Warm Beer and Sudsy Drink Mixes from Olde Albion

Written by Franz Hofer for Tempest in a Tankard

wassail courtesy wiki
wassail courtesy wiki

At the beginning of his chapter on warm beer, W.T. Marchant expresses regret that “some of the more comforting drinks,” such as wassail, had waned in popularity over the years. “When beer was the staple drink, morning, noon, and night,” he continues, “it was natural that our ancestors would prefer their breakfast beer warm and their ‘nightcaps’ flavoured, hence the variety of their comforting drinks” (599).

HERE

Beer Profile: Flying Dog’s Raging Bitch

Profiled by Ken Carman for PGA

pgaprofilefdogRB Giant white pillow head that gently fades into a caramel, amber, crystal clear quaff. , Great amber highlights: like shining a light through a fine scotch or whiskey. Left behind: a light, paper thin cloud on the surface and poillow small bubble head on the edges of the glass.
Nose is grapefruit and tangerine-like with hint of rind. Some caramelized notes behind that. No Belgian yeast sense.
Mouthfeel: solid grapefruit. There are a lot of American hops in this and/or a long boil: but not too long. If a torpedo or spider were used I would not be surprised.
Taste is solid grapefruit-like hops and caramel malts plus pale. Wheat is so far in the background one wonders why they bothered. The bitter is solid, but backed up with enough fuity goodness to make it a heavenly marriage. While an easy quaff, it’s substantial. A party with this would go south quickly.
Overall a very enjoyable quaff. I would buy it in a snap. But what makes it “Belgian?” I expected funk, or something “Belgian” to stand out. I understand not all Belgian brews have “funk” but if you’re going to claim Belgian then hop it so high, have so much American-hop-like aroma, taste and mouthfeel and have such a nice caramel malt-like background, something needs to step out and say, “Hi, this is what makes me ‘Belgian!”
87 on BA, 98 Rate Beer.
So, style-wise, I can’t go above 4. I really want to. But punishment is due. Bend over Flying Dog: I’ll be kind.
So good I simply can’t go below a 4.

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Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “perfecto.”

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____________________________________Beer HERE

FredricmartianKen Carman is a Certified beer judge, columnist, entertainer and all around weird guy who lives i Nashville, TN and Beaver River Station, NY

Beer Profile: Leffe Blonde

Profiled by Maria Devan for PGA

pgaprofilePours true gold. Perfect amber. White head starts fat and falls of webby and sticky, then to a film on top before it goes away completely. not too much lacing. Lots of bubbles to look at.

Nose is lovely. Sweet hint of pear and some lovely soft biscuit malt sweetness. A bit more clove than I expected at first but nice and a very faint banana in back. Some sweet flower petals and as it warms some pungent bitter grass.

Lovely in the drink with a crisp and dry malt.A softness that is actually excited by all those bubbles. The clove and the fruit combine lovely and earthy at first then give way to a fruity middle made up of light peach and a little pear around the edges. The finish is dry and drying to the palate with a light remnant of the malt sweetness, a bit of ticklish spice and that lovely peach. It lingers but not long .

4.

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Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “perfecto.”

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_____________________________________Beer HERE

meMaria Devan lives in Ithaca, NY and is frequent reviewer of beer and a beer lover deluxe.