This Scumbag

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Musician, engineer/producer and former employee at Beer Ritz in Leeds. Enthusiast of extreme metal and beer, which happily go extremely well together. Follow @BenCorkhill

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Beer Alphabet Week 4 - D

The first beer of the evening, La Trappe Dubbel, gives off lovely sweet, spicy aromas of berries and honey. Prickly yet smooth on the tongue, the taste presents a nice juicy blend of those darker fruits, roasted malts and a slight booziness on the swallow. The lingering candy sugariness is not as sweet as I'd expected but certainly present. I've enjoyed this in the past, and am enjoying it just as much tonight.

The amber-brown pour of Stone Double Bastard pushes a large foamy off-white head skyward. Pungent malty aromas of milk chocolate, nuts and caramel. A huge immediate booziness makes way for a smooth caramel wave of malts rolling across the tongue, leaving a lingering boozy sting in the throat. A big, dry bitter finish caps this beer off nicely. I now see what the fuss is about, good work Stone.

Monday, 26 December 2011

Spreading the Christmas Beer

The clear, golden and rather carbonated pour of Dupont Avec les Bons Voeux offers yeasty aromas not too dissimilar from a strong lager or pilsner - grassy with underlying citric fruits. Smooth and fruity across the palate, offering substantial flavour but not much of an aftertaste to remember.

Good, but not great.
I'd saved this beer to have as my 'special' ale for Christmas. Although slightly disappointing, it was a refreshing return to quality beer. Yesterday was Christmas Day, and aside from a couple of pints of Brains Rev James at the pub in the afternoon and a few glasses of port later in the night, I have been drinking mountains of Foster's Gold. Cringe, think less of me, throw your arms up in disgust if you will, I really don't care. Foster's Gold was what was in my parents' fridge, and there happened to be plenty of it. This got me thinking about Leigh's post about Christmas, and how even for a lover of good beer, what you drink is only relevant within the context of the occasion.

So if you've forsaken the values of good beer these last couple of days for the sake of enjoying them with your family, I'm sure you will join me in saying: Fuck it, it's Christmas.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Beer Alphabet Week 3 - C

It's been a looong day at work, and this will be the only night this week that I can sit down and write about a couple of decent beers, so here we go with C (for Christmas, get it?)...

Odell Cutthroat Porter
I've worked my way through a fair few of Odell's range now, yet this one has evaded me thus far. The tempting black pour gives off aromas of burnt and toasted malts with chocolates, a little vanilla and a slight liquorice undertone. The mouthfeel is a lot lighter than I expected but it glides across the tongue, with lovely rich flavours of milk chocolate, very subtle coffee and a soft toasted maltiness. There is not much left over in the throat but the tongue is left with lingering memories of those classic porter flavours

St. Austell Cornish Bock 

An appetising clear amber pour gave off a good sized white head which dissipated to a medium size quite quickly. The fresh lager aromas are laced with a caramel and toffee sweetness. A medium but inoffensive carbonation presented an immediate clean freshness with underlying sugar and sweet caramel. The crisp, dry finish makes it extremely moreish and, frankly, hard to put down for long. At 6.5%, four or five of these would make for a very pleasurable night's drinking (shame I just have the one...)!

The first outside contribution to this alphabet, by the way, has come from the very man who suggested the idea, Steve (@BeersIveKnown) over at Beers I've Known. Last week, he got stuck into a Sierra Nevada Bigfoot, so cheers Steve for getting involved!

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Beer Alphabet Week 2 - B

It's grey and terribly wet outside. It's been a busy day at work and my belly is full of chip butties and disappointing meatballs; I think I'll drink some beer. Tonight's menu consists of Barbar Bok and Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout.

Contenders... ready!
 The Barbar Bok presents itself in a deep, dark brown pour with a smallish off-white bubbly head. Fresh, very Belgian sweet and spicy aromas of honey and dark fruits. Medium carbonation and medium mouthfeel present sugary fruits with a slight honey quality. The dryish finish doesn't leave much lingering, and the alcohol is barely present; however, this is a very nice drinking experience indeed.

The blend: awesome.
An appetising, thick black pour with a small mocha head is the first offering from the Black Chocolate Stout. Huge aroma of dark and milk chocolates, coffee, slight vanilla, caramel and burnt malts. No carbonation, silky mouthfeel with chocolate, treacle and dark malts. Not as much coffee as I expected actually. There's a slight alcohol bite on the swallow followed by lingering smokey bitterness. Delicious.

Then guess who suggested blending them?* The fresh sweetness of the bok actually overpowers the intense chocolate, surprisingly. It's very candyish, with a cushion-soft mouthfeel allowing fresh chocolate sweetness to force its way through. Very nice blend!

*Our resident apparition, of course.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Golden Pints 2011

Like football, but beer.
I've barely left the comfort of the womb as far as this blogging business goes, but I might as well chuck my tuppence in anyway. Here are my votes...

Best UK Draught (Cask or Keg) Beer
Winner: Thwaites Our Boys/Our Girls
Runner up: Hawkshead NZPA

Best UK Bottled or Canned Beer
Winner: Harveys Imperial Extra Double stout

Runner up: Williams Alba

Best Overseas Bottled or Canned Beer
Winner: Odell Myrcenary
Runner up: Mikkeller Black Hole

Best Overall Beer
Winner: Guinness Foreign Extra
Runner up: Thwaites Our Boys/Our Girls

Best Pumpclip or Label
Winner: Magic Rock (all)
Runner up: Thornbridge St. Petersburg

Best UK Brewery
Winner: The Kernel
Runner up: Williams

Best Overseas Brewery
Winner: Odell
Runner up: Mikkeller (if he counts as a brewery!)

Pub/Bar of the Year
Winner: Arcadia
Runner up: Veritas

Beer Festival of the Year
Sadly I couldn't attend, but I'll say Headingley Ale Festival because of all the hard work Ruth & Kev put in

Supermarket of the Year
Winner: Morrisons
Runner up: Asda

Independent Retailer of the Year
Winner: Beer Ritz
Runner up: Beer Ritz... I don't shop anywhere else!

Best Beer Book or Magazine
Winner: Michael Jackson's Beer Companion
Runner up: Man Walks into a Pub

Best Beer Blog or Website
Winner: Ghost Drinker
Runner up: Cooking Lager (RIP)

Best Beer Twitterer
Winner: Joint @broadfordbrewer & @BeersIveKnown
Runner up: @Tuff86

Best Online Brewery Presence
Winner: Hardknott
Runner up: Broadford!

In 2012 I'd Most Like To:
Drink a fuck load of really, really good beer.

Open Catagory
Most improved pub: The Fenton, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds. When I first started going it was a smelly, run-down pub with questionable beer. As a regular I have seen a HUGE improvement in the last few months; they now stock beer from Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout to Chimay Red, as well as having had Magic Rock, Kirkstall and BrewDog on cask and is a much nicer place to drink in general. Leodensians, I urge you to give it another go!

Friday, 9 December 2011

Beer Alphabet Week 1 - A

Here we are with the first instalment of the Beer Alphabet. Beginning, as is the norm, at the beginning, we land on the letter A. As I've been drinking a ridiculous amount of stouts and porters recently ('tis the season!) I thought I'd dabble in something quite different. So I'm revisiting two beers which I haven't had for a while, and that I thoroughly enjoyed in the past but didn't make any tasting notes…
Buxton's branding could be a bit better

Buxton Axe Edge
This is one of the beers that stand out to me as a representation of modern, American-influenced, hop-forward British brews that have come into their own in the last year or so. I've had it a couple of times before and was extremely impressed. 

A light orange/coppery pour conjured a large white head, which stayed nicely. Huge aromas of citrus fruits - grapefruit, orange and lime, got my mouth watering like Niagra Falls. These were backed up with a light caramel aroma, it's pretty much like sniffing a bag of sweets. It's intense and complex on the palate, but nicely balanced. There's light carbonation and an initial bitterness with a lovely fruitiness - I got grapefruit, manna, orange and some subtle sherbet lemon(?). Not as juicy as I had hoped, but the dryish finish made it quite insatiably moreish. In fact, this didn't last long at all, it was all gone before I knew it.

Not quite as intensely fruity as I'd remembered or hoped for, but a cracking drop nonetheless. The alcohol is masked nicely making it a real sinker. Interestingly, I put it down for a few minutes during conversation, and as it warmed up a bit it really brought the fruits out in the finish. Absolutely delicious beer.

Schneider Weisse Aventinus Tap 6
I remembered having this beer a while ago, just the once, and my memory isn't great… so what better excuse to try another? It's my day off, nearly ready for my lunch of Blackadder and soup, let's give it a go… 

Not for the faint-hearted

It pours a deep, appetising ruby, cloudy with a large white foamy head. Massive red wine-like aroma, with caramel, raspberry, and toffee apple culminating in a big sweetness. There is instant alcoholic sweetness on the tongue. A light carbonation with intense red grape and dark berries. I had hoped for a bigger body, but it is a German beer after all. There is a sourness in the dry, light bitter finish. The lingering alcohol tartness is reminiscent of a red wine, but much softer. Quite a pleasant drop, but not a light drinker as the Axe Edge was. If I were to have another, I think it would be with an evening meal rather than a mid-afternoon tipple!

Join Me!

So, beer bloggers all, do you have an 'A' beer to contribute? If you fancy collaborating in this glorious run down of the alphabet, email me your tasting notes at and I'll be including your retrospective musings at the end of next week's blog. Cheers!

Monday, 5 December 2011

Turns out the Zebra did it.

This week will see the beginning of a new lease of life for this blog. I've been ashamedly quiet on the writing front of late, simply because I haven't had anything all that exciting to write about. I was planning on doing a big beer blowout post from tasting notes I've been collecting over the last month or so, but instead I had a moment of inspiration (i.e. totally nicked the idea off a customer) - to complete a beer alphabet! 

'B' is for...

So, starting now, for the next 26 weeks (week three, C, conveniently lands on Christmas…) I will be taking you through two or three beers a week according to the most beautiful human creation there is, the English alphabet. After all, who needs SatNav when you've got an A to Z of Beer?!