Monday, 8 December 2014

Advent Calendar - 8th December 2014

Beer Advent Calendar
Cervesa Artesenal de Xativa - Er Boquerón 4.8%
8th December 2014

The tree is up and the Big Day looms. We're not a third of the way there, and the days have started to fly past. I'd better do some Christmas shopping I suppose.

Brace yourselves. I'm about to reveal something that may surprise, stun and shock you. A revelation that is so unnerving you may want to read the next sentence twice, just to be sure you actually understood it correctly and it's not some peculiar trick or play on words, so here we go. I like shopping. That's stopped you in your tracks hasn't it, or perhaps it hasn't, you see if you've ever been shopping with me then you'll know that I see revelling in seasonal consumerism as a necessary evil and one that must be tempered with a visit to a bar or pub or two, purely for sanity's sake of course.

What is particularly fortuitous is that the places I like to shop this time of year all coincidently happen to be located close to some of London's best beer spots. It's a tough job shopping this time of year, a hazardous mission that planned with the utmost precision down to the last detail, so knowing the location of the nearest bolt-hole in which to regroup when it all starts to go belly-up is essential. Great beer and shopping (obviously using public transport), going together like turkey and brussel sprouts at Christmastime, just as long as you remember that the beer is the reward and not the reason for your visit you'll get through it. Trust me on this one.

Before I get to the answers to yesterdays questions and of course the beer itself, I just want to draw your attention to a couple of beery Advent Calendar blogs, the first of which was brought to my attention by Matt Curtis.

Over at Beer Compurgation, Mark Johnson is spending the run up to the 25th December by drinking and blogging about a different Christmas themed beer each day. This is the third year he's done this, and he hasn't reviewed the same one twice so if, like me, you're a sucker for a festive beer then you could do a lot worse than read his blog. I've also enjoyed guessing the Christmas songs from the lyrics that he's posted over the last few posts, see how well you do.

The second is from another Johnson, Glenn Johnson and is more a blog in parts rather than a daily post. Part one can be found here in which Glenn has decided to have a 'Dark December' and it's well worth a read, I even get a mention!

So before my head gets too big for the Santa hat I have to wear as I write this seasonal blog, here are the answers to yesterdays questions:

1. Alsace

2. Framboise or frambozen

3. Tulip

4. Radler

5. Spontaneous fermentation

I hope you got them, not too bad were they? I have to congratulate Andy Parker for being the first person to tweet me the answers to that one, and in fact he's the first person to tweet me the answers to any of the quiz questions. Come on the rest of you!

So onto today's beer ..

Well, I can't actually tell you a lot more about today's beer than I did about the beer I had on the 5th December, as Er Boquerón is brewed by the same brewery as La Soccarada, Cervesa Artesanal de Xativa. Whilst that beer was brewed with rosemary and rosemary honey, this one has a different 'unusual ingredient', it's brewed with sea water. Let's see what it tastes like.

Pouring a faintly peculiar murky golden orange and a thin white head, it has a strong aroma of melon with an underlying peachiness however covering both of these is a definite salinity, it's really rather odd. Initially quite full in the mouth with a sparkle of carbonation bringing a fruity rush of peach and ripe cantaloupe melon lifted with a little lemon juice, but this all falls away a little too quickly, as though a little embarrassed by it's sudden outburst, leaving the rest of the liquid to hurry through with barely a murmur. It does leave a pleasant melony aftertaste, if a little oily and a bit salty too, but then it's all over, and I'm left wondering if I really want to go through it all again. I do of course, but it's ultimately disappointing. Don't get me wrong I think this is a good beer and, although this is just my personal opinion, I don't think it's as good as it should be and I'm not sure that I'm entirely happy with that.

In yesterdays post I asked if you readers would like me continue with these quiz questions. The responses were all positive so I'll carry on with them. If you get the answers right I'll mention you in tomorrows blog just like I congratulated Andy today. Go on, give them a go. Here they are:

1. The Heineken Experience is the name of the brewery museum and visitors centre at the former Heineken Brewery in which European city?

2. Complete this famous old advertising slogan that was once used by a brewery that has recently been resurrected "You can taste the hops in ....."?

3. Who won the 'Brewer of the Year' award at this years British Guild of Beer Writers dinner in London last week?

4. The French brewery Brasserie St-Sylvestre brews a beer called Gavroche, named a Parisian rogue from which novel?

5. What do you call the method of heating beer after fermentation to kill residual yeast and bacteria and thus reduce the risk of contamination or spoilage?

As always, the very best of luck with those. I look forward to getting some more answers through (he wrote hopefully...).

And now.

You know what's coming, don't you?

I thought you did.

Here's todays Christmas cracker joke:

Why did nobody bid for Rudolph and Blitzen on eBay?

Because they were two deer (too dear)

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