Tuesday, April 12, 2016

WEEK 74---what's your IMPACT BEERS?

Drinking craft beer can be a little bit like climbing mountain, there's curves and slopes to overcome along the way--some call it the palate building process--others not so sure what the heck it's all about--but one thing is sure--that from DAY 1 when you started drinking craft beer--to however long it might be now--there will bound to be some beers that would influence your palate/choices/ like or dislike---or even your view/belief of craft beer.

Of course--as you move forward in seeking more beers--there shall be some new beers that would have more impact on you than maybe some older favourites--but whatever it may be--some beers would stay with you for a long long time--these are what i call the IMPACT  BEERS..

this week--while recalling some beers which lasted vivid memories on my palate--maybe it's time you too revisit/recall which are some of your Impact Beers?

The Early period
I was lucky to have tasted some really good Belgium beers here in KL some 7 or 8 years ago--when this city is truly a craft desert--there's only 1 restaurant in town that import small volume of Belgium beers from the likes of de la Senne/St. Martin/Lefebvre 
These 4 were undoubtedly the big impact beers(thanks to Manu the owner for kindly sharing his personal collection in half half pour!)
#ROCHEFORT 8—比利时啤酒中最被称誉的修道院风格酿品,特有麦芽酵母焦糖融和风味让人难忘。
#WESTVLETEREN 12—那时候完全不知这是被誉为世上最佳啤酒的瓶子,只知是厉害修道院啤酒,味蕾被撼动,说不出的好喝。
#STRUISE PENNEPOT GRAND RESERVA—旧式风格烈啤,从靠近法国边境小渔村延伸出来的比利时酿品,层次丰富多变,富含深色果实之外的桶陈美味。
#STRUISE BLACK DAMNATION-MOCHA BOMB—酿坊的玩味之作,以自家黑啤BLACK ALBERT加入不同食材後再熟成的陈酿,当时最震撼味蕾的当属这支。
Rochefort 8--this is one of the earliest Trappist beer i had, and it certainly open up my palate.
Westvleteren 12--of course i have NO IDEA this is consistently being touted as the best fxxking beer in the world--i just felt shaken palate wise--like don't bloody know how to describe but just know very well that this is a very tasty beer.
Struise Pennepot Grand Reserva 2005---had this in December 2011, it's the first ever grand reserva i ever had--and this is what i noted on the "old" FB--unexpected pleasant surprise to have shared/tasted this...hmm..how does one go back.. having tasted one of the finest..?"
Struise Black Damnation series--Mocha Bomb--this is by far the biggest beer i felt at that time--it was just amazing--like chewing on chocolate! note on the "old FB"---"its called mocha bomb--its actually a stout--but the taste has given the meaning of stout a complete turn around....what a treat!!!-but where to find another one?"

The Search period
#The Lost Abbey Carnevale---三人品酒会中,啤迷朋友点的“收尾酒”,这支SAISON开拓了眼界,原来酿得精彩的“淡”口味啤酒可以那么富层次风味。
#Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast—至今仍觉得是酒精度8%或以下STOUT的指标性酿品,不少7-10%之间的黑啤都感觉不够香醇,甚至水水的,更彰显这支“低度黑啤”功力。(这之后,更高酒精度的啤迷系列BRUNCH WEASALVANILLA SHAKE---美国PRAIRIE BOMBALESMITH SPEEDWAY STOUT,比利时STRUISE BLACK ALBERT都带来重大影响)
The lost abbey--Carnevale--had this as "end beer" during a tasting/sharing in Tokyo back in 2014--i would have never ordered this beer having no clue about what a SAISON can do--thanks to Neil for suggesting this beer--it totally opened up my mind and palate about what a nice saison can do....
Mikkeller Beer Geek Breakfast--this for me is THE benchmark for stout lower than 8%--personally i dislike stout that's watery/or taste like a watered-down coffee--a stout should have a certain thickness/ smoothness & richness--that's how i like it--and this beer is one of the earliest stout variants we could find regularly some 4 years ago locally--and it has stick on--for me this is one stout which taste better than some stouts that's even higher in abv.
*of course--during those time--some other stouts has shown their impact too--including:-
Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch weasal+ Vanilla Shake+Texas Ranger(spicy & nice !)
Priarie Bomb 
Alesmith Speedway Stout
Struise Black Albert

#Mikkeller Nelson Sauvin---介于香槟和白葡萄酒之间的啤酒,让人了解到啤酒原来可以那样玩,有趣好喝。
#To Ol Black Maria--- 
#To Ol Black Ball—
#Yeastie Boys Rex Attitude---
#Three Floyds Zombie Dust 
ALPHA KING---美国盛名酿坊的单酒花和多酒花大作,多亏曼谷“米吧”,2014年尾“占领啤酒泵”活动上喝到“鲜啤”版本,均衡好喝。

Mikkeller Nelson Sauvignon--it was certainly an eye and palate opener this one--never tasted anything like this before--a beer which taste like champagne + sauvignon? i need more of this( it's been toooo long KL never seen the return of this beer!)
To Ol  Black Maria--til now still one of my favourite Black IPA--just too bad KL have not seen any TO OL for the last 2 years plus.
To Ol Black Ball--by thoery--a Porter is supposed to be less "thick" less "rich"than a stout--but try this--and you would beg to disagree..
Yeastie Boys  Rex Attitude---the most interesting part about this beer from New Zealand is about the SMELL--the heavy peaty/smokey/Iodine like smell--which most whisky drinkers can relate to but not beer drinkers--the beer itself is very light--easy to drink--only challenge is the nose--personally i found it very useful as a "joker"beer--if you play cards--it's good as a starter or middle change of palate beer--or as end beer---suit yourself.
Three Floyds Zombie Dust & Alpha King---the highly rated single hop and multi hops American Pale Ale--to be able to drink emmm on tap in Mikkeller Bangkok was quite insane!
*i should also mention Yeastie Boys Golden Perch--a very pleasant beer that was specially brewed for the premier of the movie "THE HOBBIT" in NZ--it's light and easy but with layer and body--but sadly no longer in brew.
Some latest impact:-
LAMBIC & Sours
The biggest impact recently was about discovering and embracing the whole new world of lambic/sours --especially the grand masters from Belgium--the impact these sour liquid has on the palate and appreciation level is far and deep.
LOW ABV beer
This is something quite hard to find in Asia--with most drinkers looking for hops attack or strong abv sensation--but having tried a few--it totally blew my mind--that a beer with such low percentage of alcohol can be so tasty when it could easily been brush off as tasteless/no kick/no taste beer.
some impact beers i had:-
Hillfarmstead Clara at 4% abv
Jester King Le Petite Prince & Princess--both at 2.9%
The Kernel Table Beer--below 4%
#酒精度4%以下,仿佛“淡如水”的TABLE BEERLAMBIC之外对一贯只关注IPASTOUT重口味饮客的味蕾考验,个人“影响啤”包括Hillfarnstead ClaraLe petite Prince & PrincessThe Kernel table beer等。
Having grown bored of hops forward/attack focus IPAs--it was quite refreshing to have tasted both Heady Topper & Pliny The Elder side by side here in KL--both beers just wipe off the negativity about ipa which were building up--now i can use some really balance--well made IPAs again.
#美国两大IPAHEADY TOPPERPLINY THE ELDER,平衡美味口感让对只强调苦味啤酒感觉疲惫的我从新发现IPA的美好。
Something very newly discovered--it's still a big issue trying to find some form of constant supply here in ASIA--as of now there's only some available in Mikkeller Bangkok--and some in Singapore--but mead is really something different from any beer styles we have had so far--it's definitely worth chasing after for--no matter how short in supply it can be for the time being....

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