Friday, 5 December 2014

Advent Calendar - 5th December 2014

Beer Advent Calendar
La Soccarada Cervesa Artesanal de Xativa - La Soccarada 6.0%
5th December 2014

It's day five of my Ales by Mail Advent Calendar, but I'm certainly not the only one doing this. There's more options if you'd like to see what a couple of other folk are drinking daily this Yuletide.

The most obvious place to start would be with Mr. Beer Advent Calendar himself, Eddie Grace, who has been blogging about his seasonal advent calendar every day in December for several years. He managed to fund this years venture via a KickStarter campaign, and with a no nonsense approach to beer reviews exhibiting a dry sense of humour it's well worth a read. You can also find him on twitter at @Beeradventcal.

Someone else who has also got the beery calendar bug is my good friend and Beer East Anglia's Norfolk correspondent, the one and only Nathaniel Southwood. His advent calendar is also typically no-nonsense, and his reviews sometimes Spartan but he sure knows his beer, and he knows good beer when he drinks it. You can follow his exploits daily on his BoozeBeatsBites blog, but then again you probably already do.

These are the only other beer advent calendars that I know of, however if you are aware of any others or indeed if one of them is yours then be sure to let me know and I'll feature it in a future post. Now however it's time for the answers to yesterdays quiz questions. They are:

1. Kriek

2. Isinglass

3. Kalnapilis

4. Ceres

5. 2009, in Maltby Street, Bermondsey

A good mix there I though, but I wonder how many of you got the last one right without cheating. Bonus point if you did!

But now it's time for the beer.

La Soccarada is brewed with rosemary and rosemary honey in small batches (a maximum of 2,500 litres) once a fortnight in the town of Xativa, in Valencia in Spain. Normally I'd put a link to the website in here but there seems to be a problem when I try to access the English version so here instead is a link to their twitter page which although in Spanish has plenty of photographs of the brewery and the brewers.

It pours a deep amber with a thin white head and the heady aroma of thick sticky honey, ginger and woody rosemary. Thin and sweet as you might well expect, the rosemary infusion is a pleasant surprise in that it really works, enhancing its sweetness whilst at the same time being distinct and readily identifiable. It is in the finish however that the rosemary is at it's most potent, with some pear notes and some finely ground black pepper meaning it lasts for a fair while. It is actually making me want to have a slice or two of freshly sliced hot roast lamb such is the effect of the rosemary in this beer, it really is quite intoxicating.

I have to confess that I've not had a beer quite like this before, and if it sounds like your thing then you'll find that Ales by Mail still have some on their website.

A smaller than usual review tonight because this beer is really all about the herb, and before I get to that corny joke you've all been waiting for (ok probably not) here are today's five questions.

1. In brewing, what do you call the volatile flavour compounds that give beer a fruity taste similar to bananas, raspberries, apples, etc.?

2. (Linking in with tonight's Beer O'Clock Show! episode) Nora, the wife of the brewer at La Baladin Brewery in Italy, lends her name to a beer which is infused with which natural festival appropriate bittering agent?

3. SABMiller is a global player in the brewing industry, but what do the initials SAB stand for?

4. Which animal is traditionally featured on Bock beer labels?

5. What is the name of the fermentable sugar which is derived from malt?

As always, best of luck.

And so as this blog draws to a close here is todays corny cracker joke ...

What is ET short for?

Because he's only got little legs!

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