Thursday, 11 October 2012

More Albany Ale

Craig has just posted part two of his piece on Albany Ale. You should take a look. It'll make some of what I'm about to publish make more sense.

Tomorrow will be an exciting day. A bit like a Wednesday and all that entails. All will become clear at 09:05 (Central European Time) tomorrow.


Craig said...

XXs and Ohs?" Part 2 will be up through the weekend!

Gary Gillman said...

I'm currently in New York and I always taste Ballantine XXX when here. Last night I bought the iconic ("Jasper Johns") can and found it had a pineapple esteriness and a slight earthy degraded quality. Later, I checked the base of the can and the BBD is November 2012. Clearly it is too old and I chucked it.

Today I bought a glass bottle of it (16 oz., the store also sold quarts). This is much better. It has a noticeable hop nose, a malty but light palate, and the adjunct is there but not dominating. No fruit in the nose at all so the fruit in the oldie was clearly a result of over-age.

It's surely not Ballantine XXX of the mid-1800's, or even 10 and 30 years ago I fear, but it is still a fragment, however attenuated (in all senses), of old New York State brewing history. If they upped the hops, made it all-malt and put it on draft it would do very well I'm sure.


P.S. Beck's is brewed in the U.S. now and having had too many chlorine-like cans and bottles from overage or mishandling on the trip from Bremen, I was very glad to try it brewed Stateside. It is excellent and the Dark in particular was a welcome surprise. Beery, malty, with a light molasses-like aftertaste but no chemically taste such as I recall from most samples I drank when it was an import. This is excellent beer, as good as any in the posh beer bars IMO.