Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Lights! Darks! Cut!

I wonder if you are anything like me. I guess you are in some ways, after all you are reading this blog, so I guess you like beer, I like beer; perhaps you brew your own, as do I - though I hope yours turn out better than my last effort; but do you pick up beer in the shop purely on the strength of having a funky bottle or label? I have done this to great effect with CDs, for example I picked up the Envy of Angels album by The Mutton Birds purely because I liked the atmospheric photo on the cover. It was that whimsy which took hold of me in Florida in July and as a result I bought a bottle of something called Mississippi Mud.

Reading the blurb, this was a "black and tan", a blend of a robust porter and a continental pilsner which I found intriguing as I always thought a black and tan was part pale ale and part stout, but I guess any blend of light and dark can be called a black and tan - thinking here of the guys in the Starr Hill tasting room on Saturday who blended our stout with the special saison we had on tap. Czechs do a similar thing with a pale lager and a dark lager, which can be an excellent alternative to drinking the straight up pale lager, most definitely the case at Zlata!

But what of this goodly looking 1 quart (that's almost a litre there for the Brits/Euros/RoW) bottle in front of me?

Well here goes with the Cyclops fun and games:

  • Sight - deep crimson, tiny ivory head
  • Smell - toffee, chocolate, light lemoniness
  • Taste - smooth chocolate with crisp lager bite
  • Sweetness - 3.5/5
  • Bitterness - 3/5
What a lovely surprise this was, almost like a slightly more bitey (is that a word?) Hobgoblin, it has all the big flavours you associate with a porter but a slightly thinner body that makes it very easy to drink. Part of me would love to dry mixing Pardubický Porter with Primátor Exklusiv or similar to make the ultimate big hitting Czech black and tan (without the legal strictures of making a řezák with beers of the same gravity of course)!

As I say, it was the bottle that caught my attention here, and the bottle itself will be put to good use for making starters for my homebrew so hopefully I can avoid stuck fermentation in the future.


  1. Sounds interesting, I love the bottle! I see the Lovibonds glass is getting good use.

  2. It certainly is, especially as it is the perfect size for most American beer bottles.

  3. That's a great bottle, I would've bought it for that alone. Even though it's a black and tan I did expect it to pour thick like motor oil, for some reason!


Style? What Style?

I had a pang of nostalgia the other day.  Said pang was, bizarrely, for the days when brewers were endlessly trying to out hop each other. D...