Thursday, 26 March 2009

A special black and tan followup

Gold Label Barley Wine and Mackeson Stout. Two giant names of the 1950's. If you lived in Britain. I did, this is my blog, so there you go.

Though I've already written about blending the two aforesaid beers into a Black & Tan Nostalgia Royale, I haven't done it yet. I've been saving that sublime moment for a special occasion. Today is Sunday. What could be more special than that? (Other than a Monday. Or Tuesday. Perhaps Thursday, at a pinch.)

I've poured a little of each into an pint glass. And let Dolores have a taste. She quite liked the Mackeson. "It's fruity" she said of Gold Label. At least she tries them. I continually thrust glasses under her nose and say "What do you think of this?" Spousal abuse, I know. But she sometimes thumps me. We're about even.

Time to blend . . . . . . . .

. . . .

. . . .

"What do you think of them mixed, Dolores?" "Mmmmm" she says. "I'd drink that, too. All three were OK."

I think it works quite well. The Gold Label beefs up the Mackeson a treat. 3 plus 8.5 divided by two . . . that's 6.25% ABV. Perfect. A Single Stout. Just what I want. Not a world-beater, but drinkable. Now if I had the roastier Mackeson Export, that would be something special.

10 comments:

The Beer Nut said...

I keep meaning to buy Mackeson's whenever I see it, but the cans are always filthy or damaged. Some day...

I did impress some serious beer geeks with Mann's Original last weekend, though. Lovely beer, that.

Kristen England said...

So its tastes something like Dragon then Im guessing. I tried this with the regular Mackesons and it was rubbish. I then tried it with the Trinidadian stuff...now thats good.

Tim said...

Now I want to mix up my own Special Black and Tan. I don't believe either Gold Label or Mackeson make it to the US so I will have to substitute. Anchor Old Foghorn will do nicely for the barley wine. Do I dare open my lone bottle of either FES or SES for a SBaT?

Kristen England said...

Tim,

Grab a bottle of Lefthand Milk stout or some Lion Stout if you want it even stronger. Don't waste anything that special.

Gary Gillman said...

The mix sounds very good to me. 2:1 barley wine to the Mac's might be good too, maybe like a XXXX mild of the 1800's.

Viz. Gold Label itself, I wonder what the brewer of this beer would say if we could speak with him, what approach he is trying to take, how he views the style he is making, how he views the canning process, is the product now pasteurised, why it isn't available on draft, what qualities in general he was looking for.

Gary

coach_mcguirk said...

Me, Gold Label and Cider had a MAJOR falling out when I was 16. I've only just started allowing the occasional cider back into my life 21 years later. Don't think I'm ready for Gold Label though. This reconciliation is going to take a bit longer.

Jonah said...

Tim

Mackesons can be found in the US. It's the xxx type

Matt said...

To answer Gary's points, Gold Label only dates from 1951 according to Michael Jackson. He reckons that Whitbread saw it as a novelty to have a pale old ale when the others were/are dark brown. I doubt it was ever bottle conditioned or available on draught, the Whitbread pub in Manchester I drank in in the late 80's had it in bottles but I think you could also get it in cans then as well.

Ron Pattinson said...

Yep, Gold Label was the first pale Barley Wine. A couple of other breweries, Bass for example, followed Tennant's lead and made similar beers in the 1950's.

Beer Nut. I find Mann's a bit thin. I would dearly love to track down the recipe for the pre-WW I version.

JessKidden said...

"Mackesons can be found in the US."

Not anymore- the company it was brewed for- Regal Imports of Cincinnati- recently closed. They had formerly imported the beer (along with Whitbread) but in recent years (since 2000-1 or so) it had been contract brewed by Boston Beer Co., also in Cincinnati, and by The Lion, of Wilkes-Barre, PA.

Part of the story may concern InBev's purchase of, first, Whitbread's brands and, more recently, Anheuser Busch but there's been no official word that I've seen on why the contract ended and/or Regal folded.

I was amazed at how fast the Mackeson XXX Stout in the US disappeared. In many stores, it was a VERY slow mover and I was usually afraid to buy since it often sat around for years.

"It's the xxx type"

Yeah, both as an import and as a contract-brew, in the US the Mackeson was a 5% abv beer.