Tuesday, February 9, 2021

WEEK 185---2020 Most Memorable Beer List---Part 2/2---by ct (KL)

Here's the final part of  my last year list :-

Other Half  Double Pontoon Juice
Cloud Water TIPA NZ Hops 01
Black Iris Don't Fear The NEIPA
thanks to local geek friends who seek for these cans from overseas via beer mail---i was able to sample a few really fresh cans during the past year (between 2-4 weeks from canned date)---among the few cans tasted--these 3 were the standouts --the OH brew was smelling really intense--so much so that a geek friend sharing blurted out the word "durian-y"--referring to how intense the nose of this NEIPA caught his senses---while the CW TIPA was quite different from what some of us has come to expect--there was more bitter tone of hops than the "expected" fruity/juicy mouth feel, not West Coast though not really very NE.   As for Black Iris---it was my first ever can from this UK brewery was very pleasant--no cloying issue that some might find in a NEIPA---and the beer name was worth a smile if you have heard complaints from hardcore traditional West Coast IPA lovers.
去年在本地喝到以上三款分别来自美国纽约酿坊,英国曼彻斯特酿坊和诺丁汉酿坊,三款分别喝到时基本都少于或介于一个月左右,也算是以自己方式暂时解渴长期以来在本地难以喝到真正新鲜IPA/NEIPA的问题,三款不同作品中,来自纽约酿坊的Double Pontoon Juice最浓郁香醇,让一起分享的啤迷朋友甚至觉得有点“类似榴莲香味”的错觉,品酒感受来说是满有趣的评语。第一次接触的英国Black Iris 酿坊Don't Fear The NEIPA除了酒名称幽了那些只认可传统苦哈哈IPA风味啤迷一默,关键是喝起来舒适没有NEIPA过甜过腻问题,而英国最为人知的Cloud Water酿坊三倍作品不太像酿坊为人知的类果汁风格而是果汁感中带出啤酒花苦韵,可以在顶级新鲜啤酒花作品匮乏的本地喝到这些不错作品是乐事。

Pastry Stouts
Evil Twin  This Must Be Top 10….
Anchorage  Blessed 
Other Half   2020 Green City Imperial Stouts V1
the idea of making your stouts as pastry or dessert possible is the in trend among brewers in recent time---people were willing to pay crazy secondary prices for those with big hypes/reputations too.
the past 1 year with no international travelling--as well very limited sharing sessions--it was only natural that i have not sample much stouts at all( as i hardly ever crack a stouts to drink alone)---the 3 mentioned above were all from the very few sharing sessions---though comparatively these 3 are not the biggest/hyped pastry names but they are all really tasty ones
---with interesting green bananas flavours very noticeable in brews from Evil Twins and Other Half--as for the relatively "bigger" hyped Blessed from Anchorage---it was real nice but not something which makes me go wow--thought the alcohol hints can be better hidden--as well lacking in that silky smoothness.
在黑啤中添加如咖啡香草巧克力之类食材增加啤酒风味层次是存在已久酿酒师常用的手法,pastry stouts意味着加倍翻倍投放心中想呈现食材风味,简单来说就是大手笔加倍投入,为的就是让黑啤更接近糕点甜点风味层次。

Sour Beer
Wild Flower St.Florence 2018 : Sauvignon Blanc
3 Fonteinen + Brouwerij Lotebol :  Tuverbol
sour beer is one of my personal favourite beer styles---but only for the ones with finesse/balance---not in your face sort of sour but nicely layered/delicate ones---away from Belgium Lambic--these 2 above were 2 nice ones sampled last year---Wild Flower brew for how the adding of wine grade grapes in a barrel aging process has turned a Lager base beer into something really nice and layered---while the 3 Fonteinen collab though used some lambic to blend with triple blond beer---it was not the usual 3F lambic we are familiar with---the blending did turned the whole beer into something else--it was more sweet sour than a typical lambic profile--very interesting nice and easy yet delicate enough to want to slowly savour. 
酿得好均衡有层次的酸啤,无论是比利时天然发酵酸啤(Lambic)还是其他欧美澳纽酿坊的各式野生菌发酵酸啤是个人比较喜欢啤酒类型。去年由于疫情影响原计划好的布鲁塞尔和哥本哈根被迫取消意味着少喝了很多精彩酿品,特别是能在布鲁塞尔喝到的一些较难寻或只能在当地酿坊品饮室/特定酒吧开喝的Lambic作品。不过,喝craft beer也不只是追逐难寻稀有酿品,能喝到虽不算盛名难寻稀有类型但均衡好喝或风味呈现有惊喜趣味的作品是能让啤迷开心的事,比如这次酒单中澳洲酿坊和比利时酿坊两款,其中,澳洲酿坊作品是将淡啤(LAGER)使用葡萄酒品种级别葡萄桶陈浸泡时间工序将原本只是清爽解渴的基本啤酒变得层次分明均衡可口。而比利时两家酿坊合作酒款则使用比利时三倍棕啤(TRIPLE BLOND)混合天然发酵酸啤(LAMBIC)而成,作品展现了两者之间融合特色,酸中带类似烤麦芽甜风味表现,易喝有趣。

Worth Mentioning
Omnipollo Double Karpologi
a fruited sour using pineapples, peaches, passion fruits with addition of vanilla---it might come as too sweet too sour at the same time for some during the first 2 sips--but once the palate overcome the initial sensation--and especially after the beer gets warmer--its a nice light sweet sour sips.

Antidoot L'illumine Kriek Framboos
had this one during a sharing session earlier in the year--could be sue to 'distractions" from other beers during that session--it did not hit me ( in fact another Antidoot did)---then cracked this one last day of 2020 at home---it was different this time--really tasty--more jammy with sour cherries goodness--really nice.

3 Fonteinen Cuvee Armand & Gaston 
obviously there are many different variants of 3F---as well some perceived "higher/more complex/delicious ones"---this one though was really balance with plenty of oak influence coming through--sometimes we do overlook the seemingly right in the cellar type of bottles---this one did caught up with my palate attention.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

WEEK 184---2020 Most Memorable Beer List---PART 1/2----by ct (KL)

With newspaper column space constraint---decided to split my last year's list into 2 parts---though relatively speaking last year was a year with no International travelling + very few tasting sessions in between--meaning relatively very limited choices available to pick from---personally felt this is a list which of course could have been very different---but then again this list is also to factually reflect what i have had during a year in lock down---rather than thinking/imagining what nicer/ more awesome beers might have been shared or drank.


here's the list--with a certain mead in the mix:-

Antidoot Wilde Fermenten
– L’lllumine (Perzik Nectarine)- Natchvan de Geit- Analogia (apple/white druif)
Lock down kind of make you do something "unusual" at times---the urge to drink something real nice is stronger than normal---as well partly due to lack of varieties/choices at home---been having quite a few different styles bottles from this members only Belgium small brewery--from the very old school Gruit to farmhouse style beer tp bitter/sour ale to beer wine hybrid as well as barrel aged cider---there is nothing to dislike about what Antidoot been doing---through last year i have had 7 different styles of bottles from them--some shared with geek friends in those very few occasions when gathering still allowed--some at home---though i have yet to find a bottle so awesome it knock me off my chair( so to speak)--but there's certainly NO soso beer whatsoever---they are all nice-very good ones.
* a side note---though they are wild fermentation brew--but Antidoot is not about Lambic---so anyone using Lambic yardstick to judge would be unfair/wrong
if i really need to pick out the ones that immediately trigger my memory--then those are the 3 ---Nectarine for it's high palate familiarity/likeabilityGeit for it's interesting use of old school herbs/plants/leaves, and Analogia for how a commonly perceived straight forward Cider can be turned into something very different with wild fermentation and barrel aging treatment.
算是个人去年喝得比较多的比利时新贵酿坊,有幸成为会员所以可以买到三次配售的一些酒,去年喝了7款不同类型作品。这家田园酿坊多面性酿造,除了自然发酵啤酒,也酿自然葡萄酒(natural wine),苹果酒(cider),同时也玩混合啤酒葡萄酒或苹果酒的混合型啤酒(hybrid beer)等不同风格酿品。
个人去年喝过不同作品包括以橙酒(orange wine也称amber wine)手法(以白葡萄果皮浸泡)酿造的琥珀啤酒(Amber),混合自然葡萄酒和啤酒的混酒(Hybrid Beer),经桶陈时间工序处理的苹果酒(Cider),以及或加入桃子或酸樱桃或葡萄或草本根茎浸泡提味的啤酒,不同风味类型作品风格内敛含蓄不哗众取宠,各有特色,真要挑的话上述三款比较会第一时间挑起味蕾好奇或让味蕾觉得熟悉舒适。
*(值得一提的是,虽是野生自然发酵但这家酿的不是Lambic,基酒更多是SaisonGolden Ale之类风格啤酒,第一次喝的新朋友要排除对Lambic既定风味印象以免错误解读或不公平对比。)

Bokke Vlierbloesem
one of the bottles secured during after event private sale after MBCT 18--been keeping it for a while and finally cracked open during someone's birthday evening---not the most impressive Bokke i have had---was more sourish than expected--and surprisingly lacking that delicate balance---could be due to the condition it was kept or perhaps should be cracking it earlier---that said--cracking a Bokke during lock down (or any other time really) especially here in KL is a nice feeling.

Berliner Weisse/ Gose
Omnipollo Bianca Blueberry Blackberry Raspberry Strawberry Maple Pancake Lassi Gose
Omnipollo Bianca Blueberry Chocolate Peanut Butter Pancake Lassi Gose
Trillium Twice the Daily Serving( black currants-blackberry-boysenberry)
These two German originated beer styles been popping up in the craft beer world with quite some different facets---some brewers do keep with the "easier drinking" tradition/styles while some like the above 3 had some very heavy handed treatment from the brewers to make them thick/heavy/unique, almost "unrecognizable" from it's original styles.
Of the 3 --the two Omnipollo version of fruited Gose can be a love it or hate it kind of strong characteristic brew for some---it's certainly not your usual easy drinking Gose but rather slow sippers with almost slushie/smoothie like thick body---while the Trillium version of Berliner is sweet for a Berliner per se---considering that much fruits thrown in---but once that initial "palate shock/sensation" is smoothen--then it's actually a nice and "easier' sipper.
咸酸啤和柏林酸麦芽啤(Gose & Berliner Weisse都是很有代表性的德式风格啤酒,在craft beer世界中有很多酿酒师都有这两个版本作品,有的酿酒师基于传统风格稍作修改但基本保持原有的易喝性,有的则大手大脚的大玩颠覆手法,比如上述三款来自瑞典和美国酿坊的作品就是以大量投放水果/食材方式让酒体风味变得厚重,让一些人惊呼根本就是接近奶昔的“非啤酒”作品(特别是Omnipollo两款),虽那样,慢慢喝还是相当有趣可口的。

Schramms Indigo 
a nice bottle gifted by a geek friend during a Tokyo session back in 2019---there's no doubting the ability of Schramm's especially when it comes to playing around with fruits & honey--this one is mix of ripe blueberries and tart black currants--all blending nicely with orange blossom honey---no hints of 14% alcohol--was tasting jammy and layered---such a delicious one.

Sunday, January 31, 2021

WEEK 183---2020 Most Memorable Beer List---from Samuel ( SG )

The most memorable beer list from last year continues with a list from Samuel of Singapore---due to travelling restrictions caused by the pandemic, beer mail from overseas became some form of much needed salvation for some geek friends living in different cities of Asia---in fact Samuel ( with a few of his friends) been getting quite a lot of beer mails---in particular for pastry stouts from the States --hence it's no surprises Sam's list for last year consist mainly of stouts--not just any stouts but some big/hyped ones......

here's the list according to Samuel--with English version by Sam while Chinese transcript by me :-

Weldworks Brewing Starry Noche
smells so much hazelnut, toasted hazelnut, tastes hazelnuts for days, mashed hazelnuts, hazelnut spread, hazelnut religious experience, toasted coconut, Super chocolatey rich hazelnut when warm, some bourbon at the back, heavy motoroil slick body, aftertaste is still rich aromatic hazelnut chocolate bourbon that finishes so slowly

American Solera Horus Aged Ales BA Distraction’s Grasp
smells rich vanilla bean cream for days, coconut, tastes of rich vanilla bean custard for days, also hazelnuts for days, cocoa butter, coconut, solid motoroil medium body, rich vanilla hazelnut coconut aftertaste finishes enjoyingly slow

Angry Chair Brewing Prodigious
smells like jamming a brownie and fudgy chocolate cake with neapolitian ice cream into a blender, subtle barrel, tastes rich dark chocolate fudgqiaokel1e for days, rock road, vanilla, bourbon, cocoa, silky medium body, dark chocolate cocoa aftertaste finishes slow, easily the most chocolate beer for miles 


North Park Brewing co  Wild Thai Banana Macaroons Before Dying
smells goreng pisang (fried caramelized banana fritter) for days, chocolate fudge, coffee roast, tastes caramelized banana for days, chocolate fudge, nuanced coffee and toasted coconut, caramelized banana made into a macarons filling, medium body, caramelized banana vanilla aftertaste finishes moderately slow


Toppling Goliath Brewing Kentucky Brunch Brand Stout 2019
smells of rich coffee Affogato chocolate, chocolate ice cream coffee ice cream vanilla ice cream all melted and blended, tastes rich dark chocolate rich espresso coffee, some vanilla, very rich dark chocolate when warm, nuanced whiskey at the back, motoroil medium body, aftertaste is rich dark chocolate espresso that finishes so slow


Pulpit Rock Brewing co Sticker Shock
smells like salted almonds, toasted coconut for days, tastes toasted coconut for days, almonds, chocolate syrup, coconut candy Klondike bar, solid motor oil medium body, toasted coconut almond chocolate finish is enjoyingly slow
开瓶是盐味杏仁果和烤椰香,喝起来满是烤椰杏仁巧克力糖浆椰子软糖, 余韵仍是椰香杏仁巧克力.


Phase Three Brewing Eunoia B1
smells peanut butter and marshmallow, hazelnut, tastes fudgy peanut butter chocolate, Reese’s peanut butter cups for days, vanilla, a lot of hazelnut similar to starry noche, solid motoroil body, aftertaste is hazelnut peanut butter that finishes slow
闻香是花生酱,棉花糖,榛子,喝起来是浓郁的巧克力花生酱,香草,非常明显榛子,近似另一家酿坊的盛名黑啤starry noche,余韵是满满的榛子花生酱。


Pips Meadery There’s a Snake in My Shews
smells of cashew nut, vanilla, floral nuanced blueberry, tastes huge floral vanilla honey, cashew, huge floral quality, juicy blueberries, floral blueberries at the back, body is wine-silky, aftertaste is cashews and big floral vanilla that finishes moderately, maybe the best mead so far


electric brewing occult chemistry
smells peach, mango, floral, strawberries when warm, tastes of dank fruit juice, nuanced pine resin, juicy peach mango strawberry salad, juicy light-medium body, aftertaste is the same peach-mango-strawberry that finishes moderately fast

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

WEEK 181---2020 beer matters

We all know how 2020 went---to many it was a year lost/stolen or much more than that---in beer terms personally--2020 was a year where some planned beer trips/visits were cancelled---as well local tasting sessions with the guys was almost close to non-existent with concerns over gatherings---it was kind of more losses than gains in terms of beer tasting/sharing opportunities but there was some light during those dark hours too-----here's how 2020 went:-
Europe trip which was cancelled
2020 was supposed to be an exciting year for the few of us here in Kl tasting group---i first went to Copenhagen for CBC(Copenhagen Beer Celebration) back in 2015---then 2 guys from the group joined up and the 3 of us went in 2016 for the newly named MBCC(Mikkeller Beer Celebration Copenhagen) and went again in 2018---last year was supposed to be the 4 of us from the group with the youngest member joining and going to a fest of such magnitude for the very first time---you could imagine the excitement when fest ticket /flight ticket/logistic were booked and plans were made---the thought of bars hopping during that crazy delicious 1 week or so in Copenhagen--sharing beers and meeting old and new friends/brewers--all these of course never happened with the fest forced to cancelled....
Personally--- i was planning to visit Brussels( and it's surrounding areas)--mainly for long overdue pilgrimage again to the land of Lambic---plans were made to visit during the time when Cantillon would be holding it's Quintessence with Russian River( and Alagash) joining hands---though i did not get the ticket to main event at Cantillon tasting room---some essential bars such as Moeder Lambic and such will be provided with delicious brews from the event----i was also wanting to visit places like Gebrande Winning, 3 Fonteinen taproom, Antidoot and Bokke (if permitted) among others---it would have been a long awaited visit coming to fruition---too bad--Covid decided that's not to be the case.
与此同时,哥本哈根庆典之前想先去布鲁塞尔周边大概十天左右拜访几家大师级天然发酵酸啤酿坊,去专卖吧/佩酒餐厅见见啤迷朋友的计划也只能取消。比利时之行时间点有对上Cantillon和美国大师级酿坊Russian River年度特别活动,虽然没买到在酿坊进行的活动门票,但主办方会给布鲁塞尔市内特定几家专卖吧提供一些酒款,让没能买到票的啤迷也有机会尝尝鲜,当然,这些都成了没能在去年实现的计划。

Asia trips which never took off
Bangkok and Tokyo are 2 Asia cities i like visiting whenever possible---personally these two always been on the forefront of craft scene here in Asia (though some other cities such as Shanghai-Hong Kong-Singapore as well Taiwan been catching up too)---craft beer aside--the food and logistic in and around Bangkok & Tokyo are the supporting reasons why they are my FAVs cities in Asia.

In Bangkok--there is no doubt that Mikkeller Bangkok has been on the front foot in terms of introducing First in Asia( at times only exclusive to BKK) kind of imported breweries since the first year they set up shop in a garden bungalow at Ekkamai---for examples in November they flown in Hill Farmstead---with taps as well some bottles available for drink in---and a week or so before that in Nov they had fresh cans of Other Half---not to mentioned earlier in the year they already had a 3 taps Hill Farmstead--some Finback & Grimm, Baghaven and so on.
As for Tokyo---it has seen even more new names being imported in recent months---when i last visited late 2019 there were already some Grimm on taps+bottles---as well names like Ale Apothecary, De Garde, Othe Half and so on----more recently breweries such as Trillium, Side Project, Cellador Ales as well Mills from the UK been popping up---very nice to note for geeks living in and around Tokyo,
Apart from the joy of visting bars/bottle shop---since 2018 Tokyo has somehow became a once a year (whenever possible) nice bottle sharing venue for me personally with some geeks/friends living in Tokyo showing warm hospitality.
Not sure if 2021 second half would see a return to some normalcy in terms of international travelling---but for sure Bangkok and Tokyo would be high on my list of cities to visit once normalcy return.

曼谷和東京是个人喜欢的亚洲craft beer城市,因为两个城市本身有非常好(有时候是亚洲首卖或独家)的啤酒类型和特定酿坊酒款选择。
今年在曼谷出现的酒单非常精彩,特别是多年来一直不定期有让人惊喜酒单出现的曼谷米吧11月就再次引进众多啤迷公认为绝对顶级酿坊Hill Farmstead的好多款不同类型啤酒,桶装之外也提供一些瓶子选择(当然都只能在酒吧开喝不能外带),而在这之前米吧则是把纽约盛名在外的类果汁印度淡啤/印度淡啤酿坊Other Half的多款作品空运进曼谷,尊崇啤酒花啤酒尽量新鲜喝的做法值得赞赏。此外,曼谷也出现了比如丹麦Baghaven,美国Finback, Grimm,Fifty FiftySuperstition蜜酒等高手酿坊作品。
说到亚洲可能首次出现的高水平酿坊品牌作品不能不提東京,特别是近两年,東京出现了不少之前亚洲看不到的几家欧美小型酿坊作品,比如英国新贵酿坊Mills,美国高手酿坊包括CelladorGrimmOther Half以及Side Project等等都是啤迷乐见出现亚洲的酿坊品牌。在東京除了去专卖吧瓶子店之外还有一个让人期待的重头活动,那就是跟一些住東京外国啤迷朋友的瓶子分享会,因为大家都有一些不同的精彩酿坊作品可以分享,某种程度上有时候酒单会比去专卖吧喝更精彩。只是,疫情让很多国境关闭,哪都飞不了,曼谷和東京只能期待明年情况好转的话再去了。

Not all doom & gloom
Though generally 2020 was a year with lots of missed opportunities for what would have been a far more better year with many nice beer tasting sessions overseas and perhaps locally too---but it was in some way still a year to remember---personally i was struck down by a mosquito and had to be admitted to hospital because Dengue can be fatal though i was lucky to NOT feel any terrible sickness from this one---then came good news of automatic renewal for ANTIDOOT membership for another year to 2021---and then the biggest pleasant surprise has had to be this one---BOKKE XMAS PACK( where the inside joke of if you get 2 Giradin then your box get to filled with 10 Bokke originated from)---it was certainly a joyful moment to received the notice saying you are entitled to purchase A BOX.
( yes my box of Bokke is still in Belgium as i did not chose the DHL Express coz it sucks here to get DHL for beer mail since they insist one need to apply for an importing permit( which will take long time and energy to apply and pray that the authority approve---but who would complain knowing a box of Bokke would come home on a later date? I know for sure I WON'T)