Greetings readers, it's good to be back. After recent illness I have now been given the privilege of doing a bit of dray work. To those who don't know that means delivering beer. Yes that's right, the glamour, the romance, the look of joy on the landlord's face as you deliver those 9 gallon parcels of joy to his hatch.
Prior to this last week I had not delivered a single cask of beer on my own so being let loose in a transit van around Newcastle city centre was quite the challenge. I'm no Dray Master, like Daleside's Steve or Mordue's Draymaster Col (both were trained at the same at the same training camp in Tibet). But the main thing, as I have stressed, is that all the beer was delivered and there were no fatalities. That's all you need to know.
But anyway as it's a nice Bank Holiday break and I have finally managed to bottle the contents of my barrel Elizabeth and re-fill it with some 1750s Porter I thought it might be a good time to open a beer. Something Blue from Durham Brewery was previously reviewed by Leigh. Brewed for the Royal Wedding. A bold 10% English style Barley Wine from the North East's most adventurous brewery. On the nose, loads of almost perfume like alcohols. Taste wise, again loads of warming alcohols and waves of candy sweet malt, orange and a slight cinder toffee like note. Then more bitter orange and warming alcoholic notes follow through in the finish.
I like Durham brewery. Not all of the beers I've had from them have hit the mark but many have been excellent and I like their daring approach and creativity. I do like this one though, and for a 10% beer it's not overly heavy on the body but it is mightily sweet with lots of powerful fusel alcohol/ester like fermentation flavours in abundance. In Leigh's words 'powerful', but none the less it remains to be a relatively balanced, solid example of good old school Barley wine.