Friday, 8 February 2013

Remembering Barking Flamingo

(x-post from my review on Beer Advocate)

Barking Flamingo. This beer man. Wow. Barking Bob says to me "Man it smells like band-aids and hotdog water".
You know it kinda does. And it kinda tastes a bit that way too. BUT I WANT MORE.

This was a few years back, so I'm going off memories here, as they don't make this amazing beer anymore. And never will, because they sold their soul to Milhouse.
This was my first introduction to a framboise, and I liked it. Slightly sour, a little tart, sweet raspberries but not too sweet.

This beer was proper pink, and the bottle shops didn't know what to do with it.
They were selling cartons for $20 because they were confused, we stocked up big time. It was the summer of barking. Everything was barking, barking cricket, barking moths, barking pork crackling, barking glass of water, Barking Craig, barking fucking everything.

This beer smells like it was forged in a horse stable. Poured into a glass by a surly duck that had just slapped a llama, hard. Also, for some reason the llama was wearing expensive perfume and cheap lipstick. But the taste, the taste is what's important. Not mouthfeel or appearance (looks like a beer, feels like a beer), ok maybe this time it didn't look like a beer but you get my point.
The taste, man, it was so long ago, I can't accurately describe it, but I know it was good. It was real good, and I'll never forget you, you'll be eternally etched into my top 10 all time beers, you saucy Barking Flamingo.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Merry Xmas, Jerks

So it's been at least a year since anyone posted a new entry in this particular blog. Or not, I didn't really count. How'd you go? Good year? I didn't pay attention. Who won Big Brother? (you will note that if I said this last year it would have been a cute joke but there was actual Big Brother on TV this year for some reason. Drag).

I've recently returned home from an overnight shift at work and I have another coming up in about 12 hours, so my Christmas lunch is getting started a little early. Beer now and turkey later. Here are my thoughts on the beer I am currently drinking, which is Gouden Carolus Hopsinjoor.

Dissapointingly, I don't have a picture. It's because my phone is terrible, nothing personal. Although I guess I could have stolen one from the rest of the internet, but that seems rude. You could look it up. Alternatively, close your eyes and visualise my words. You have to read at least a few before you close your eyes, otherwise it won't work. Either way, boy does this beer like to make a head. I managed to pour a small amount of it into a glass while the rest filled up with a kind of weird lumpy marshmallow entity that would only get madder if I tried to pour more beer in.  After much tentative prodding I can safely say it's a pale beer of about 8% ABV (the latter part was on the label but it feels more appropriate to tell you now, chill). Some folks would call this a Belgian IPA, but if you said that to someone from Belgium they'd probably be all like "huh", or something. Inscrutable, those Belgians. WHAT ARE YOU HIDING?

The answer is probably ham.

I guess they are not all that concerned with classifying beer over there. Busy about their Fancy Belgian Business™.  I don't really know what kind of beer to call it. It's probably made by monks, or something. They are way secretive from what I have heard. I also don't really even know what monks are. So this is way hoppy for a Belgian beer, but with those noble kind of hops. Nothing that starts with a C or is from New Zealand, which is all the rage nowadays. Golding, Spalt, Hallertauer and Saaz. From bonafide old-timey bines that don't much care about your youthful exuberance and swing music. Hops that wouldn't bother tilting their monocle down far enought to read this blog entry.

Anyways, if you fancy a beer, this is a pretty good one. A clean entry with a little bready pils malt and some crisp green apple followed up with a big bunch of chalky yeast and a peppery and slightly medicinal snap late - kinda like a saison without any dank basement-y funk. On point. Big grassy hops and a nice lingering bitterness and just dry as hell. I dig this.

Merry Christmas, dudes. Get propserous, if you have the time.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Fucken beer reviews, aye.

Man, that was some weekend just now. Most of the folks associated with this here blog attended a certain function on Saturday, all with the intention of enjoying a few refreshing beverages, eating a quesadilla or two and warming the house of some dear friends of ours. Things quickly turned from this:

To this:

Except with heaps more peeing on dudes. I've had about 3 hours sleep in the last two days and just gotten home from one of the roughest days at work I can remember. What to do now? Get stinking drunk on great craft beer and write about it for my own amusement is the only sensible thing that comes to mind. Off we go.

BEER #1: Victory HopDevil

What a treat it is to have Victory's beers available on our shores. I've had everything from their range that we get out here multiple times, and it's pretty much uniformly terrific. Summer, while officially over, shows no sign of relinquishing it's sticky grip on this part of the country, and if I had my druthers I'd have a fridge full of Prima Pils and maybe a couple of Helios saisons with which to ride it out. This beer, also, is really fucking good.

Pours a red-tinted orange with a wispy tan head. Still and maybe a bit flat, but gosh it's a pretty colour. Pretty standard nose of pine needles and caramel.

Big malt presence, more than even the nose lets on. Bread dough, caramel, maybe a bit of honey. At the same time the hops are going to work too. Pine, citrus pith, some earthy/herbal flavors. Not super-complex, but strikes a really good balance. Incrediblly full and silky mouthfeel. After each sip your palate feels properly coated with goodness.

Textbook US IPA. I like it an awful lot.

More to come, probably (not).

But wait:

Beer #2 - Weyerbacher Double Simcoe IPA

Weyebacher Double Simcoe IPA is a widely acclaimed melodramatic 1987 Malayalam film written and directed by P. Padmarajan, which is based on his own novel of the same name.

It pours a hazy amber with a finger of off-white head and on weekends it volunteers at a homeless shelter because it's just that kind of guy. Smells of caramel, pine and a hint of black tea. Boy this has some hops. Resinous. Hints of pine, Fanta and crayons. In a good way. Lots of malt, also. Like a delightful breakfast cereal that makes you drunk. Chewy. I am acutely aware that it is 9% alcohol but it's not it's fault.

Full of goodness and makes me want to listen to Pantera. I think I'll go to bed.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

When in Melbourne...

Was in Melbourne.

Saw this...

Lets get another look at that...

Obviously, I had to purchase & consume this beverage. I spend the next 1/2 an hour wandering through the isolated & delightful back streets and alleys of Carlton & Collingwood sipping at this bountiful... bounty. It was good. Distractingly good. I wanted to sit down somewhere and enjoy the shit outta this, but I'm not from there, and I didn't want to break the law any more obviously than I already was. Anyway, this is a strong brew, made with love, and dark sexual malt, and chest hair. Almost certainly from a lumberjack. Possibly a tree feller.

I must try this again while stationary. It's boss.

Beer; Black Lung by Moon Dog.
Delightful urban backdrop; Melbourne.
Barking Craig's mum; Great rack.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011


Tacos Acorazados: Extra thick homemade tortillas, Mexican rice, crumbed steak, grilled onions, grilled jalapeno, nopales, tomato, guacamole, cheese, salsa borracha.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011


Tortillas from scratch, wild mushroom queso fundido, salsa borracha (pasilla chile, roasted garlic, Brooklyn East India Pale Ale, orange juice), guacamole. BOSS.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Further notes on Rex Attitude

Admittedly this is not my first go 'round with this beer. Had I reviewed it on initial taste, it might have gone something like ".... well, it does what it said it was going to do. Glad I tried it". But since then I've been drawn back to it more and more. And more. Basically every time I've been to Archive in the last few months and this has been on the shelf, I've grabbed one. And I love it more and more.

As a fan of Islay whiskies you'd think I'd be predisposed to liking this, but it's not whisky, it's beer. So now what? It pours a clear yellow with a finger or so of head. That's what a beer does. And then things start to get... uncomfortable. Big iodine, seaweed, smoking tyre rubber. Smells like that shot of Ardberg Supernova I paid 20-something dollars for at Cru Bar recently. But look at those little bubbles... again, this is beer.

Smoke, smoke and more smoke in the taste. More smoked than the most smoked beer that you can think of. More smoked than most actual smoke. And far more like bacon, burnt plastic and sea salt as well. No bitterness to speak of. I am overcome with the notion that everything I thought I knew about beer was wrong.

The only time I paid attention to mouthfeel was initially, when I was forced to try to come to terms with a universe in which carbonated Laphroaig could exist. It was pretty good, I think.

This beer is obviously not for everyone. Not necessarily even for me, the first time. But as some Buddhist guy said - the narrow mind rejects; wisdom accepts. A confounding and challenging journey that ends with a glorious sunset, revelatory fist-pump and a sincere and embarrassingly loud "FUCK YEAH". Cheers.

* About the author: Bob Vining is drunk. Also, here's a picture of some Queso Fundido he made yesterday: