Words of warning and welcome:

This is very much my blog, so don't be surprised if this doesn't follow accepted patterns and norms. Obviously it started out as a blog about my cross-dressing but it has developed a great deal since then. It is a place where I can be anonymous and honest, and I appreciate that.

It will deal with many things and new readers would do well to check out the New Readers' Page above this and the tag down there on the right. Although there's nothing too bad in here there will be adult language, so be careful. If you think this needs a greater control, please let me know. Thank you!

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Beer Review: Draft

I'm feeling down and generally pants. Work is good, I actually have a lot of marking on but the stress is so much lower than it was where I used to work that I'm having a hard time believing that it's all real. In that, there's a member of staff who is most likely leaving (late in the year) but... I don't feel under any pressure. I was asked for a contribution to the SEF (don't ask) and, in my old place, this would have taken weeks and I would have been under continual pressure to deliver and, when I did, I would have been told it wasn't detailed enough or in the wrong format or a whole host of other things. Now? I hand it over, late, and get thanked for the level of detail and clarity!

Nothing has changed at home. Since the last discussion it has been carried through: Tilly refuses most physical contact and has made it clear that anything beyond watching a DVD together is pretty much off the table. We finished Game of Thrones season three and since then have spent evenings apart. She writes her novel and I... waste time alone. Now and again I get snippets of her day. She is not bothered about mine. Sometimes my "yeah" and nods aren't enough to convince her I'm listening. I am, but there's not a lot I can say to her mid-flow.

the following beer review, then, is more a space filler. It's from the holidays.

This was given as part of an Easter gift and carries that idea of being from somewhere else: Turkey in this case. Never heard of it before, though the net says that it is quite well known. Yes, it's a beer review; yes, I can make them last longer than they really need to and yes, tonight it is the turn of Efes' Draft from, uh, the Efes Group of breweries.

Being furrin, it tends toward the Pilsner end of the spectrum and this is immediately apparent in the snick of carbonation, more like a lager than an ale, and the resultant colour that would put it in straw ale category if it had been brewed over here. In that regard, this is very like San Miguel and the ilk. Mind you, that lovely shaped bottle is rather unique, if a little funny, and so there is a definite plus going for that thing. The aroma light hops in there and notes of yeast, largely as you would expect. Get too close and the carbonation will pretty much spatter your nose and keep the air alive with the smell.

There's a vigorous and long lasting head alive with fizz when poured, and the lager-like carbonation remains for a very long time after the pour. First taste is surprisingly light and airy, almost thirst-quenching, and not the usual fizzy metallic taste that I associate with poor ales or the few lagers I've had (I think Rolling Rock carries the dubious honour for my last such foray). There's a malt buried in there but it is small and flat compared to an assault of hoppiness, lacking in fruity flavour, that takes over and then fades to a dry, almost Blonde, finish. It's similar to other light ales that I've had but at 5% ABV it's no slouch and definitely higher on the scale of the ales so far tested. Crisp taste starts the ball rolling, sharp yeast on the bubbles and dry hops at the end fading to a pleasant aftertaste. It's schtick is the fact that rice is added in the brewing process and there's definite remnants of that starchy sort of taste and feel, more texture than taste actually, in this brew.

In short, this is one to enjoy pretty much anywhere and pretty much at any time. I'd recommend having a few on hand, there is something about that starchy texture that keeps you guessing and is actually quite comforting, and then just letting an evening take its course. Shoot some pool, watch some sports if you must; there's the option of discussing a book you've all read (easily the preferable option) or just chatting about theories from favourite series in the garden after a sunny day as the dying rays of sunshine slip away. Equally, this could work on an early evening when no one has to drive and you fancy an early winter night. Versatile. A funny little beer in a funny little bottle.

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