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Sometimes the day job gets in the way!

Not much activity on the blog over the past few days.  This is mainly due to me being on a training course – with an exam at the end of it, so I’ve had to spend the evenings revising instead of writing blog posts.  Mind you, it is possible to revise while having a glass of beer – although the ability to absorb the intricacies of IT Service Management does tend to suffer after a couple of jars!  I’ll get the results in about 3 weeks, so I’ll then be able to see how effective my revision technique was!  In the meantime, I’ve got a bit of catching up to do, as I’ve sampled a few different beers recently.  I’ll start with a couple of fairly strong beers:

A few weeks ago I wrote about a slightly disappointing experience with a bottle of Black Sheep Ale (see Baa baa).  I recently tried one of the other beers from the Black Sheep Brewery Riggwelter Strong Yorkshire Ale (5.7%).  My experience of this beer couldn’t have been more different – I loved it, even though I generally don’t go for strong beers.  It has a burnt malt smell and taste, with suggestions of caramel and coffee – perhaps even a hint of chocolate.  A late night drink rather than a quaffing beer – very enjoyable.

The nice people at R&R sent me a couple of samples of beers from Innis & Gunn, for whom they provide PR and media relations.  I’d mentioned Innis & Gunn in a blog post (see Rhubarb rhubarb), and they very kindly offered me a couple of bottles to try.  They have been sitting in the fridge for a few weeks (they recommend that they are served cold) and I decided to try the least strong (at a mere 6.6%!!) first.  Innis & Gunn mature their beers in oak barrels, which gives them an unusual and interesting taste.  The Innis & Gunn Original (6.6%) is matured in oak for 30 days, then removed from the barrels and matured for a further 47 days (I don’t know the significance of these numbers, except that they add up to a whole number of weeks).  For such a strong beer, it is surprisingly light and drinkable (which could be dangerous!).  It has a sweet and hoppy smell, isn’t particularly bitter, and has a sweet, vanilla taste, with a hint of fruit – in fact, showing my age here, the taste reminded me of the banana flavoured Penny Arrows we used to get when we were kids (they were 1d – an old penny – then, they are probably about £1 now!).  I drank this on its own rather than with food – there is a food-matching page on the Innis & Gunn web site that gives some ideas.  As it says there, the high alcohol content means it will stand up to robust flavours, but the low bitterness means it will not overpower more delicate flavours; it would probably go well with fish and chips.

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