Beer – #349 – Emerson’s – Southern Clam Stout


Back to NZ for some more of the similar with an Emerson’s – Southern Clam Stout. It’s 3rd cab off the rank tonight, but then I may have saved best for last.

Brewed by Emerson’s Brewing Company (Lion Breweries – NZ (Lion Nathan Co.) this is in the style of a  Stout and the Emerson people are in Dunedin, New Zealand

Emerson's StoutDunedin’s Emerson’s Brewery will be heading to Beervana and the BrewNZ Beer Awards in Wellington taking with them a truly original brew that celebrates a fusion of Otago flavours. The new, limited edition, big velvety stout has been brewed with locally harvested Blueskin Bay clams and it’s being hailed as a heavenly match.

Their standard 500ml bottle, in this case containing a 6% ABV beer, and it’s only 180 calories a serve, and only 2.36 drinks overall.

The new, limited edition, big velvety stout has been brewed with locally harvested Blueskin Bay clams and it’s being hailed as a heavenly match.

The beer has a dark tawny brown head and a subtle creamy roasty aroma with a hint of vanilla and ocean briny characters. Complex dark roasted characters prevail with more briny notes developing as you delve further into the pint glass.

Emerson’s - Southern Clam StoutThis then clearly comes with a big run up…  Although I’d imagine you can’t really mess up a stout, and that I just had two that really rang a bell with me is a big ask. I hope that I’ll do this a justice.

Nor so much of an aroma on this on opening, although pushed I’d say sweet fruits, I’d be embarrassed but that’s hat I’d say.

Dark pitch black pour, with a mocha coffee head that is fairly firm and permanent, fluffy and creamy. Aroma is of nothing so much.

Ok. Right, Expecting a bit of a thing. Didn’t get the thing. Got a cold drink. This isn’t colder or warmer than the last two beers I had though. Not a lot of taste action going on.

You know that bit where you hate the fact that this isn’t better or in some way more aggressive and attention seeking. That.

On the back of two really good Stouts this is somewhat out of it’s depth, yeah yeah yeah imperial stouts. but stand up and be noticed.

The pdubyah-o-meter then is conflicted by an over-indulgence of good beer leading up to this which I though was going to be the fizz, or as it turns out the flop. For that I hate the way I didn’t think this through.

Pdubyah-o-meter – 7  is where I’m at. 7 is ok, it’s good on the scale of things

Lets be fair you might start the evening, or gravitate to this, in the course of events, or like me you might be on a Stout-a-thon. If like me you did it in this order you might have got it backs-asswards.

This is thin. This does not have a stand out note in the profile. I’m a bit annoyed.

  1. Am I enjoying it? NO
  2. Would I have another? On another day if you put up a good case
  3. Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights? No, we’d argue as to why this wasn’t a good thing.

Music with the dinner,   which was Rissoto cakes, Bacon, Prawns and a salad with balsamic dressing, oh and I made bread that was a bit average bit still fresh bread! – Lee Fields – From the Faithful Man LP.

 

STOUT

Many stouts do not fit the classic “Irish” definition as exemplified by Guinness, either due to their hop or roast rates, or higher gravity (in the case of many American stouts). They are still basic stouts, however, not falling into any of the subclasses.

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Beer – #348 – Amager/Mikkeller – Hr. Frederiksens Væsel Brunch Barrel Aged


Same but different this is the Amager/Mikkeller Hr. Frederiksens Væsel Brunch – the  Barrel Aged version.

Brewed by Amager Bryghus in the style of an Imperial Stout and not new to me, being the second beer –  from Kastrup, Denmark

Again – 10.7% ABV beer in a 500mml bottle, making it about 321 calories and this would be 4.2 standard drink units.

Selfie

Selfie

This is a unique blend of two of the best imperial stouts. We have brewed Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch Weasel and Amager Brewery Mr. Frederiksen separately and then blended the two brews. This has given a very balanced, harmonious and full-bodied beer.  An imperial stout brewed with: water, barley malt, wheat malt, oat malt, sugar, hops, yeast and gourmet væselkaffe.

This then to labour the point is the Bourbon barrel-aged edition.

You can tell, the label is white not yellow. You can tell I also discovered the underline, bold and colour buttons :-)

Different more sour aroma on opening for this one.

Pours the same pitch black pour but the head is creamier and thicker, go on I could be telling you truth!, I thought it was darker too.

In the glass there is more a vanilla aroma, the head settles to more a coffee film.

Weasel2Totally different profile from the standard one. This is a bit sour and confronting.  having one then the other you notice that this finishes with more cigar smokiness for instance, and that the up front taste is totally different.

Gone is the sweetness, still there is the alcohol. So then,  deep breath.

The Bourbon, its the bourbon, it really is there, and you know how I know, I don’t drink bourbon, and I know the taste, so for me it’s really making a presence. Really.

None of the polite coffee and fruits things going on, although the aroma does still have some coffee/chocolate notes going on. Alcohol astringent is still up front and not in the back like sometimes you get with Belgium beers as part of the finish.

This then is the same but different, I can pick that this has bourbon or hard liquor in in as a thing, I can still pick the coffee/chocolate notes, and the sweetness is there but less present.

It is still dangerously drinkable and will get you in a world of pain. 

The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as a 9.25 on the scale of it’s own making.  Why though, why is this not a 10?  I can’t tell you why. Actually I can. There is still the sourness in this. and although this has more body and is a better beer it still isn’t a total delivery.

That wager that you should enjoy it or I’d pay you back might apply to this. I know that ‘infused’ or ‘Barrel Aged’ beers are a thing, for me this works because the ‘thing’ isn’t my usual thing.

  1. Am I enjoying it? Yes, yes I am
  2. Would I have another? I thank you for asking, I will
  3. Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights? Yup. Invite me over, I’m brining.

Musically we moved on, it was MrsPhil’s turn to pick – and so –  Snow Patrol, Songs for Polar Bears. And I sang along as I know most of the words, or I’m good at improv. Judge me.

 

IMPERIAL STOUT
Imperial stouts are usually extremely dark brown to black in color with flavors that are intensely malty, deeply roasted and sometimes with accents of dark fruit (raisin, fig) or milk sourness. The bitterness is typically medium and often the low sie of that. Imperial stouts are strong and often exceed 8% by volume.

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Beer – #347 – Amager/Mikkeller – Hr. Frederiksens Væsel Brunch


Tonight I’m kicking off with the extended named Amager/Mikkeller Hr. Frederiksens Væsel Brunch – which is an Imperial Stout beer.

Brewed by Amager Bryghus in the style of an Imperial Stout and new to me, this is from Kastrup, Denmar. The label points out that this is brewed with coffee.

This is a 10.7% ABV beer in a 500ml bottle, making it about 321 calories and that makes this 4.2 standard drink units. Not to be taken lightly. Buy hey I pushed myself for a 5km run today so I did enough, right? That and I made bread to go with the dinner tonight.

Selfie

Selfie

This is a unique blend of two of the best imperial stouts. We have brewed Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch Weasel and Amager Brewery Mr. Frederiksen separately and then blended the two brews. This has given a very balanced, harmonious and full-bodied beer.  An imperial stout brewed with: water, barley malt, wheat malt, oat malt, sugar, hops, yeast and gourmet væselkaffe.

This is a very highly rated beer, but you know that I will tell it as I see it and I’m not going to ooh and agh because the everyone else did.

Aroma on opening does not give a lot away, perhaps a hint of coffee, although I would be wishing that.

Deep dark pour with a mocha coffee head of some thickness and creaminess. Smokey coffee aroma in the glass. Head settles back.

Weasel 1Then there is the initial surprise in the taste, this is very sweet, much more sweet than you’d be expecting, and it kind of brings you up a bit short. In a good way.

Alcohol astringent is apparent in this from the get-go, but it’s the noise at the front before the crash of the coffee, chocolates, sweets and the sour bitterness that carries this along to a lovely feel in the mouth. Almost poetry!  Me that is not the beer.

Lots of fruit notes in this as I drink it, and thinking about it makes it all the more complex.

Alarmingly this is avery easy drinking beer, which you can attribute to the smoothness of the delivery added to the sweetness of taste, the nice carbonation and for me the coffee and fruit tastes. The only down note I could pick on would be the slightly sour finish, and that there isn’t a lot of depth, the flavours are all bright and clamouring for the front.

The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as a 9 on the scale of it’s own making. It’s not a 10 though, it does not have a knock out punch or a real depth of taste that would make this a complete delivery, it is however spectacularly good.

This could be one of those beers that I’d wager you’d enjoy and that if you didn’t I would refund your costs, but I’m not sure.

  1. Am I enjoying it? Yes very much so
  2. Would I have another? I would buy this with my own money
  3. Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights? Yes, this would be a great conversation carrier.
The Amp, the iPod and the jar of caps

The Amp, the iPod and the jar of caps

I was re-loading my iPod after a user-error saw all the songs deleted, and I stopped at Kings of Leon which I then dialled up to 11 —  Need Somebody.

IMPERIAL STOUT

Imperial stouts are usually extremely dark brown to black in color with flavors that are intensely malty, deeply roasted and sometimes with accents of dark fruit (raisin, fig) or milk sourness. The bitterness is typically medium and often the low sie of that. Imperial stouts are strong and often exceed 8% by volume.

 

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Beer – #346 – 8 Wired – Fresh Hopwired IPA


Not giving up the 8 Wired – so next is this on – the Fresh Hopwired- a limited edition of things  – brewed for 8 Wired Brewing. Brewed at Renaissance Brewing this is in the style of anIndia Pale Ale (IPA) and that trick all happens in Blenheim, New Zealand

A wet hopped version of our flagship IPA, HopWired

A 500ml bottle 7.3% ABV beer, 219 calories, and at 60 IBU, and that would be 2.87 standard drink units in NZ. 60 IBU is the low end for an IPA.

Over the past 2 years, HopWired has more or less turned into the benchmark for all New Zealand hopped IPA. It is a pure expression of NZ “terroir” for better and worse. This year we decided to mix it up a little and make a wet hopped version of this modern classic. So one beautiful morning in March we drove to

Selfie

Selfie

Nelson and picked a truckload (literally) of freshly harvested, “wet” Motueka hops. We went straight back to the brewery and brewed some beer. Two weeks later we did the same thing, but this time the hops was Nelson Sauvin (the two hops mature at different times). The two beers were blended and here it is, a refreshing take on New Zealand IPA.

Today is a very special day. We have just mashed in a batch of Hopwired, but the hops for the beer are still on the bine! As we continue the brew, the good farmers in Motueka will harvest, you guessed it, Motueka hops. We will collect these wet hops in about an hour, drive them over the hill and stick them straight in the beer. In two weeks we will do exactly the same thing, but the hops will be Nelson Sauvin. By blending the two batches, we will have made the first ever “Fresh Hopwired”. Good times!

I rated the standard Hopwired a 9 on the scale of things, so I’m quietly hoping that I got that right and that this’ll hit the spot.

Sweet mild hop aroma on opening, nicely sweet.

8 Wired - Fresh Hopwired IPANice hazelnut brown pour with a minimal but persistent head, Hop aroma more intense, much more grass, but also much more caramel too. Head fades away.

Something sweet citrus in this too.

Lots and lots of pine/grass but at a level that gets you interested and it’s layered on a nice sweet note.

Finish is dry but not desert dry just nicely so on the back of the palate, nice decent carry and finish.

Rather classy then, this is very very well behaved and enjoyable,. The freshness of the hops translates into that really resin/grass tang that this has, but it’s really well balanced.

If anything this is under-carbonated, but that’s picking a fault.  The measure though is the pdubyah-o-meter which rates this easily as a 8 on the scale of things. Despite a few things that this lacks, and it might do to have some more body for instance, and this does have a lot of sweetness in it, which is masking some of the bitterness that you could might enjoy.

I drank this in a hurry, despite my best intentions not to, despite me thinking that this might be a bit tart up front and too sweet at the back, it turns out that this is a beer that I’d have a few of without a problem, which might end up a problem. Conflicted much?

I have no idea how to follow this up and be as happy as I am right now, and whilst I am not ecstatic I’m not disappointed.

The double dip review:

  1. Am I enjoying it?  Gosh yes
  2. Would I have another? I wish I could
  3. Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights? This has a lot of really nice things going for it, quaffable and enjoyable without being the centre of attention. Get in!

There wasn’t music there was Formula One on the teevee. I should have played some music.  I was listening to the band “Slowly Rolling Camera” before I made that particular mistake, do yourself a favour and give this 3 minutes of your time.

INDIA PALE ALE & IPA

India Pale Ale gets its name and unique style from British brewers who were making beer for export to India. This style has an intense hop flavor which was used to preserve the beer for the long voyage. India Pale Ale has a golden to copper color with a medium maltiness and body. The aroma is moderate to very strong. IPAs work especially well at cutting the heat of chili, vindaloo or Sichuan cuisine.

 

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Beer – #345 – 8 Wired – Semiconductor Session IPA


Yes, Semiconductor Session IPA, not the full conductor.

This is brewed for 8 Wired Brewing . Brewed at Renaissance Brewing this in the style of a Session IPA and they are in Blenheim, New Zealand.

Semi-ConductorA session strength IPA brewed with a blend of American and New Zealand hops. Maximum flavour, minimum regret.

This comes in in a 330ml bottle, and is only at 4.4% ABV which for a beer is only 1.4 standard drinks, also low bitter at 30 IBUs (the low end for English Bitters)  and only 132 calories

IPAs are great but sometimes you just don’t want the amount of alcohol that comes with most of the good ones. In this spirit we brewed Semiconductor. an IPA designed to be drunk by the gallon, if you are that thirsty.

Certainly has a hop aroma on opening, and a noticeable hiss, aroma has some yeastiness too.

Semiconductor Session IPAPour is  a really pale yellow, not what I expected, and a head that appears to be persistent in the glass. Nice hop aroma.

Lots of grass in a burst, and a reasonable length but not a long carry, so you taste this and notice this, but there is no second or longing taste on the tongue, or dryness.

So what do you got? An IPA that hints at hops and bitterness, delivers a punch of grass in the front and that is it and the bitterness in one.

So the semi is really the indication that you’re not going to get a full. But sometimes that could be a thing, you don’t want that dry finish that makes you regret drinking a beer, but you want a bitterness that keeps you interested and engaged with what you are drinking.

Leaves a nice lading in the glass too, sometimes that’s important.

The pdubyah-o-meter then rates this as an accomplished 7 better than good beer. Sadly though it’s way more expensive than stronger lager beer types in 12 packs, so unless there is a method of getting the price point down to something more reasonable then this is going to be a small volume beer that you might take to a party or gathering knowing you can have perhaps 3 and enjoy your night out. No way you could afford to “session” on this, as a bang for buck proposal unless there was a lot of talking and very little drinking involved.

Perhaps it could be be my idea of “Session” that is wrong, my though was “big night in with the beer, for hours”, and for that reason the grinch in me hates this, on price.

The drinker in me comparing this to a domestic beer though loves it, it’s lower in alcohol, better taste profile and more enjoyable. Just can’t afford it.

I enjoyed the full conductor 8 on the scale of things, by the way, I think I linked to it at the bottom, it was a lot of beers ago, that I drank it, not when I linked it :-)

The Double Dip review

  1. Am I enjoying it?  Yes and No. Yes for what it is, and I’m a bit miffed that it’s actually so expensive.
  2. Would I have another? If I could afford it perhaps, or if it was the same price as other “domestic” beers at the bar
  3. Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights?  If they were buying of course, I’d be very protective of my stash if I took these anywhere, so no.

Cranked up the music a bit with Seasick Steve  - You can’t teach an old dog new tricks

INDIA PALE ALE & IPA

India Pale Ale gets its name and unique style from British brewers who were making beer for export to India. This style has an intense hop flavor which was used to preserve the beer for the long voyage. India Pale Ale has a golden to copper color with a medium maltiness and body. The aroma is moderate to very strong. IPAs work especially well at cutting the heat of chili, vindaloo or Sichuan cuisine.

 

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Beer – #344 – Orval – Orval


Getting back to Belgium briefly then with an Orval

Brewed by Brasserie dOrval in the style of a Belgian Ale and they’re based in Florenville – Villers-d.-Orval, Belgium

A simple but unique shaped 330 ml bottle, like a mini wine bottle perhaps, containing a 6.2% ABV beer, translating to 1.61 Standard Drinks in NZ, and this has 186 calories, also this might be 32 IBU things.

Selfie!

Selfie!

In contrast to all the others, the Orval Trappist brewery makes only one beer for the general public. It has an intensely aromatic and dry character. Between the first and second fermentations there is also an additional dry-hopping process. Through this the beer acquires its pronounced hoppy aroma and extra dry taste.

What’s special about Orval’s beer is that hops are added at two different stages of the production process. First, in the brewing room, a large quantity of very fine hops are added – this produces the famous bitter taste and is the reason why the beer keeps for a longer period of time. Later, in the storage cellars, hops are once again added. This is the so-called British “dry hopping,” which produces the delightful aroma that completely enraptures even the most carefully forewarned taster.

Generally considered a prince amongst beers I got two bottles, which is unusual for me, but there were not many left on the shelf and rather than miss out if it was ‘that’ good I took a punt.

Strictly speaking I’ve had this when I’ve been out and about, in a pub, where I didn’t think it was that spectacular, said the man who then did some further research… lets see if the at home version beats the out at the pub version. Besides it was 18 months ago.

OrvalIt’s well carbonated by the hiss, and there is a sour aroma on opening.

Pours more orange than I remember, I can’t remember, and has a health head, and you can pick the aroma as you pour it, haven’t got close to drinking it yet, waiting in vain for the head to cease and desist. Might have to get my nose fluffy.

Of course there is sediment.

Of course I poured it in, not wanting to think that I hadn’t poured the whole bottle.

I really was expecting some with more sweetness and warmth in it than a more sour beer.

So a bit cider like, but with those familiar musty yeasty aromas, which are nice.

I think that the pdubyah-o-meter rating this at a 7 on the scale of things is, in my opinion, fair. 7 being better than good.

  1. Am I enjoying it?  I’m not not enjoying it
  2. Would I have another?  hahah I do have another in the fridge, perhaps later
  3. Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights?  I would as a discussion starter on why people would think this is amongst the best of beers, but not to talk about the sportsball results.

Bit of Paloma Faith for accompaniment, a real mixed bag of an album – this track “Only love can hurt like this”

BELGIAN ALE

Belgian-style ales seldom fit neatly into classic beer styles, but this category represents those “session” ales (in Belgium this means under 7% abv!) that do not fit other categories. Colour ranges from golden to deep amber, with the occasional example coming in darker. Body tends to be light to medium, with a wide range of hop and malt levels. Yeastiness and acidity may also be present.

 

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Beer – #343 – Emelisse – Smoked Rye IPA


Two in a row from this brewery then , this one the an Emelisse Smoked Rye IPA (Innovation Serie)

330ml bottle of a 6.25 ABV beer being 1.61 standard drinks in NZ, 186 calories and 55 IBU things.

Brewed by Brouwerij Emelisse in the style of either a smoked or an India Pale Ale (IPA) and they didn’t move in the last few minutes from Kamperland, Netherlands

Selfie!

Selfie!

An IPA brewed with 20% Rye malt and 10% Weyermann Smoke malts. Simcoe and Cascade Hops.

The Smoked Rye IPA is a beer in the Emelisse Innovation Serie’s

Light smoke on opening.

An orange pour with a small and firm lasting head.

The smoked notes are lesser in the glass, but they are there.

Peaty smokey taste with this, the peat is lasting and all present. I guess you could mix peat and smoke, I’ll switch to smoke for the rest of this.

So a smokey backbone in this, with little bitterness up-front and a short finish. Lots of carbonation on the tongue.

Emelisse Smoked Rye IPAThere’s a few things going on in this, some of them are not adding to the whole.

The carbonation gives you a sense of drinking soda water, the taste really isn’t strong enough to carry that amount of bubbles.

The smokey note though is there and present and lasting, it give you a full finish, even if the bitterness doesn’t.

The pdubyah-o-meter says this is a 6 on the scale of all arbitrary things.

And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.

Except that there are really some very very good smoked,  whiskey, peat beers and this isn’t one of them.

The Double Dip review

  1. Am I enjoying it? not as much as you’d think
  2. Would I have another? Nope
  3. Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights? Nope

SMOKED

The classic smoked beers hail from Bamberg in Franconia, Germany. These are made using malt that has been smoked over beechwood. The insistent smokiness may be applied to any lager style. In North America, the same technique has been used to make smoked porter. Whiskey malt beers are made using peat-smoked malt.

INDIA PALE ALE & IPA

India Pale Ale gets its name and unique style from British brewers who were making beer for export to India. This style has an intense hop flavor which was used to preserve the beer for the long voyage. India Pale Ale has a golden to copper color with a medium maltiness and body. The aroma is moderate to very strong. IPAs work especially well at cutting the heat of chili, vindaloo or Sichuan cuisine.

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Beer – #342 – Emelisse – TIPA


Always keen to try something new, from somewhere new.

Tonight then,  Emelisse – TIPA, brewed by Brouwerij Emelisse, in the style of an  Imperial/Double IPA and they do that in Kamperland, Netherlands.

This 330ml bottle has an a ABV of  10%  which translates to a measure of  2.6 Standard Drinks in NZ, and 300 calories in this. This is also 103 in the IBU scale.

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Selfie

A massive Triple IPA, Brewed with Chinook, Simcoe, Cascade and Amarillo hops. White Labs WLP 001 yeast. Double is sometimes not enough. Besides the double India Pale Ale is now also the Triple IPA developed. And yes, that means that there are three times as many hops is used as usual. Take a sturdy chair, sit back and enjoy …

Not overly hoppy on opening this, more caramel sweet. Pours a really cloudy hazelnut brown with a small and disappearing head.

Much stronger hop aroma in the glass. Sour hops on the palate, but with quite a strong sweet backbone,  finishes to something approaching dry which sparks up the back edges for the tongue.

An intriguing beer this.

Emelisse TIPAA mix of sweet, sour, hoppy, under-carbonated, and dry finishing, but not all-in-all unpleasing, but not something that isn’t raising an eyebrow, at least not in admiration.

A confusion is what this really is, and the pdubyah-o-meter thinks that this rates as a 6 on the scale of things. As it warms it gets more hop alive in the mouth, and the sweetness takes a bit of a step back, making this a slightly more aggressive beer on the palate.

The Double Dip review

  • Am I enjoying it? Nor so much.
  • Would I have another? Not of this but I have another in the fridge
  • Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights? Nope.

Tonight is kind of a Rufus Wainwright – New York State of Mind / Piano Man kind of night;

IMPERIAL/DOUBLE IPA

Imperial IPA, Double IPA or DIPA is a strong, often sweet, intensely hoppy version of the traditional India Pale Ale. Bitterness units range upward of 100 IBUs and alcohol begins at 7.5% but is more commonly in the 8.5-10% range. The flavour profile is intense all-round. Unlike barley wines, the balance is heavily towards the hops, with crystal and other malts providing support.

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A night out with Billy Connolly


Had the occasion to go to a concert venue with about 10,000 others to see 2 hours of Billy Connolly.

This is the second time that I’ve been to see him, the last time a few years ago when he last came to NZ.

It’s appears to have been a long time and with age does not come enhancement. He is now 71, and for me, he’s now showing his age, he’s slower, more ponderous, much whiter of hair and he looked, well, a bit tired and weary of body.

Hey yes he has Parkinson’s Disease and has had occasion to be treated for Prostrate Cancer, but he seemed to be at pains to assure people that he could remember things,  even in his trademark rambling story-telling narrative.

Which he did on a number of occasions, and often checking his stage notes that he now appears with, it’s understandable given his show that a aid memoir would be handy.

There wasn’t much ‘new’ in this show, he seems to wistfully reminisce on the past and sometimes with fury and hatred of his childhood,  he harks back to his early life and early career. A bit about heckling and how it’s pointless, and 5 minute story on swearing.

It was funny in places, but it wasn’t constantly funny, and often he spoke to a silent house.

I missed the giggling, the frenetic enthusiasm that he had in the past, the rich story telling that you could picture in your mind’s eye. I missed the big Billy Connolly of old.

It was a quick hour and 50 minutes of a show, but the light is dimmer, the power waning, the fans still ardent and the love still very obvious.

I’m glad  and sad that I went, a bittersweet evening.

 

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