Friday, 26 December 2014
12 Beers Of Xmas - Day 1
The Twelve Beers Of Christmas
Elusive Brewing - BA Imperial Stout 9.0%
As much as I really wanted to join in with the Beer O'Clock Show #12BeersOfXmas 'official' start date on the 20th December, it was always going to be a practical impossibility as I was already deep into my Beer Advent Calendar series. However, the great thing about the Beer O'Clock Show event is that you can dip in and out any time you like. You don't have to start on the appointed day, you don't have to blog about it, just sharing twelve beers over the Christmas period using the #12BeersOfXmas hashtag on twitter or Instagram or even leaving a comment at the bottom of someone else's post all count as joining in.
Now I'm a bit of stickler for tradition, and for me the twelve days of Christmas don't start until Christmas Day, so that's when I had Beer One. If you follow me on Instagram (it's 1970SBOY if you don't already) then you will have already seen me review this beer on there late last night, so I'm sorry if you've already read that, but it does warrant a full review.
I had always intended this beer to be drunk on Christmas Day but unfortunately, or fortunately as you will see, it was the 25th December 2013 that I had originally earmarked as the one. Due to illness I wasn't actually up to it last year, so away it went to languish in my beer cellar for further twelve months. Sleeping. Resting. Getting to know itself a little better.
On of the best things about this beer if that was a gift, and a gift from the brewer, Andy Parker, home brewer extraordinaire, founder of Elusive Brewing (soon to begin an exciting new chapter), but most importantly a good friend.
This was a rare beer indeed, well it certainly was until I opened it, the last bottle in existence. Brewed around sixteen months ago using Pale, Dark Crystal, Light Crystal, Chocolate, and Roasted barley malts, and hopped with Centennial, you can imagine my anticipation as, late last night, I finally got around to opening the bottle.
It poured as black as night with the viscosity of engine oil and a serious amount of carbonation, making it fizz and throw a light brown head up the glass, and unleashing an aroma of burnt brown sugar and date. Medium bodied, there's a good dose of liquorice, black pepper, and whisky soaked prunes floating in liquid chocolate in the flavour, the booziness holding back but giving you a gentle nudge every now and again. it's very moreish. The finish has more black pepper, espresso coffee and chocolate in the slightly hot finish, the alcohol is more apparent but it doesn't dominate at any point, it's truly delicious.
I am so pleased to have got this beer to drink today as it is certainly an 'occasion' beer, and a Christmas beer is certainly that. Andy is a fantastic brewer, and if you've ever had any of his beer (his collaborations with Weird Beard met with universal praise) then you will know this already. 2015 is set to be a big year for him and Elusive Brewing, give him your support by buying and drinking his beer when it is available and you will be rewarded with something very very good indeed.