Thursday, 1 January 2015

12 Beers Of Xmas - Day 8

The Twelve Beers of Christmas
Beer Eight
By The Horns - Seven Deadly Sins: Gluttony 7.5%

I'm back with my second post of the day to get me back on track, and I've chosen a beer with a title that probably more than any other typifies the ethos of the festive season.

New Years Day is, more than any other the time when the majority of us wake up with hangovers having partied (and by partied I mean drinking copious amounts of alcohol) long into the night with the inevitable consequences. Some resolve to curtail their drinking and resolve to make themselves feel a bit better and re-set their palates as well by having a Dry January. If you're thinking of doing this and maybe wavering because you won't be supported by your beery friends then don't be. If you want some reassurance then this article from last year by beer writer Pete Brown, might help with your mindset.

Dry January has caused much debate within the beer community over the past few years, so in an effort to bring some balance and provide something for those that choose to continue to imbibe to throw their support behind and soak up some of the anti-anti-drinking animosity then there is something new for 2015. Tryanuary has been launched to encourage you to, as the name would suggest, try something new or something different when it comes beer for the first month of this year. Supported by many independent brewers and other beer related organisations, their is also a charity element to the movement as BeerBodsEebria, and the Big Hand Brewing Co will all be donating money to a charity of their choice if you choose to do business with them. Should you wish to read more about this then here is a link to the relevant page. 

All you really need to do to be part of this is to post your discoveries on twitter, Instagram or Facebook, using the hash tag #tryanuary. So what are you waiting for? Get out there this month and drink something new, go somewhere new, seek out that local brewery you've whose beers you've never got around to tasting, go to that bar that you've heard about but never quite made it there, or as I plan to be doing ... well,  let's leave that for another time. I'll be looking out for those #tryanuary posts throughout this month and contributing a few of my own too. 

The very best of luck to you in whatever you choose to do this January, I hope you have a good one whatever you do.

Tonight's beer is number two in a series that Wandsworth based By The Horns Brewing Co. produced towards the beginning of 2014 centred around the Seven Deadly Sins. all seven were stouts some barrel-aged others not, but all served in an unusual squat 750ml bottle. They appeared without much too much of a fanfare and were missed by a proportion of beer lovers which I think is a real shame. By The horns produce some excellent beers, I featured their Prince Albert and Lambeth Walk in my #BeersOfLondon series back in 2013 so I'm really looking forward to opening this bottle.

Pouring a thick deep dark brown, the colour and consistency of used engine else, oozing into the glass and making itself at home with a resounding slap of liquid upon liquid but no head whatsoever. Chocolate and coffee aromas rise up nonchalantly from its surface all bound up with a little peaty smokiness and some sweeter honey notes. It glides over the tongue leaving a slightly sticky bitter residue that is rich and decadent like an oily dark chocolate whiskey liqueur covered in cold espresso coffee and stirred with some toasted brown bread crusts, but it isn't as thick as you might expect which gives it a strangely creamy consistency. The finish starts from the centre of the tongue, pushing those sweet smoky peaty whisky flavours towards the roof of the mouth before a notion of cold black coffee takes over and it is this takes it almost up to its conclusion but this is reserved for some echoes of burnt toast which fade over a long time leaving a lightly oily residue.

This is a very good beer, acknowledging it's oak ageing and scotch whisky elements proudly and blatantly. If I had one complaint I would say that the base stout could do with a little more body to make it feel chewy and even more unctuous. That said I'm enjoying it immensely, so much so that I'm off to get some cheese and crackers to have with it.

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