I have spent the day preparing a large hall with tables and failing to be a good parent. It was time for indulgence. Next week is still a couple of days away but the clock was firmly flashing beer.
Tonight's journey through time and space left me with the rather highly priced Leeds Best. It is apparently made with a strain of yeast unique to the second largest financial centre in the UK and brewed there out of a local brewery that grew up and was abandoned by Tetley's.
It smelled strange, I have to say, I suspect the yeast had something to do with it, but it put me in mind of the smell of my son after a bath or at the end of the day. Mainly his hair. There wasn't too much froth and the smell wasn't string, just insistent. Fizz-wise, there was definitely a tickle, one sip didn't go where it ought as a consequence but this was a minor thing. There was no warmth to it however, I mean, it was bitter but it wasn't my kind of bitter. Tasted a bit light, but was 4.3% ABV, and was a bit watery in both flavour and colour.
It was an expensive experiment for me, I usually stick to what's on offer unless I know something about the experience that I am likely to have. This one was a whim, pure and simple, and priced at the high end of what I would usually pay for from a supermarket. Nice bottle though, tall and dark, with some nice bumpy bits to help with the holding of it. It was still too thick to knock back, but lacked that syrupy texture that I seem to enjoy or the fiery aftertaste that comes from some decent hops action. Unique yeast it may be but it's still just yeast and it can't make up for a lack of nicely brewed hops. My beard is now actually three inches long in places. It grew two of those with that last sentence. I'd say I have a gut, but I don't. 10st 2oz at last count (142lbs).
A tough one to enjoy but not to be completely ignored. If you find it on offer and you're out on a night out then do try it. It's a sandwich beer - to be had with a light meal or else between two other beers. It will clean the palate and it will keep you pleasantly light-headed without being hugely drunk and it won't be Bud. Basically, it's a CAMRA drinker's light option, like what Carling is for people who drink early and wear no shirt in all weathers.
EDIT - it is apparently quite rare, being the first bottled beer that I have reviewed that is reviewed, so far as I can tell, nowhere else. Hence the poor picture.
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