Tuesday 28 April 2009

Blessed are the cheesemakers (NYC part two)

Another lowercase bar. I won't hold that against them. After all, plan-b is one of mall all-time faves.

Ridgeway Ivanhoe Pale Ale (cask)
Nice colour. Nice thin head. I would tell you the aroma, but the people sitting next to me have brought in their own food. Including a really weird smelling cheese. It (the beer, not the cheese) tastes like a blandish draught Bitter. But have been on much stronger stuff. That's probably influencing my perception.

The barmaid is covered in tattoos. On the sound sytem an early T-Rex number is playing. From their acoustic period. "Deborah" I think it's called. I used to have a bootleg tape with it on, way back before most of you lot were born. Memories, memories. I had an email from my brother today. Another blast from the past.

Victory Storm King (keg)
I missed out on this by 5 minutes when I was in NYC in February. I was keen to try, as it was highly recommended. Nice and black. Decent-sized tan head. Sniff. Oh no. It's a c-hop Stout. I wish I hadn't insisted on a pint (the standard pour is 10 oz.). Big, big mistake. It may as well be a black IPA for all the Stoutiness I can taste. Briliiant! A beer I can slag off like crazy. NOT TRUE TO STYLE. I love writing those words. That's why they're in uppercase. I've no problem with a Stout being hoppy. It is a BEER, after all. NOT TRUE TO STYLE. I've written it again. Black IPA. That's the second time I've said that, too. What a boring, repetitive twat I am. How much of these notes will I publish? Probably not these bits. Maybe just as images. No-one ever bothers to read those. Even if they wanted to, I doubt they could decipher my scrawl. [Contrary to my expectation, I am publishing these bits. As you've doubtless already noticed.] [Bad joke removed to save me from unnecessary grief and overlong explanations. Joke available on request to people I know personally.]

Victory Old Horizontal (keg)
Between amber and brown in colour. Bugger. More fucking C-hops in a style where they don't fit. [In my opinion. I've no problem with C-hops in Pale Aley type beers. Call me traditional. Or reactionary. Or anything else you like. Just don't post abusive comments.] Sweet, malty, overlain with C-hops. Frankly, a dull beer. And slightly NOT TRUE TO STYLE. The worst so far today. I warmed to the Storm King about half way down. After I got talking to the cheese guy. It was his own cheese. Like much cheese, the taste was much better than the smell. As they say, "blessed are the cheesemakers".

The above was taken pretty much verbatim from my notes. It's sad that I feel the need to add this word of explanation, but I've had weird reactions before. While I may have had some criticisms of certain beers, none of them was by any means bad, nasty or undrinkable. If they had been, I wouldn't have finished them. And I drank every single drop. Certain of my remarks are jokes. If you can't work out which, don't make yourself look stupid by hurling insults at me. I had a great time in d.b.a and drank beers and I'd wanted to try for a long time. And the cheesemaker was a really interesting guy. Explanation over.

41 1st Ave,
New York,
NY 10003.
(212) 677-5365


ZakAvery said...

God, I'm jealous. I'll have to console myself with bottled Sotrm King.

Andrew Elliott said...

THANK YOU RON! I'm glad to finally hear from someone on the same page as me regarding C-hopped black beers.

Ron Pattinson said...

Zak, it's sickening how much the beer scene in New York has improved since I lived there in the mid-1980's. Though I won't pretend Storm King was my favourite of the beers I tried.

Ron Pattinson said...

Andrew, C-hops in black beers splits beer lovers. I know plenty of people love such beers. Maybe us antis should form our own club. NoCHIS - No C Hops in Stout. Or SWiCH - Stout Without C Hops.

Bill said...

NOT TO STYLE, where have I heard that before????? Can't seem to put my finger on it. Seem to remember some twit railing on about style on BeerAdvocate a while back and arguing with the pimply faced experts. Who was that guy?

Ron Pattinson said...

First Stater, please refer to the final paragraph of this post.

Kristen England said...


Whats your take on big dark beers with Challenger hops or Styrian Goldings? Both are quite citrusy. Is it just the citrus black combo you don't like?

You are entitled to your opinion not matter how wrong you are! ;)

Gary Gillman said...

I think it was in Wahl Henius, Ron, that the view was expressed that porter should not use aromatic hops. They should impart a stern bitterness, but not fragrant aroma. This simply followed ancestral English practice, which for porter and stout eschewed the elegant flowery hops for workaday forcefully bitter, or so-called coarse, ones such as brown hops from Sussex.

And I agree with that because the flowery hop smell, whether East Kent or C-hop driven, seems to clash with the slightly burned brown malt taste of porter. It's too much of a good thing, one might say.

Black IPA as you've called it (and I've actually seen a couple of micro beers so-styled) are fine but I would call them by that name or another name other than stout or porter. These beers have their place, they drink well cold with certain foods, for example.


Bill said...

no need to post this but certain of my remarks are jokes too. Sarcasm does not translate well on the interwebs.

Ron Pattinson said...

Kristen,in principle,yes. But it all depends on degree. Some citrus can perk up any beer. Overwhelming grapefruit, in my opinion, really doesn't mix with roast well.

Tim said...

I found the US beer scene a little one dimensional. It doesn't matter what the beer style is, all you can taste is pinecones.

mrbowenz said...

Storm King is much better IMO after about three years in the cellar, the hops fade and the malt sings like La Boheme. I buy two cases every year and stockpile, I am drinking 2006's this year, and although they are not as good as the 2004's they really mature nicely, I don't fancy fresh STS, regardless of style drift or c-hop aromas and taste. Ron, make sure you try some of the Troeggs products before heading back, NuggetN, Dead Reckoning, or Troegenator...safe travels !