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Brief Hiatus – To Italy!

Hello all,

Tomorrow (or really late tonight) I’m off to Italy for a short city break. The bad news is there won’t be posts for a few days. The good news is I should hopefully have more Italian beers to review!

Italy-Signature-Slide5-Venice

Have a great long weekend ūüôā

–Grim

Published Beers To-date

As per the title, here are all of my published reviews to-date:

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Beer

Adnams, England:

  • The Bitter – 3.7% –¬†6.25 / 10 (Low¬†Average¬†to¬†Average)
  • Broadside (Cask) – 4.7% –¬†7.5 / 10 (Very Good)
  • Ghost Ship – 4.5% –¬†8 / 10 (Excellent)

Affligem, Belgium:

  • Blond – 6.8% –¬†8¬†/ 10 (Excellent)
  • Dubbel – 7% –¬†7.75 / 10 (Very Good¬†to¬†Excellent)

Alexander Keith’s, Labatt, AB InBev, Canada:

  • India Pale Ale (Nova Scotia style Pale Ale in the States) – 5% –¬†6.5 / 10 (Average)

Anheuser-Busch, InBev, Brazil:

  • Brahma – 4.3% –¬†4 / 10 (Awful)

Asahi, Japan:

  • Asahi Black –¬†5% –¬†6.5 / 10 (Average)

Athenian Brewery S.A., Athens, Greece:

  • Alfa – 5% –¬†6.5 / 10 (Average)

Backyard Brewhouse, Walsall, England:

  • Bad Santa – 6.8% –¬†8 / 10¬†(Excellent)

Badger (Hall and Woodhouse), Dorset, England:

  • Blandford Flyer – 5.2% – 6.75 / 10 (Average¬†to¬†Good)
  • England’s Own – 4.6% – 6.75 / 10 (Average¬†to¬†Good)
  • Fursty Ferret – 4.4% –¬†7.25 / 10 (Good¬†to¬†Very Good)
  • Hopping Hare – 4.4% –¬†7.25 / 10 (Good¬†to¬†Very Good)
  • Golden Champion – 5% – 8 / 10 (Excellent)
  • Golden Glory – 4.5% –¬†7.5 / 10 (Very Good)
  • Poacher’s Choice – 5.7% –¬†6.5 / 10 (Average)
  • Tanglefoot – 5% –¬†7.25 / 10 (Good¬†to¬†Very Good)

Banks’s, Wolverhampton, England:

  • Lion’s Roar – 3.8% –¬†6.5 / 10 (Average)

Beowulf, Forest of Mercia, Staffordshire, England:

  • Finn’s Hall Porter –¬†4.7% –¬†7.75 / 10 (Very Good¬†to¬†Excellent)

Black Sheep, Mashum, Yorkshire, England:

  • Best Bitter – 3.8% –¬†7 / 10 (Good)
  • Golden Sheep – 4.7% – 7 / 10 (Good)
  • Riggwelter – 5.7% – 7.75 / 10 (Very Good¬†to¬†Excellent)

Blue Moon Brewing Co., Molson Coors, Montreal, Canada:

  • Blue Moon (Rickard’s White) – 5.4% – 7 / 10 (Good)

Boddingtons, InBev, UK:

  • Boddingtons Draught Bitter – 3.5% –¬†6.25 / 10 (Low Average¬†to¬†Average)

Brew Dog, Scotland:

  • Punk IPA – 5.6% – 8.25 / 10 (Excellent¬†to¬†Very Excellent)

Burton Bridge Brewery, Burton-Upon-Trent, England:

  • Bramble Stout – 5% –¬†8.25 / 10 (Excellent¬†to¬†Very Excellent)
  • Golden Delicious – 3.5% –¬†6.5 / 10 (Average)

Brakspear, England:

  • Double Drop Bitter – 3.4% –¬†6.25 / 10¬†(Low¬†Average¬†to¬†Average)

Caledonian (Heineken), Scotland:

  • Flying Dutchman Junibier – 4.3% – 6.5 / 10 (Average)

Castle Rock, Nottingham, England:

  • Red Start – 4.3% – 6 / 10 (Low¬†Average)

Damm, Barcelona, Spain:

  • A.K.Damm –¬†4.8% –¬†8.25 / 10 (Excellent¬†to¬†Very Excellent)

Erdinger Weissbräu, Germany:

  • Erdinger Hefe Weissbier – 5.3% – 8.5 / 10 (Very Excellent)

FEMSA Cerveja Brasil, Brazil:

  • Xingu Black Beer – 4.6% –¬†7.5 / 10 (Very Good)

FIX, Athens, Greece:

  • FIX Hellas – 5% – 7.25 / 10 (Good¬†to¬†Very Good)

Greene King/Tolly Cobold, England/Wales:

  • Phoenix – 4.2% –¬†7.5¬†/ 10 (Very Good)

Grupo Cervezas Alhambra (Grupo Mahou-San Miguel – Carlsberg), Spain:

  • Adlerbrau Cerveza Especial – 5.4% –¬†6.5 / 10 (Average)
  • Alhambra Export –¬†4.6% –¬†6.25 / 10¬†(Low¬†Average¬†to¬†Average)

Grupo Cruzcampo (Heineken Espana), Spain:

  • Cruzcampo –¬†4.8% –¬†6.25 / 10¬†(Low¬†Average¬†to¬†Average)
  • Cruzcampo Gran Reserva – 7 / 10 (Good)
  • Legado de Yuste – 6.5% –¬†7.5¬†/ 10 (Very Good)

Guinness, Dublin, Ireland:

  • Guinness Foreign Extra – 7.5% –¬†8 / 10 (Excellent)

Hardy’s and Hansons, England:

  • Rocking Rudolph – 4.2% –¬†6.5 / 10 (Average)

Heineken, Italy:

  • Birra Morreti Original – 4.6% –¬†6.5 / 10 (Average)

Innis & Gunn Brewery, Scotland:

  • Innis and Gunn Original – 6.6% –¬†9.25 / 10 (Ambrosia of the Gods)
  • Innis and Gunn Rum Finish / Rum Cask – 7.4% –¬†9.5 / 10 (Ambrosia of the Gods)

Ringnes AS Brewery, Oslo, Norway:

  • Ringnes Pilsener – 4.5% – 6.5 / 10 (Average)

Ringwood (Marston’s), England:

  • Best Bitter –¬†3.5% –¬†6 / 10 (Low¬†Average)
  • Boondoggle –¬†4.2% –¬†6.5 / 10 (Average)

S.A. Fischer, Athens, Greece:

  • Fischer – 5% – 7.25 / 10 (Good¬†to¬†Very Good)

SABMiller, Rome, Italy:

  • Peroni Nastro Azzuro – 5.1% –¬†7 / 10 (Good)

Sapporo, Japan:

  • Sapporo Premium Lager –¬†4.7% –¬†6.5 / 10 (Average)

Stella Artois, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Belgium:

  • Stella Artois – 4.8% – 6.5 / 10 (Average)
  • Stella Artois Black – 4.9% – 7.25 / 10 (Good¬†to¬†Very Good)

St Peter’s Brewery, Suffolk, England:

  • St Peter’s Golden Ale – 4.7% – 6.5 / 10 (Average)

Titanic Brewery, Stoke-on-Trent, England:

  • Fit-Out – 4.5% –¬†7 / 10 (Good)

Warwickshire Beer Co., Cubbington, England:

  • Rugby Ball Stitcher IPA – 5% –¬†6.75 / 10 (Average¬†to¬†Good)

Wells Young’s Brewing Company, England:

  • Banana Bread Beer – 5.2% –¬†7.5 / 10 (Very¬†Good)
  • Waggle Dance – 5% –¬†7.75 / 10 (Very¬†Good¬†to¬†Excellent)

Wood’s Brewery, England:

  • Parish Bitter – 4% – 6 / 10 (Low¬†Average)
  • Pot O’ Gold – 4.4% – 6.75 / 10 (Average¬†to¬†Good)
  • Shropshire Lass – 4.1% – 6 / 10 (Low¬†Average)

Wychwood (Marstons), England:

  • Hobgoblin – 5.2% – 7.5 / 10 (Very Good)
  • Snake’s Bite – 4.2% – 6.5 / 10 (Average)
  • Wychcraft – 4.5% – 7.25 / 10 (Good¬†to¬†Very Good)

Wye Valley, England:

  • Dorothy Goodbody’s Wholesome Stout – 4.6% –¬†7.25 / 10 ¬† (Good¬†to¬†Very¬†Good)

Wylam Brewery, Wylam, England:

  • Godhead –¬†4.3% –¬†7.5 / 10 (Very Good)

Vale Brewing Company, England:

  • 5 Gold Rings – 4.8% – 6.75 / 10 (Average¬†to¬†Good)

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Cider

Aston Manor, Aston, England:

  • Amber Harvest – 5% –¬†6.25 / 10 (Low¬†Average¬†to¬†Average)
  • Forester‚Äôs Pear Cider – 4.5% –¬†6.75 / 10 (Average¬†to¬†Good)

Magners, Ireland:

  • Magners Spiced Apple and Honey Cider – 4% –¬†8 / 10 (Excellent)

Matthew Clark Cider, Halewood International Ltd, England:

  • Blackthorn – 4.7% –¬†6.5 / 10 (Average)
  • Brut Chaumet Sparkling Perry – 5.5% –¬†7.5 / 10 (Very¬†Good)

Stella Artois, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Belgium:

  • Cidre¬†– 4.5% –¬†7.5 / 10 (Very Good)
  • Cidre Pear – 4.5% –¬†7.5 / 10 (Very Good)

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Vodka

Vikingfjord, Oslo, Norway:

  • Vikingfjord – 40% – 8 / 10 (Excellent)

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Whisky

Old Pulteney, Wick, Scotland:

  • Single Malt, 12 Year Old – 40% –¬†7 / 10 (Good)

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Wine

Amanti del Vino, Puglia, Spain:

  • Primitivo Salento, 2008 – 13% – 8 / 10 (Excellent)

Baturrica, Spain:

  • Gran Reserva, 2006 – 13% –¬†8.25 / 10 (Excellent¬†to¬†Very Excellent)

Casillero Del Diablo, Concha Y Toro, Chile:

  • Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva, 2011 – 13.5% – 8.5 / 10 (Very Excellent)

Cono Sur, Chile:

  • Isla Negra,¬†Cabernet Sauvignon,¬†Reserva, 2011 – 12% – 7.5 / 10¬†(Very Good)

Criadores, Spain:

  • Castillo de San Lorenzo Rioja Reserva, 2007 – 12.5% –¬†8.75 / 10 (Very Excellent¬†to¬†Ambrosia)

Garcia Carrion, Spain:

  • El Pinsapo Gran Seleccion, Rioja, 2010 – 13.5% –¬†7.25 / 10 (Good ¬†to¬†Very Good)

Grandes Vinos y Vinetos, Carinena, Spain:

  • Marques de Carano Gran Reserva, 2005 – 12.5% – 6 / 10 (Low¬†Average)
  • Marques de Carano Gran Reserva, 2009 – 12.5% –¬†8.5 /10 (¬†Very¬†Excellent)

LIDL, Italy:

  • Chianti¬†D.O.C.G., 2011 –¬†13% –¬†7.25 / 10 (Good¬†to¬†Very Good)

Saam Mountain, Paarla, South Africa:

  • Carbernet Sauvignon, 2011 – 14% – 8.25 / 10 (Excellent¬†to¬†Very Excellent)

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Primitivo Salento, Amanti del Vino, 2008

Today I bring you a fine wine from the Puglia (Apulia) wine region in Italy. This wine was from our local steakhouse here in Lichfield, http://www.netherstowehouse.com/restaurant.html. Not only was the service impeccable, the decor was interesting, and the food was excellent. This bottle of wine was priced up at £25.50, being described as:

“Grown in rich black soil this wine has superb deep fruit concentration.”

I haven’t been able to find a comparable bottle on the internet to price up in comparison, however, the 2011 vintage seems to retail at¬†¬£6.99 per bottle. I’ll assume the 2008 year is more expensive (as restaurants usually¬†triple the retail bottle price).

Wine: Primitivo Salento, 2008

Grape: Primitivo

Vineyard: Amanti del Vino, Puglia, Italy

IMG_20130411_183548


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Impressions: This was a tangy, yet smooth deep red wine. Oddly effervescent on the tongue, dry with little tannin. Slightly smoky, with a sharp, almost spicy finish.

ABV: 13%

Score: 8 / 10 (Excellent)

Verdict: This was an interesting wine. It’s easy drinking, with a light dryness. The ‘effervescence’ makes this a lively wine, with an overall tangy flavour. The mark is both helped and hindered by this. Unique to me, but perhaps a trait of these wines known to those in the know. Anyway, worth a try, as it complemented my rib eye steak beautifully.

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LIVE UPDATE: LIDL Chianti D.O.C.G. 2011

Today I bring you a Chianti from LIDL’s own wine range. We were using it to cook a Vegetarian Chilli for Mother’s Day and thankfully we live by the well accepted old¬†adage¬†‘You must drink the wine you cook with, or the food will taste spoilt’. I’m sure Confucius or someone said that…¬†It’s a well accepted concept.¬†From the picture below, you can see this was consumed at the recommended 18*C. Purchased for ~¬£5 (can’t recall exact price).

This Chianti D.O.C.G. (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) from 2011 won a Bronze award at the International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) and is made of Sangiovese grapes.

Wine: Chianti D.O.C.G. 2011

Vineyard: Unknown (LIDL), Italy

Chianti
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Impressions:¬†This is a very smooth dark red wine. Very dry (not as dry as the Baturrica Gran Reserva) with a sharp, pungent, tannin body, that does leave your tongue dry. Medium to low body on this wine, with little in the way of berry or fruit notes. An alcohol ‘wisp’ after taste sometimes resides on the tongue.

ABV: 13%

Score: 7.25 / 10 (Good to Very Good)

Verdict:¬†This was a nice, easy drinking wine. Little in the way of memorable notes, or stand-out features, but as a cheap easy drinking wine I can’t complain. Not as nice as the¬†Baturrica Gran Reserva, which I will probably buy again, but I wouldn’t shy away from this wine. Worth a punt at this price.
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Tre Birre per Favore – A Taste of Italy

Buongiorno Signore e Signori! So conditions haven’t really improved here in England. Traffic is jammed, roads are shut, and I couldn’t find my swimming trunks today. Darn. No work for Evan.

Anyway, as I’m sure the Brits would rather be anywhere other than here, I chose to bring you to the lovely shore of the¬†Mediterranean. Italy.

Beer #1: Birra Morreti Original

Brewery: Birra Morreti, now Heineken, Italian Division, Italy

So you’ll have to take my word that this beer is actually Morreti! Unfortunately lighted taps don’t photograph well!

Impressions: This is a nice smooth lager. Very light and refreshing. Low bitterness with only a light hopping, creating light citrus notes. Medium carbonation.

ABV: 4.6%

Score: 6.5 / 10 (Average)

Verdict: This is a squarely average lager. Light and refreshing, with enough flavour to be enjoyable. Better options out there!

Beer #2: Peroni Nastro Azzurro

Brewery: Peroni Brewery, now owned by SABMiller, Rome, Italy

Impressions: Another smooth, refreshing lager. Light and crisp taste, medium to low bitterness. Medium carbonation (as you can see from the awful pour, resulting in a large head). Light cereal notes, and I strangely get a taste of olives. Not sure if that’s psychosomatic association with Italy. Hmm.

ABV: 5.1%

Score: 7 / 10 (Good)

Verdict: I’m not sure why I enjoyed this more than Birra Morretti, but there’s just something to this beer. I’ve had it several times now, and it’s definitely a go to lager against the likes of Carlsberg (English version) or Carling. It’s smooth, light, refreshing, and goes down well. Nothing too unique about this beer, it’s just made well.

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