Just like you, but different
It’s been a while since I’ve written in words, rather than just made a short IG post about beer, (you can Check our the Insta here), I haven’t stopped drinking the beer, I’ve just stopped sitting at a desk to do so. But occasionally a beer arrives that makes me want to stop and enjoy it more, to pontificate and ponder over it. This is one of those.
Worse is that I now have a fridge that has many beers that I feel similarly about, beer from Craftwork, 8 Wired, McLeods, North End and others.
But for this session of Herevana I’m drinking a beer from Zealand and Small Gods – Brunhilde’s Fate, a special collaboration made in 🇳🇿 Napier, Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand, in the style that is of a Smoked – Rauchbier.
“Once upon a time all beers tasted a little smokey. Malted grains were kilned over wood fires until the introduction of smoke-less coke a century or two ago which meant maltsters could roast non-smokey pale malts and beers like Bitter and Pilsner were born”
There’s an instruction “Aim for a large head when pouring – around 1/4 of the height of the glass is traditional to release optimal aroma as you drink.” I’ll bring out the extra large glass.
I’m a big fan of head on beer, as I am about lacing, It’d be nice to get at least one of these. I’m also expecting of course a smokiness from this. Which before I get there I sat and had a thought about smokiness in beer, not of course to be confused with peatiness in beer, like the Yeastie Boys Rexx for instance. I once thought that smoked Stouts would be the thing if anyone made one, well they did and they are.
Smokiness is one of those elusive and hard to get right things, it’s a fine line between subtle and burnt in my experience, but then it all depends on what it’s balanced on, if there’s enough malt or body to carry it for instance. I came to the conclusion that as a taste explorer I just flat out enjoy different taste sensations, which seems to dovetail nicely into craft beer and their audacious variety and iterations, and becuase they’re unusual smoked Ales, well now they’re special.
I got my big glass ready, and am happy to cast my beer with abandon.
On opening you get a lovely waft of smokiness, it’s like being near a bonfire.
The pour is amazing, I tried my best to get that head right, it falls away quite a lot, and ends up looking a bit like the head of a milkshake, all air and clumpy. The aroma in the glass doesn’t change much from that initial waft.
You than get to sup. Oh my goodness what a treat, what an absolute scorcher of a thing. It rich and intense and that smokiness sits moodily around and about not pushy or in front but just all around. The second sip was just as rewarding and exciting. When I say sip, I mean of course, gulp, there’s so much to like and so much reward in this that I’m quite compelled and enthralled.
Having sung the praises it’s not hard to say that this could carry more smokiness, and it might then disappoint some, but what they might be missing is the layers in this, this isn’t just a dark lager with smokiness, it’s actually a really nice dark lager, smooth and with enough sweetness and a gorgeous look, it’s properly hung together and all fits.
I should have listened to the people at BeerJerk and the Fridge and Flagon and had a visit to get me another
The Pdubyah-o-meter rates this as 10 on the arbitrary number scale. This is a little bit of special magic in a glass that you really don’t get that often. Sure you get spectacular beers (I had one last night in the Garage Project Surrender to the Void Affogato Maple version) but this is all that and then sitting on it’s own little perch. A properly decent beer, properly done, and probably under appreciated. Not in this house though.
If you want to listen along I’m listening to Noel Gallagher and the High Flying Birds on the Spotify Player.
Herevana beers are those I drink at home, I’m not at some beer festival, like, for instance, Beervana, but am just in my kitchen, usually, dining room table, sometimes, or outside, occasionally, where I can take an average picture and write in real time about the beer that I’ve invested in, both in a monetary and emotional way.Philip himself.