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Beer – #704 – Harrington’s – SobeRing Thought

I got sent some beer from the nice people at Harrington’s Brewery, a re-release of a beer they made a few years ago, and back for another run, or a re-boot as seems popular in movies these days, and it’s based around a Stout, and I’ve had a few of those lately so my eye should be in on the taste thing.

For a change and a suggested challenge I’m having one chilled in the fridge and one at room (garage) temperature as a side-by-side on aroma, and taste.

an authentic looking low strength beer

in 330ml bottles this is a beer that is 1% ABV, which makes is 0.3 of a drink units and only 30 calories a serving size.

Brewed by Harringtons Breweries in the unusual style that is defined as  Low Alcohol and they are Christchurch, New Zealand

This brew was created specifically for the Lord of the Rings trilogy, as a beer was needed that looked authentic, while having a low alcohol volume. This way no actor’s performance was impaired. Harrington’s Sobering Thought is a part of New Zealand’s magic.

A double...

A double…

Specialty low strength beer, exclusively brewed for the The Lord of the Rings™ trilogy. The set required an authentic looking low strength beer so their actors could perform unimpaired.

To do this we took our handcrafted Clydesdale Stout and reduced the alcohol level down to just one percent, whilst maintaining the great flavour and strong bold appearance. It’s been such a hit, we’ve continued to brew it and make Sobering Thought available to the public.

So, what could possibly go wrong?

  • Room Temp beer:  Rich and full aroma of chocolate.
  • Cold beer:  a lot more oats on opening, a lot less of that chocolate note.

The pour: The room temperature one poured with more carbonation and fizz and a slightly better head, the colder one poured and it looked muddy and watery. In the glass the aromas are still different, the cold one seems to lack some nose, the warm one smells nicer and fuller.

Harrington's SobeRing ThoughtTaste:

  1. The Warm one. That really lacks body and has little or no taste to speak of, but there is some flavour in it, and that seems quite sympathetic and enjoyable.
  2. The cold one. Well it feels thin to the taste, there is not a lot of oomph in the body that fill out a mouthfeel, but there is a nice hit of chocolate.

So what did I learn from that? Not as much as you’d think. The colder one a lot more of that oaty aroma and dryer taste, the colder more of that chocolate taste.

At the end of the totally unscientific taste-off then the colder one was finished quicker, the warm one didn’t light up as much.

It’s a really unusual style this, and without experience of others the same it is hard of not difficult to know if it is good bad or average. A lot of people are thinking this is more a dark lager style, it isn’t even close.

Yes they lack a full body. but they do have more taste and flavour than you expect, which is pleasant, and they’ll probably have quite the following amongst those that like the LotR thing.

The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as 7 of its things from the thing.

The double dip review

  • Am I enjoying it? I did more than I thought I would.
  • Would I have another? I’d consider these if I was the designated driver, colder would be better, they have a better taste than some no or low alc. beers
  • Would I share with a friend on a porch and set the world to rights?  As a thing these are quite nice, they’re be an easy conversation piece, I’m note sure they fit the brief of loose lips after a couple though.

Music for this : ” Gang Signs” and an album “Geist” on Spotify. Not Hip-Hop but rather synth fuelled, cinematic new/noir wave. It’s rather different and rather good really

LOW ALCOHOL

Low alcohol beers range from the typical “Non-Alc” beers, which typically contain 0.5%, to the various European table beer styles. These include hvidtl and skibsol from Denmark, kvass from Russia, the Dutch oud bruins, svagdricka from Sweden, kalja from Finland, various Klass, Scandinavian lagers and table beers from the Teutonic countries as well. The base criteria is that the beer should be under 3%, but still contain alcohol (which rules out malta/malzbier). Otherwise, the class can be a bit of a free-for-all stylistically, ranging from bland lagers, to alcohol-free weizenbiers, to the smoky skibsol.

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