Well, just to get things started again, to share my new blog, and new direction, I figured a look back was in order.
We've been home for just over a year now, and we are well settled. Kids are doing well in school, Lace is busy with work, and I am, well,...bored enough to write again. This will be a hobby blog. So, for me, that means, family. Okay, so that's not the new part. No big surprises there. It also means beer & the Cubs. Maybe some golf, music, movies, poker, etc.but those'll be the main three.
For beer, that means reviews, thoughts on tastings, trips, and purchases. For the Cubs, especially this season, it'll mean venting. Maybe some feel-good thoughts, but mostly frustration. Ah, the life of a Cubs fan.
I decided that since I was going to do this today, I should have more than just a new mission statement. I should have a review. So, last night, I had a beer. On a Monday. Crazy. And for this first of reviews, I chose to have an English beer. See what I did there? Bringing it all together. Because that, friends, is how I roll. (Also, according to Rian, "We listen to loud music in the car...cuz that's also how we roll." Well said.)
So here she is, review #1:
J.W. Lees Moonraker
Brewery in Manchester, brewers since 1828 according to the label.
Bottled 8/13/09 in 500 ml brown bottle, poured into a large tulip glass
Appearance - A deep amber, with edges of mahogany, near brown. Little light passes through. Some sediment in bottom, so, pour carefully. A thin, white head.
Smell - I got a definite caramel/toffee flavor, but the back end had almost a farm fresh grass smell, akin to hay
Taste - Bitter and malty up front with a hop presence, but not strong. Notes of honey, vanilla, and a woody whisper in there too. Maybe some over-ripe, borderline sour cherries near the back. It finishes with some alcohol breathiness, but isn't unpleasant. Think it would pair well with a bold, but not pungent cheese. Block of sharp farmhouse cheddar maybe. Not much stronger.
Mouthfeel - Very full, for an ale, it almost has a chewiness to it.
Drinkability - Very drinkable. I enjoyed this quite a lot. Would be interested in tasting the cask conditioned version, for comparison sake.
Overall thoughts - Flavors took me back to England instantly. Wish I'd had a pint at The Thatcher's Arms after a Golf Society day, clouds & dampness rolling in. It feels English, and I felt closer to my friends across the Atlantic drinking. A beer that brought memories, and a good choice for this blog transition. If you like a darker ale, and can find any of this around, try some, if you don't like it, give me a ring