Wednesday, January 5, 2022

2021 Most Memorable Beer List-----by Neil (Tokyo)


2021 has come & gone in a (covid disturbing) flash--pandemic or otherwise---geeks still seek out for nice taste in a beer or two--as usual this blog would always do a most memorable year list  as conclusion to a year of beer sampling---to kick start this time around is my "old beer buddy" from Tokyo---Neil been writing about beer scene in & beyond Tokyo for many years on his blog http://tokyobeerdrinker.blogspot.com/

HERE in his own words --Neil's thoughts about 2021 :- ( with Chinese transcript by me)

As 2021 was another year when international travel wasn't really happening, my list for the year is all Japanese stuff. Sure, we get alot of imports here and I enjoy them from time to time. However I am a big believer in the drink local concept, so naturally when I'm not travelling outside of Japan I'm going to be drinking a lot of Japanese stuff. The pandemic hit Japan, but not as hard as many places, and we were able to travel domestically at some times last year. I can't say that all of these beers have been sampled at the source, but maybe half of them have and I've had a lot of fun drinking them. I've split this into a few themes where a few beers get mentioned side by side if I think they make sense to be written about together

去年疫情影响下国际旅游成了泡影,NEIL去年酒单是“全日式”,虽然日本也有很多进口好啤酒,NEIL也有在喝但更相信喝在地酿造,虽说日本也受到疫情困扰但还是可以国内旅游,NEIL也到访一些日本酿坊品酒,酒单中至少有一半都是在酿坊喝到的。这次酒单NEIL通过风格分类方式聊聊去年喝到的一些在地好酒:-

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

WEEK 196---Beer Talk Easy 18

 

craft beer can be confusing/complicated to some newbies but if one were to spend some time & efforts then it can be quite simple, here's some observations:-
1) beer is NOT what most consumers think what it seems to be --that's a quite laughable stereotype--of course it's not true.
1)啤酒并不只是(绝大多数人以为的)啤酒那么简单,那是太片面太刻板的看法,而且有点可笑。

2) craft beer is the TRUE world of beer---but NOT all which label itself as craft beer is of high/higher quality--there are bad ones too---how to pick out the good ones from the bad ones/below average ones require some work--that's part of the fun of craft drinking.
2)真正美味啤酒世界是craft beer,但不是所有冠上craft beer称号的就一定是好酒,如何逐步提升眼界味蕾鉴赏力择优汰劣是啤迷功课也是乐趣之一。

3) BEER is NOT only about MACRO LAGER---varieties of beer styles/choices is what beer can be and should be.
3)啤酒当然不是只有大众认知中的大厂LAGER类型,多样化不同风味口感选择才是啤酒世界应有面貌。

4) One can find sour/sweet/bitter/spicy/umami in a beer--in fact much more than that.
4)酸甜苦辣鲜基础风味都能在啤酒中找到,当然还有更多其他风味等待新朋友去发现。
5) Beer is not about gulping down ice-cold one--in fact the proper way is to let a beer warm up after pouring to enble flavours opening up for better tasting experience.
5)啤酒肯定不只是冷冷大口牛饮单调无趣酒精饮料,实际上优质啤酒更多时候需要开瓶入杯後等待回温慢啜细品才能嚐出不同美味层次。

6) Finding out taste profile possibilities in a beer via brewing techniques/adding adjuncts/soak in used barrels is the primary motive of beer geeks.
6)对啤迷来说,喝啤酒最纯粹追求是探寻并尝试了解啤酒是如何通过酿造手法/添加食材/吸收其他酒类木桶精华等方式碰撞出不同美味层次。

7) In the big wide world of craft beer there will always be more than 1 beer which is bound to be your kind of beer--if you have yet to meet--you sure WILL.
7)要绝对相信,浩瀚啤海中一定会有适合不同口味要求的类型风格啤酒存在,还没碰到意味着迟早一定会遇到。

8) Don't ever say 'craft beer is nothing" after 1 or 2 try---always know this--the word of craft beer is much bigger/wider than imagined.
8)绝对不要因为第一次尝试但喝到不对味啤酒就断定craft beer不过尔尔。要记住,啤酒世界远比个人想象中更辽阔更有趣更美味。

9) Please understand that in the world of craft beer tasting--there is such a thing as palate appreciation level---meaning at times if you think a beer is not good or even bad---it could well be a case of not the beer--but drinker's palate is not up there yet to truly appreciate what that beer really is.
9)必须理解喝啤酒完全有味蕾鉴赏力高低这件事,意思是有时候不是酒不好,而是个人味蕾还没准备好接受新感知新冲击。

10) New to craft beer? can always start exploring like food--go with familair taste profile first--then slowly expand to more unfamiliar territory.
10)喝啤酒和吃东西一样,可以先从个人喜欢类型风格口味开始/入门,然后再慢慢探索其他较陌生口味类型。

11) Part of the fun of craft beer tasting is exploring different beer styles/taste profile--being open minded to go outside of comfort zone is necessary & a plus.
11)喝啤酒乐趣在于探索不同类型风格啤酒风味,放开自我设限尝试味蕾舒适区之外风味很多时候是必要的。

12) The reason/s why people drink beer can be same or very different---but " no drunk no home" like what was depicted in a movie scene is just a movie scene---it has nothing to do with craft beer tatsing.
12)喝啤酒动机可以有很不同,但“不醉无归借酒消愁”都只是电影烂桥段,跟真正慢啜细味啤酒美味层次完全没关系。

13) Need to repeat this again and again---NEVER drink on empty stomach--even when drinking what majority people think "just 'easy/harmless" beer'.
13)无论如何都绝对不要空肚子/空腹喝酒,就算是大众认知中觉得只是啤酒的啤酒。

14) If you are new to the world of craft beer--then beer is not only about 5-6% abv---there are a lot of beers with much higher abv-->10% closer or even exceeding 20% is nothing new.
14)在craft beer世界,不同类型风格啤酒并不只有5-6度或以下酒精,而是有很多可以随时超过10度或20度的选择。

15) Always use a proper glass--drinking directly from can or bottle is more of a movie scene or advertisement pose---unless if it's specifically stated to drink from can ( Alchemist-Heady Topper and such)---always use a glass.
15)喝啤酒需要合适杯子(绝对不是冰冻结霜那种),拿着啤酒瓶直接怼嘴喝只是拍电影做样子(除非像Heady Topper那样鼓励直接从罐子喝),基本酒入杯才是正道。

16) BEST beer in the world---is there such a thing? some believe yes some not so sure--anyway this is a tricky question since no one can conclusively say so with absolute certainty.( of course not even RB or untp)
16)真有世界第一/世上最佳啤酒吗?不少人觉得有,但很难取得一致客观共识,更没有哪个权威个体可以说了算。

17) It's very likely when a beer is being touted as the best beer that it actually is a nice beer or an awesome one---end of the day it's all other's opinions---finding what's more suited to one's own taste is probably more important.
17)所谓世上第一/最佳啤酒很可能是顶级好酒,但基本都只是别人意见,不必太较真,找到合适自己口味的啤酒比较重要。

18) Beer is about actual drinking and tasting--only then one can have an idea of how beer A or beer B taste like--however also always remember that palate appreciattion level has an importnt role to play---because if someone can't even differentiate good from bad--then even if given the best beer in the world---he/she would not know what is what.
18)啤酒是不是对味/好喝只能自己嚐过才知一二,而且要看个人味蕾鉴赏力而定,意思是,如果不懂得欣赏,就算喝到世上数一数二好酒也可能觉得难喝或不知道喝了啥。

Sunday, November 21, 2021

WEEK 195---6 year's Milestone Tasting---2 session--3 articles-all in 1


This is a combination of 3 parts newspaper articles all in one blog post since it's essentially 1 tasting session split into  2 weekends---also it's more of a personal-kltastinggroup's milestone memory--so will keep it short.

Basically the 6 years milestone session is about how the 5 of us beer geeks living in craft desert KL came together from total strangers into a beer tasting group since 6 years+ ago--from loosely sharing beers each would have---to gradually sourcing from overseas---and this recent 6 year's milestone session was a sort of high point for the group with some really nice bottles gathered through everyone's efforts.

here's article 1

it was a session everyone been long looking forward to since the covid situation in KL meant that we were all unable to meet since early this year with bottles piling up for share--hence the scene on that day where guys brought way more bottles  needed/possible to drink without wasting beers due to palate fatigue or drunkeness--the varieties on show was quite awesome--though it's essentially stouts focus but there were also nice saison/lambic/sours/fresh ipas in between.

自今年初聚首後,鉴于疫情加剧,啤迷朋友一直没能开分享会,直到前几天终于坐在一起把之前从欧美市场收集到的好些顶级佳酿拿出来分享,做为分享会成立六年多象征意义聚会,这次品酒会出现了好些稀有难寻瓶子,阵容可说是这些年来最大牌的一次,也因为可以分享的顶级大酒选择很多,除了要取舍喝什么不喝什么以避免浪费好酒之外,大酒之间需要的间隔其他类型啤酒也是考量,除了已有的酸啤或SAISON类型啤酒,为了这次本地来说前所未见的顶级瓶子分享,特意从美国临时订了一批新鲜类果汁印度淡陴,重视程度不在话下。

以下是当天部分瓶子:-

here's a few highlights from the session:-

1)Weldwerks Starry Noche(2021)
a rather fresh one--full of hazelnuts/gula melaka/dark chocolate/coconut/bourbon barrel traces--if heavy can at times be a negative--it's totally positive goodness on this one.
近年最被啤迷追捧的美国高手酿坊(之一),拿手好戏是甜点式黑啤(pastry stout),这是最受推崇的一款,从入杯那刻到开喝第一口,如果说重口味有时候是贬义词的话,这款无论风味气息酒体厚度口感都将重口味一词变成绝对赞美,满满的榛果,马六甲椰糖,黑巧克力,椰香,波本酒桶影响全都融汇一体,浓郁的香气口感可以用侵袭来形容,但这么美味层次的味蕾经历让人一点都不介意美味突袭再三。
2) Toppling Goliath KBBS (2018)
A big name stouts--it's not the newwave pastry--more of a traditional dark brew but with it's own characteristics---in short it's almost one where best of both styles were blended into one--undoubtedly a big big stouts.
毫无疑问是美国大黑啤中这些年来最赫赫有名的一支,就算近年美国有好几家大黑啤新贵酿坊冒起,这一款黑啤的名气地位依然稳如泰山,每年都可以看到不同啤迷为了一嚐个中滋味而愿意付出比平时更多的代价。不同于新兴起的甜点式黑啤,这是一款相对来说传统风味的大黑皮,虽说传统但有相对来说自成一格,喝起来并不霸道,可以说是集传统黑啤优点大成的一款,

3) Side Project Anabasis (B5)
one sip and you would want to sit straighter and get serious with it---nothing of those sweet thin barley wine often associated with the style--it's big and bold--leather/cigar/bourbon/dark fruits--nice.
美国密苏里高手酿坊的美式大麦酒作品,没有一般大麦酒偏薄身偏甜的缺点,这支从一入口就让人觉得需要坐直慢啜,扑鼻而来的是皮革,雪茄,波本酒桶和深色水果香甜,以大麦酒一贯偏甜来说这款非常均衡,酒体厚实风味多层次更迭,大麦酒来说是上乘之作。


4) Horus Aged Ales
there were a few Horus stouts on site that day--first time KL has seen---cracked 3 namely
Double Dose2 Coconut Crown--Planifonia Pur
all good ones---but with 2 big big stouts in between--the Horus ones somehow came up short.
近年来美国最被人追捧的黑啤酿坊(之一),以复杂的不同酒类旧木桶叠合,加上各种不同食材添加提味手法(特别是榛果咖啡巧克力香草等等)为人知,小量酿造加上采取会员制度,很多作品只卖会员,让这家的黑啤一时之间成为众多啤迷想方设法希望能挤进每年限量开放的会员制。当天开喝的三款不同作品各有千秋,虽说不上让人惊叹连连,考虑到当天面对两款绝对大黑啤对手,三款虽超越不了但都是优质黑啤作品。


5) Bokke Abrikoos Gewurztraminer(2019)
finally got the chance to share a bottle from last Xmas' surprised pack from Bokke---was tasting a litlle harsh/raw upon pouring---got much better after really warming up with apricot and barrels goodness.
终于把去年圣诞惊喜酒邮包其中一款拿出来分享,以杏入酒的天然发酵酸啤作品,刚开瓶喝起来时果酸味道有点生有点呛,像是还没睡醒的杏果味白葡萄酒,再之后特别是隔天中午把剩余的酒再倒出来品嚐时,入口熟透杏果香间中带一点咸味,很到位的展现了杏在酒中特色。


6) Monkish Ipas
it's really hard to get very fresh ipas here in KL--even harder for top notch US ones---guys arranged for a pack of fresh Monkish( with a few Green Cheek & Eletric brewing mix) for the session--a much needed mix of styles which made the session even better.
说起类果汁印度淡啤,这家美国酿坊是很多啤迷公认的个中高手酿坊。
类果汁印度淡陴是近几年的市场大潮流,因为几乎反转了IPA就是苦哈哈代名词的传统观念,更强调水果甜美鲜香风味的New England IPA(也称Hazy IPA)某种程度上喝起来更平易近人,但同时也有过腻的缺点。
这次分享会有很多黑啤大酒,所以特意订了这批以Monkish酿坊近期新鲜作品为主的类果汁印度淡陴,此外也有另两家,Electric BrewingGreenCheek Brewing作品,新鲜高质啤酒花酿品在黑啤大酒之间隔着来喝,绝对是乐事。

Article 2
due to limited space--the session's worth mentioning bottles were split into 3 articles--here's no.2:-
受疫情影响一直未能聚首的瓶子分享会终于在十月第一个周末实现,被迫酝酿了半年的重头分享会上几位啤迷朋友都带来明显超过能喝范围的瓶子数量供选择,比起之前任何一次分享会,更多的需要是选真正好奇想先喝为快瓶子,不相伯仲同类型风格瓶子则尽量留待下次避免浪费好酒,最後出现了朋友们带着好多好酒回家的情况。
由于大家手上都有相当多没能开的好酒,于是决定之后一个周末再聚,以下是下半场分享会部分精彩瓶子:-
1) Hill Farmstead BA Dorothy ( B4)
One sip and felt instantly how balance and tasty this one was--makes you automatically want to save whatever is left in the glass--not wanting to drink in big gulp--probably one of the most balance/tasty saison i have had by far.
如果说之前一次分享会最出色的是两支大黑啤,那这次是相对易喝类型,特别是这款通过勾兑方式混合几款自家农场风格啤酒和麦芽淡啤放入旧葡萄酒桶陈手法加持的淡啤作品,整体非常圆润轻盈,美味层度丰厚,让人完全不舍得大口喝生怕喝完就没了。


2) Side Porject Coeur de Cuvee (B6)
another highlights from the session--was a total pleasant surprise with how nicely the blend of peachy and oaky flavours came together--well balance--smooth easy --really nice.
当天让人觉得意外惊喜的美式酸啤,一样也是不同作品勾兑而成混酒作品,闻香是熟透桃子香,入口美味融和程度是出乎意料之外的均衡可口,没有任何明显的酸涩菱角,绝对是佳作。


3) Garagiste Double Barrel MEH
first Garagiste for me--did not expect anything really but with 2 other big names mead in the mix--this one stand out with thick nice berry & honey blend.
相对来说算美国蜜酒新贵,也是个人喝到的这家第一个作品
,在同场还有另一家出名美国蜜酒酿坊大作情况下,更显得这款桶陈梅果蜜酒的厚实底蕴和出色均衡美味,


4) Toppling Goliath Vanilla Bean Assasin (2019)
it's very vanilla dominant dark brew---with dark sugar/chocolate/roasted malt/bourbon in between--smooth drinking for a big stouts.
赫赫有名的大黑啤香草荚桶陈版本,闻香是满满的香草风味,入口是黑糖和香草,加上巧克力烤麦香以及波本酒桶风味做为铺垫,酒体浓厚但不是呛味蕾的霸道,大黑啤来说相对顺滑温和。

5) Cigar City Apple Brandy BA Hunapus
one which is of nostalgic meaning to the group since the base beer Hunapus was one stout which captured our attention during early days of sharing--cinnamon was very evident--with roasted coconut/dark chocolate & hints of spiciness coming though after warmer.
有点怀旧意味的瓶子,Hunapu’s基本款是多年前大家首次喝觉得惊艳的大黑啤,这款苹果白兰地桶陈版本属较难寻瓶子,添加了肉桂,香草,可可豆碎,美洲辣椒,其中肉桂风味最抢,回温后香甜微辣中带烤椰香黑巧克力风味。

6) Homes collab brew
there were 2 here--one with Horus--another with Weldwerks--both big names dark brew masters.Same base beer with different treatment in terms of barrels choices as well adjuncts added--in simple words--the Hawk was like liquid choco-milk--while Noche was more like a thin body banana-choco.
两款分别和美国黑啤新贵Weldwerks以及Horus合酿的甜点黑啤(pastry stouts),两款都是同样的基酒,分别在于之后的桶陈波本/威士忌旧木桶选择以及添加食材选择的区别,简单来说Hawk喝起来像液体牛奶巧克力,Noche则是薄身香蕉巧克力。


Article 3
this is basically a mix of bottles worth mentioning from the 2 sessions:-

上个月前所未见的和几位本地啤迷朋友连续两个周末分享了大家手中好些顶级佳酿,因为好酒很多,之前写了两篇仍意犹未尽,某种程度上来说,可以在本地喝到这些佳酿是相对难得的事,也让人不得不感叹啤迷为了自找好酒不惜付出的时间心力代价。

以下是些非常值得一提的“遗珠”瓶子:-

1) Bottle Logic Hypermash Hydra
The combo of bourbon-coconut-coffee-cinnamon is almost a formula which can't go wrong for a stout--tasting very coconut & coffee dominant with some cinnamon and dark sugar coming through--hints of alcohol but faded quickly so no big minus.

加州高手酿坊备受受关注的大黑啤作品,以波本酒桶为陈放基础,加入椰子咖啡以及肉桂,是非常美国派黑啤手法,某个程度上可说是美味保证的食材添加提味组合 ,整体风味呈现体现了个中高手的实力,层次韵味很到位,丰沛椰香咖啡味中带出一些肉桂及黑糖 ,有酒精闪现但很快消散,并不会影响味蕾美味体验。


2) Boiler Maker Bliss
Roasted malt with dark sugar--a little on the sweet side but not cloying--some caremalized dark sugar with hints of coffee and chocolate--smooth one.

以黑啤作品受啤迷关注的美国酿坊作品,入口闻香是烤麦芽香味为铺垫的黑糖风味,有点甜但并不腻那种,间中带出些许咖啡巧克力以及焦糖椰香韵味,整体喝起来没有负担,是佳作但整体来说并不会让人感觉惊艳。

3) Pips The Monte
was expecting something from a Pips mead since i have had 1 really mind blowing one back in 2019 during Tokyo share---this one though was nothing near--tasting berry and honey goodness but too thin a body really--flavours not sticking out.  

很受蜜酒迷推崇的极小型美国顶级酿坊,一直以来都很小量酿造,也不容易买到,是分享会中受期待的一款,个人来说19年有幸在東京分享会喝到这家酿坊其中一款最顶级作品之一所以有一定期待值是自然反应,这是一款将结骨木果实,红加仑子,红鹅莓及香橙蜂蜜结合而成的蜜酒,之后再加香草荚豆放进美国橡木桶浸泡提味,喝起来有梅果和蜂蜜香但口感略显单薄,没有期待中的精彩。


4) Superstition Grand Cru Pistachio
no doubt the white series is well known among mead geeks--and this cuvee of 4 different white series is a sure winner--but unfortunately did not get any of the Pistachio nose or palate wise.

美国顶级蜜酒酿坊只卖100瓶的限量作品,将四款不同梅果酿出的招牌Berry White系列按一对一比例混合而成後再加入榛果浸泡提味,遗憾的是由于之前这瓶在运到本地时莫名被扣在关税局长达半年左右,不知道是不是受到保存情况不佳影响,喝起来闻香虽是满满Berry White固有的厚实梅果蜜香但没能找到明显的榛果气息味道,是美中不足之处。

5) Side Porject Continuance & Genrational
a rather experimental approach from Side Project on both brew---Continuance was about finding "hybrid" tastiness from blending 5 different dark brews from different barrels---while Generational was a collab with Half Acre for an "all malt" barrel aged stouts with no adjunts added--to see how best a 'pure brew" can reach even better tastiness.

密苏里绝对高手酿坊的两款不同风味黑啤作品,前者是混合自家6款不同桶陈黑啤和大麦酒的混酒瓶子,后者则是和另一家美国酿坊Half Acre合酿的“全麦”纯粹桶陈黑啤(意思是不添加任何其他食材比如咖啡巧克力香草等等),一定意义上这两款都有实验性作品意味,前者玩的是怎样混出让人满意的Hybrid(混合型)啤酒,後者则寻求在较纯粹基础上找到黑啤可以呈现的更多美味层次可能性。

 

6) Antidoot In Christ there is no East or West
a mix of Japanese medlars with beer aged in Pinot Noir barrels--it's refreshing with hints of citrus flavours coming through--nice easy drinking especially in between big dark ones.

比利时新贵酿坊的农场风格类型作品,将日本枇杷加入已经过法国葡萄酒旧木桶陈放过的农场风格啤酒,让原有啤酒增添清爽柑橘风味层次,是易喝类型但绝不单调,在众多大黑啤中做为“间隔酒”喝起来更是惬意。


Monday, October 25, 2021

WEEK 194---How to Drink LAMBIC


No---unlike how the title is souding--not trying to teach anyone on how one should drink a Lambic--there are certainly Lambic experts who are much more knowledgeable to do that---what i'm trying to do here is more of wanting to share some observations with newbies who are interested with trying out Lambic but perhaps have no clues on how to appreciate a Lambic better.

由于新人有疑问,这期就来聊聊LAMBIC

对相当多新朋友来说,LAMBIC是没有中间点的啤酒类型,刚接触时不是皱着眉头捏着鼻子被酒的气息味道“吓到”逃之夭夭,就是觉得酸酸的怪怪的但好像还可以接受。

这样说是因为LAMBIC是具有非常独特特点风味的类型,野生菌自然发酵带来的影响,LAMBIC是天生自带一种霉香(有人说类似发霉的异味,有人说像蓝莓芝士那样臭香臭香)的风味独特酸啤酒,而且严格意义上只有布鲁塞尔周边特定地区酿造的才能称为LAMBIC,可说是有着特定地区空气水土气息影响的啤酒,不是一般酿酒师轻易能模仿而成的。

For many newbies---Lambic can be something of a like it or shun it sort of beer style---most likely due to 2 reasons---firstly it's sour(can be really puckering to some during first few tries)---and then most importantly it has got this Unique FUNK resulting from spontaneous fermentation which can be really off-putting to someone's nose--kinda like those who cannot appreciate the smell of blue cheese or the extreme example of say a Durian.( of course the funky smell of Lambic is different)

So what is a Lambic?
in very simplistic form---a Lambic is a beer spontaneously fermented within the specific areas in and around Brussels or more specifically termed the Pajotternland area---the uniqueness of wild yeast within this region means that ONLY Lambic produced within this region can be called a Lambic(in a way similar to how a Campagne can only be called Campagne when produced within the specific French region)---and Lambic can only be brewed during the cooler/colder period of a year as hot weather is bad for fermentation process.
Also Lambic is a time consuming beer where it would typically take up between 1 to 3 years to produce/age/blend before deemed good for release to the market.

LAMBIC是什么?

简单说就是通过空气中自然产生的野生菌发酵而成的自然发酵酸啤,当然中间还有一些对环境气候温度的外在因素讲究,比如只能在低温季节的深秋和冬季酿造(因为热天高温会带来不利于酿造的破坏性坏菌),也有对酿造材料和时间工序的讲究,比如只使用风味已褪去或说非常温和的旧啤酒花而不是新鲜啤酒花,比如需要超过一年或更久时间酝酿陈放才能出酒等等。
LAMBIC有讲究?
不同于喝其他类型啤酒比如IPAPALE ALELAGER等较易喝/直接类型,喝LAMBIC一定程度上是有些讲究的:-

here's a few observations when drinking Lambic:-
What to expect ?
It is not wrong to assume that when drinking Lambic---sour is the key word---but it does not just starts there and end there---a well made Lambic can be much more than just sour---in fact even within the context of sour---there can be different tone/layers of sour---say from sour to bitter sour to sweet sour to funky sour as well as back end spicy/ savoury/sweeten tone of sour---there can be varieties of sour notes in a Lambic.
Also--depending on the use of barrels( be it red/white wine or hard liquor)---and what sort of fruits or food items(say vanilla or tonka beans) were added---Lambic can have varieties of taste pofile even though the key tone is sour.
In short---when facing a Lambic--newbies would first and foremost need to be able to appreciate the idea that beer can be sour--be able to savour what else are there other than just sour---and MOST importantly be able to accept(let alone appreciate) the uniquely Funky smell which in more ways than one is the essence of a Lambic.

1)喝出什么味道才对?

的确,LAMBIC是酸啤酒,酸味是很正常风味表现之一,虽然酸为主轴,但绝对不只在于一个酸字,优质LAMBIC风味绝对是独特具有多层次表现的,从酸味到酸涩到酸甜到酸香到回甘,其中不同分支的LAMBIC可以随着不同酿酒师混酒手法,陈放使用的其他酒类旧木桶,或者加入浸泡提味的水果或食材或香料,还有时间工序的长短等因素呈现以酸为主但风味细节可以很不同的啤酒。
最浅白语言说的话,喝LAMBIC除了首先要能接受啤酒可以是酸味概念之外,更需要能鉴赏酸味之中/之外的其他风味体现,比如最基本但也最独特,很多新朋友一时之间觉得难以接受的天然发酵霉香味。


Drink it fresher or keep it ?
To many a geeks---Lambic is about time---meaning for a same batch of Lambic---drinking it fresher/earlier upon release OR drinking it after some time/years of aging can bring about quite obvious or very big differences in how the same beer taste or even smell--it's quite normal to hear geeks saying 'should have kept this bottle for another year or more" after cracking it and felt somewhat let down--that the beer did not taste as rounded/good/layered or too young/thin/ lacking in layers---hence the saying among geeks of trying to not waste a Lambic by drinking it too "young".
But this is not to say all lambic bottles needed to be kept for say over 5-10 years only can be cracked--some geeks actually prefer to drink some earlier for examples fruited variants fresher as the taste and aroma of the fruits would be more eveidently fresher.
In short---to drink fresher or to keep it is very much a personal choice---it depends on what taste profile/flavours one would expect from a bottle.

2)早点喝还是晚些喝
有人说LAMBIC是时间酿的酒,意思是同样一款LAMBIC,不同年份的会有不同风味展现,又或是,同一款同一年份但不同时间点比如早一年迟一年或更久喝也会有韵味上的差异(有时是巨大差异)出现,比如有些LAMBIC过早喝会出现风味单薄酒体风韵缺乏层次现象,酸啤迷会觉得浪费/可惜了。但反过来说有些LAMBIC比如加入水果浸泡提味的作品则可能要早点喝才能领略到水果鲜香风味,但如果追求的不是果鲜味,那就无所谓,或许收久了的水果LAMBIC虽可能果鲜味不再但还是有其他风味层次在,有时候某款LAMBIC早点还是迟些喝也看喝的人想找到什么风味层次而定。



Just the beer or wallop the sediment too?
If you look around Lambic serving pictures on social media especially from the specialized Lambic bars---you would notice there's always a basket holding the bottle on it's side while the bottle is in a 'sleeping"position---this is not a gimmick or a show---the reason for this is simple---to keep the sediment at the bottom of the bottle while pouring.
The idea is to enjoy Lambic "clear' without the interruption of muddy sediment. 
In short---Lambic is best enjoyed while stirring clear from the sediment---but if muddy sediment is your thing---and you prefer your lambic drinking that way---then yes please enjoy it the way you prefer---personal perferences shall be respected.

3)是只喝酒还是连酒渣一起干?

有注意到的都会知道,很多国外啤迷喝LAMBIC时都会将酒瓶斜躺在一个特制的竹篮或铁篮子上,这不是装腔作势或为了好看,这样做的理由是为了让酒瓶内的残余物/酒渣留在酒瓶底下而不是随着倒酒动作进入酒杯。
LAMBIC是自然发酵的,就算装瓶後还是自然发酵状态中,瓶子内会出现一些残余物/酒渣是正常现象,从品酒角度来说,倒入不激起酒渣渗入的LAMBIC是很多人都选择的方式,因为酒渣的混入会让酒体浑浊并在一定程度上影响口感,虽然如果有人喜欢把酒渣一起干掉不是问题,个人选择来说还是会尽量让酒渣留在瓶底就好。

Is Decanter a must?
craft beer in general needs time to warm up( or to breath so to speak)---Lambic certainly need time to get warmer after opening/pouring to show it's true potential taste profile---using a Decanter is one way of achieving that purpose---but personally i do not think it is a MUST have---if you happened to have a Devanter and feel like using it for a Lambic then by all means go ahead---but if you do not have one then there's no need to look for one purposely.
In short---so long as you give sufficient time after opening/pouring to that botlle of Lambic to breath/get warm before downing it--then it's quite good enough.

4)醒酒器(Decanter)必要吗?

啤酒是需要回温的,特别是包括LAMBIC在内属于较复杂类型啤酒开瓶/入杯後更加需要时间回温(或者说让酒呼吸)以展现应有的风味层次,倒入醒酒器让LAMBIC能更好的开拓酒体风味是方式之一。至于是不是每次喝LAMBIC就一定要用到醒酒器,个人觉得不是一定要,如果手边有醒酒器想用当然可以,没有的话也不必特意去找,只要记得LAMBIC是开瓶後绝对需要时间慢啜细品的就可。

Thursday, September 9, 2021

WEEK 193---The Good Buddies of Craft Beer

 

Mentioned the word Beer---first impression which comes to mind for many is that Beer is just Beer---it is something very simple which has no relations with other alcoholic beverages whatsoever.
That is of course not true-- in the other world of beer--that of craft beer where beer indeed has many layers of closer than thought relationship with many other alcoholic beverages---for examples when beer are being barrel-aged in all sorts of barrels--be it whisky-bourbon-port wine-red or white wine-brandy-tequila-cherry wine- mead and many more...
In simple words--beer is in many ways closer to other alcoholic beverages than many would have thought.

大众印象中,啤酒只是简单易喝解渴酒精饮料,一些人甚至觉得跟其他酒类相比的话喝啤酒感觉层次低,但那只是片面看法也不重要,实际上在另一个很多消费大众还不认识的啤酒世界中,craft beer有不少其他酒类好朋友。

 啤酒能跟其他不同酒类有什么关联呢?说来还真有些,比如craft beer通过桶陈熟成手法吸收其他酒类使用过酒桶味道气息精华来提升啤酒风味层次是常见做法(所以啤酒带有比如威士忌或白兰地或葡萄或波特酒等等旧木桶风味一点不出奇),此外也有少量加入其他类型酒混合而成的啤酒作品,又或是craft beer酿酒师也是某种其他酒类(比如波本酒或自然酒或日本清酒之类)酿造者等等。

以下是一些比较常见于craft beer好友圈的其他酒类:-

here are few examples of craft beer buddies though they are completely different alcoholic beverages which are not beer yet do coexist in the world of craft beer:-

Beer Wine Hybrid
It is hard to imagine for many that beer can actually work well/closely with the seemingly "higher class" wine---in fact besides using old red/white wine barrels for beer barrel aging purposes---there has been some beer wine hybrid emerging in the craft beer scene--perhaps in part due to the rise of Natural Wine where some natural wine makers could also 'double up" as beer maker(one such example  is Antidoot Wilde Fermenten from Belgium).
As for the question of---Is beer wine hybrid more of a wine in beer form or beer in wine form---personally i would say basing on the limited number of bottles i have had so far---beer wine hybrid is in a way skewed more towards sour beer direction---but that is not to say it will only be that--hoping to sample some other beer wine hybrid bottles which would bring out even more possibilities from best of both world in the future...

葡萄酒混合型啤酒
一直以来,印象中啤酒和葡萄酒是界线分明完全没有直接关联的两个酒世界,而且一般人印象中说起喝葡萄酒感觉上硬是会比喝啤酒高档。

当然,喝什么酒才算高档不是关注点,无论喝的是葡萄酒还是啤酒最重要始终是酒的素质高低,佳酿能带来的味蕾享受层次才是重点。

虽说啤酒和葡萄酒界线分明,但使用旧葡萄酒木桶陈放熟成啤酒在craft beer界中是常见手法,而近年随着自然酒(Natural Wine)的流行,craft beer界也开始出现一些混合啤酒/葡萄酒的作品,虽然感觉上倾向酸啤酒类型,但视乎酿酒师想法,混酒作品可以喝起来像是葡萄酒的啤酒,也可以是啤酒风味占比更重类型。



Cherry Wine
The name says it all--it's wine made from cherries--but of course not as simple as well since there are many different types of cherries available--as well a cherry wine maker can decide/enhance/tweak how the taste profile of a cherry wine can be by way of using different types of barrels/adding intended food items/spices and so on--in short a well made cherry wine can be much more than just the simple impression of sour or sweet cherries.
Though a stand alone alcoholic beverages on its own and has nothing to do with Beer---it is not surprising to see Cherry Wine popping up during craft beer festivals( think MBCC or even MBCT)--also there's been some cherry wine-beer collaboration over the years--including one stout by The Veil which was barrel-aged in a Fredikskal cherry barrel which was absolutely tasty.

樱桃酒

樱桃酒是独立的酒类,基本也跟啤酒没什么直接关系,根据酿坊手法和使用的樱桃类型,樱桃酒可以是甜味为主或是风味比较干涩类型,当然也有酸樱桃风味类型。

虽然听起来毫不相干,但樱桃酒在一些craft beer专卖吧或比如哥本哈根啤酒庆典级别的啤酒节出现是常有的事,craft beer使用其他酒类旧木桶添加水果包括樱桃浸泡啤酒陈放提味是惯见手法,樱桃酒桶也无例外的成为一些酿酒师桶陈选择,个人喝过最有印象黑啤中就有使用樱桃酒桶陈放版本,也在海外啤酒庆典和特定专卖吧中喝到美味的樱桃酒。


MEAD
Mead is another stand alone alcoholic beverages which pop up very often in craft beer festivals---primarily brewed with Honey & Water( wild yeast too at times---as well adding fruits/food items/spices/adjuncts depending on styles/what brewers wanted to achieve)
Though relatively still under the radar here in Asia craft beverages market--mead is quite popular among some beer geeks---it is not uncommon to see overseas geeks seeking to trade mead for certain beer---or vice versa. 
Of course---there's a "mead-beer hybrid" in the form of Braggot---where the use of malt and honey made it a sessionable mead-beer( or beer-mead).

蜜酒

蜜酒是蜂蜜酿造的酒,虽然蜜酒几个不同分类中包括半蜂蜜半麦芽酿造的蜂蜜啤酒,但大致上来说,MEAD是蜂蜜酿造为主轴的一个独立个体类型,跟啤酒直接关系不大。

话虽那样说,但蜜酒一直都跟craft beer界关系匪浅,在不少啤酒庆典中会看到蜜酒酿坊出现,喜欢蜜酒的有相当多都是啤迷,在海外二手交换/转卖市场中也会看到有啤迷以蜜酒寻求心目中想要的啤酒(或反过来以啤酒寻求换取蜜酒),至于蜜酒为什么跟craft beer界关联密切,原因或许很简单,除了蜜酒酿坊也是非常小型酿造之外,寻求能带给味蕾美味享受特质是啤迷会喜欢上高质素蜜酒作品主因。


Short Note
Apart from the above mentioned 3---there are of course other buddies of craft beer which are being seek/liked by beer geeks---one such is Cider--be it pure cider which may or may not be barrel-aged OR hybrid of beer/cider---the sight of cider popping up at craft beer fest/or bottle sharing sessions is common.
Another rather new emerging "buddy' of craft beer is Seltzer( or some called it Hard Seltzer)---this one can be quite opinion splitting because to those who don't look up for it Seltzer is just carbonated sugar/fruited water with alcohol--it's far from being a beer---BUT we have seen beer geeks willing to trade good bottles of beer for it--as well saying good things about it---so like it or not--Seltzer is here to stay( at least for the near future).

小结

上述3种不同酒类之外,近年出现在craft beer好友圈的包括CIDER(苹果酒)还有最近在craft beer圈子冒起的SELTZER(酒精气泡水)。在盛产苹果地区,把苹果酿成易喝苹果酒几乎是家常事,craft beer酿酒师通过放入其他酒类旧桶熟成或混合啤酒方式让这听起来家常的酒类发放异彩。至于酒精气泡水,有啤迷觉得只是汽水所以不屑一顾,但也有酿酒师通过添加水果或其他食材让听起来很不啤酒的气泡水变得不一样,从美国转卖/交换市场近期趋势看得出,确实有啤迷不惜以啤酒寻求换取气泡水。