I’m going to start off with a warning. This weeks post contains what I consider to be a cliché in the world of describing drinks. It’s a term that I have long considered to be a full back term for people writing tasting notes when they have an okay beer, with not much else to say about it. I shall get to what it is in a while, but first, a little bit about Friday.
I yet again found myself in the Windsor Castle in Lye, home to the Sadler’s Brewery, makers of the rather good Mud City Stout. Unfortunately for me, it was yet again off (in terms of taste, I’ve been rather unlucky with this recently, and I wonder how many people have been put off it from drinking a bad pint. When it’s good, it’s a sublime stout, and dangerously tasty, yet when it’s off, it has a horrible taste, which I can best describe as what I’d imagine moldy socks to taste like.)
I was here to meet a couple of fellow drinkers, who I had first met at the Birmingham Twissup a few months previously. There are several write ups about the event, but this one from blogger Danny Brown is my favourite for the line “when a gathering happens in the name of something, then perhaps it means err something.” It has taken on somewhat of a meaning in recent months, with rather exciting developments happening. I’m sure as soon as I can, I’ll be promoting the hell out of those developments on here.
I arrived early, an hour earlier than the other drinkers (@ckdsaddlers, @robertoross and @midders57, for those of you who are curious) and used this time to get some drinking done for this post, and a potential Black and Tan Experiment involving Hop Bomb and Mud City Stout.
Now, as the Mud City Stout wasn’t on form, the Black and Tan was essentially rendered worthless, and so I’ll be waiting for another go before I write about that. As for this week’s pint, I had the monthly special, Solar Bear, which is easily the better of the Sadler’s monthly specials I’ve had this year. There was a nice citrusy, mostly grapefruit aroma initially, which faded slightly not long afterwards. The beer had a nice bitterness that seemed nicely offset by the slight sweetness of the malt. It was, in my eyes (cliche alert!) a well balanced beer.
It was the first time that those words have made any sort of sense to me. Most of the time, when I drink a beer described as “well balanced” I have found it to be anything but. Of course, one person’s “well balanced” maybe another persons “slightly skewed one way or the other”, but at least now, I do know that there are actually beers that can fit that description.
Saying that though, I’ll still view those words with some skepticism when reading tasting notes.
As for the rest of the day, we finished at the Windsor Castle with some Dr. Hardwicke’s, before moving onto the Waggon and Horses in Halesowen. Despite having passed through a number of times, this was actually the first time I had visited there. I took the opportunity to try Batham’s Mild, which I found to be okay, but not impressive enough for me to rush back for more, unlike the bitter. This was followed by a trip to Stirchley Wines and a final pint in the Post Office Vaults.
So, a little bit delayed, but that was this week’s Friday Pint. It shall be returning to the West Midlands in a few months time, probably.