Monday 27 April 2009

NYC (part one)

Time for more holiday tales. My free weekend is just ending. Where shall I start? What about at the beginning. Friday it is then.

After checking into the Hotel Chelsea, I headed directly for Blind Tiger. It seemed a good place to start. I got there at around two PM.

Beerwise, I kicked off with a Weyerbacher Old Heathen Imperial Stout. According to some on BeerAdvocate, a session beer. "Nice and black with a thin veil of head" my notes say. "Roasty smell, in the gob a bit plummy with more roast. A slight hint of sourness, but I don't mind that. Not that packed with flavour for the style.(I shouldn't say that, should I?) Drinks more like an Imperial Mild."

The inexplicable random Belgian beer was better than last time. De Koninck rather than Palm. I kept an eye out, but didn't see anyone order it.

At the risk of offending Jeff, Blind Tiger was much more to my taste in the early afternoon. I'm an old fart with a dodgy ankles. That's one of the reasons I prefer afternoon boozing. The availability of seats. And not going to bed late and pissed. That kills me the next day.

What to try next? The 9 Wayerbacher beers on draught was a bit of an overkill. The other cask beer was a sour. "Very sour" according the barmaid. I had to make do with keg. Did they have any hop bombs? This seemed a possible bomb candidate:
Dogfish Head 90 minute IPA
OK. I know this one is a hop bomb.Fairly deep amber colour. Isn't that a bit dark for an authentic IPA? Pure grapefruit aroma. There really must be something wrong with my tastebuds. Yes, it's hoppy, but not insanely so. Maybe slightly less so than Westmalle Tripel. Not much to it apart from grapefruit and bitterness.It reminds me of Menno's Amerikaans. I know he's very proud of it, but one glass is enough for me.Barnsley Bitter. Now there was a Bitter you wanted to drink by the bucket. But everything was better in the early 1970's.

A bloke's just walked in wearing a red England shirt, 1966 model. Number 10. Bet no-one else in here realises the significance. It'd full of fucking English people.There was another English bloke at the bar earlier.

An endless stream of open-topped double-decker buses squeeze their way down Bleecker Street. God, I hate tourists. Yes, I do realise the iroony in that statement. But I'm not a tourist. I'm a traveller.

Oh shit. Mike was right. They do have a TV. Just the one, though. I'll pretend I didn't see it. It is quite discrete. In the corner on the way to the bogs.

What next?

Green Flash Triple
After one sniff I think: they really do believe Tripel has to be floral. They've clearly taken Westmalle Tripel as their model. Scary. And equally clearly hadn't tried Westmalle Tripel more than 10 years ago. Not as hoppy as Westmalle. And bit gloopy.Bet they brewed it all malt. It's OK, I suppose. Wonder if when Westmalle changes next they'll follow it. Naaah. They'll say Westmalle is no longer true to style. By picking an example beer and copying it, then sticking to that interpretation weirdly fixes a beer. Not healthy. Don't they realise how European beers evolve? Not a bad beer, but still slightly depressing.

That's all I can be arsed to type tonight. I want to watch The Simpsons and American Dad. More of my Friday pub crawl tomorrow. Or the day after. Tomorrow could be knackering.

Blind Tiger
281 Bleecker St
New York, NY 10014
(212) 462-4682


Mark Dredge said...

I had a bottled 90 minute on Saturday and the malt had overtaken the hops and all the bitterness had virtually gone - I've heard they lose the bitterness really quick but this was only bottled on 10th Feb, I was really disappointed!

Tim said...

Ron, how many American made triples/tripels have you drank? You seem to have extrapolated quite a lot of information from that one Green Flash.

Ron Pattinson said...

Mark, my 90 Minute was draught so I guess it was pretty fresh.

Ron Pattinson said...

Tim, of course you're right. My experience of American Tripels is wafer thin. I was just in an extrapolatory sort of mood.

And you have to remember, this is all stuff I wrote in the pub. I try to capture my thoughts of the moment when writing this type of piece. It makes my comments not necessarily that considered, but a rue reflection of what I felt at that particular moment.

Tim said...

Fair enough, Ron. Allagash tripel is a good one if you see it. More spicy than floral.

I'm glad Mark mentioned the lack of hops in his 90 Minute IPA. When I visited Belgium I was taken aback by how much hoppier the fresh beers tasted. By the time it reaches the shelves here its two months old and traveled at least across an ocean and as a result is a different beer. How would you know what a fresh Westmalle tripel tastes like if you've never had the good fortune to visit Belgium?

Matt said...

According to its website, Blind Tiger has bottles of Westmalle Tripel and St Bernardus 12 although I suppose drinking them in NY might be a bit of a busman's holiday for you.

Ron Pattinson said...

Matt, I've stuck to US beers. However much I love St Bernardus 12, I wouldn't drink it over here.