Long week at work, plenty of stuff getting put forward with some mad ideas, but nothing new there. Add to that a weekend of friends coming over (not necessarily a bad thing) and you'll find the big hand pointing to 'beer' and the little hands spinning round.
Tonight's offering is Two Hoots from the Joseph Holt brewery in Manchester. They make Maplemoon as well and I'm sure they do some ruby variant of something that I've had in the past.
It smelled strong as I opened it with a pungency that put me in mind of yeast and a fizz thagt made sure you smelt it. No citrus or tang dsiscernible. At 4.2% ABV it was pretty much inkeeping with my usual brews of late and it had a lovely orangey gold colour that made it seem like it was warmer than it was. It certainly had a kick to it, sharply elbowing its way into my mouth and making sure my tastebuds remembered it with an after-taste that hung around long after the party was over. Maybe it was waiting for a girlfriend, maybe it was stalking someone, maybe it was just trying to push some illegal substances, I don't know, but it definitely hung around.
Strong flavour. It reminded me of the Leeds Best taste, being strong and yeasty, but it definitely had character. I was mystified as to why anyone would make a beer without some decent hops when I was on the Leeds Best but after having some Sovereign after this Two Hoots I think I get it. It is a mule of taste with some sparkliness added by the fizz and a heady sort of pulse as you gulp it down. Not really one for downing, so I didn't and one that made you remember it. I'm still not altogether sure whether that is a good or a bad thing but it did mean that the more fuggles' style taste of the Sovereign was harder to realise and to track. I think this would be the beer equivalent of a strong curry or a hot and sour soup - your tastebuds require a moment to rest and recouperate before attempting to work out anything more nuanced in flavour than salt and vinegar crisps.
Value for money, provided its on offer, and pleasing to the gullet. It's strength means that it doesn't do anything more than offer a pleasantly light head after drinking. Drink it in front of a comedy show, take sips between sketches, and smoke a pipe. It's old man's brew and should be attempted by youngsters only in extremis. More yeasty than a new born and stronger than it looks to taste, be prepared with after-dinner anecdotes that involve swamps, fuzzy-wuzzies and Earls.
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