness it was so easy to drink but never too over the top, to my surprise, I preferred it to the Mikkeller, although it shouldn’t be a surprise as Stuart makes some absolutely stunning beers and is always trying new things.
Bottle 3 came in the delightfully packaged Williams Brothers Fraoch 20th Anniversary Ale, It’s their delicious heather ale that’s been left to mature in single malt whisky casks it weighs in at 11% ABV and pours a really lovely orange marmalade colour there’s definite whisky on the nose along with the some apple and floral notes, It tastes brilliant, beer of the night so far for me, it was zesty, fruity and quite dry with a lovely bitter sour finish that added a bit of spice, I couldn’t quite believe just how drinkable it was, there wasn’t even the slightest hint of the alcohol. I could have quite happily drank the entire bottle of this my self.
Next up was Moor Peat Porter, this was the beer with the lowest ABV of the night, at 4.7% it was half of just about the rest of the beers we drank, It held it’s own though, it was deep, rich and roasty, it had loads of coffee in it and just a little bit of dark chocolate, I didn’t get much peat from it but it was lovely and smooth and went surprisingly well with Daves hazlenut and chocolate desert.
Bottle 5 was a bottle I’d brought back from GBBF with me, Rouge’s Chipotle Ale (5.5%), I think it was dedicated to a Spanish author who made some sort of ale and smoked chilli dish, but I need to check up on that, It poured a dark amber colour which was a lot lighter than I thought it would be, It smelled and tasted like someone had taken a beer and tipped a bottle of smoked Tabasco in it, there was a little bit of malt on the nose other than the chilli but that was about it. Not surprisingly it tasted much like it smelled, I’m a huge fan of smoked chilli but I’m not sure the balance was right in this one, it was soft and well carbonated in the mouth but all I could taste was the smokey chilli, which soon became over powering, the afterburn was quite nice though, definitely a beer to have in small quantities.
At this point we got a text to see if we wanted to pop round to a birthday party, never ones to turn down the chance of a party we packed the remaining few Open It beers up and headed out of the door.
After a quick taxi ride in the snow we arrived at the party and promptly cracked open the bottle of Harviestoun Ola Dubh 40, another whisky beer, this time it was a dark one, it poured with a thin creamy colour head, the aroma was predominantly smokey with notes of peat and the whisky. The flavours were quite complex, peaty and smoky with undertones of whisky and oak, the flavours are well balanced and nice and mellow. This would be perfect sat in front of the fire after a day out in the snow.
Bottle 7 was another from Moor, this time the Cider Brandy cask aged Moor Fusion (8% ABV) This was another dark one, it poured with a much bigger head than I expected, the cider brandy was there in the nose as well as some dark sticky fruit, kind of like dates or fig rolls, the flavour was surprisingly mellow, it wasn’t as roasty as I thought it would be, there was oak in there along with some apple and toffee, there was a hint of chocolate there too but only just. This really was a winner but it’s one for sharing.
Next up was my last bottle of Crown Brewery’s Ring of Fire (10.3%), A huge barley wine style beer brewed with loads of fresh chilli, it was as good as I remembered (you can read my review here) It poured with a really thin head and little aroma, although I could just pick out some chilli. The chilli really hits you in the mouth, it gets the back of your throat and warms you through, it’s incredibly rich and the brown sugar in it is quite sweet, again it’s another beer that’s best off shared between a couple of you.
Last but not least was Brewdog and Mikkeller Devine Rebel Mortlach Reserve 2008, bottle number 290 of 1000, it’s another barley wine that’s been singled hopped with Nelson Sauvin then aged in the Mortlach malt whisky casks, it was at this point the tasting notes on my phone got a bit jumbled and my tweet of the picture simply said “hell yeah”, the few notes on my phone said dates, chocolate and lots of booze followed by the words “Grzd stiff bt neds longe in bottle” which I think translates as great stuff but needs longer in the bottle….luckily I’ve got a bottle in the cupboard which I’ll save for when Dave and my self are a little less worse for wear.
Beer of the day was certainly the Williams Fraoch 20th Anniversary beer, I really need to find some more of it.
And that’s it Open It day 2 …well and truly done! I think tonight’s Open It will be a little more sedate and I might just open the one beer….we shall see.