Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Nøgne Ø

Hello, I'm still on the beer trip, I usualy only drink during weekends but it's "fall vacation" and it's my first real vacation in 7 years, and so I'm going a little hedonistic becasue next week it's standard week again and school, so since I'm learing to like beer i might as well sit up late at night watching mel brooks films and drinking beer.

When I get into something I start to absorb knowlage, if I can read about it I can learn it.

I did it with Napoleoincs, ACW, AWI, 30YTW, and I did it with whisky, now I know a hell of alot more about Napoleoincs then Whisky, but as I said if I can read it, I can learn it, so I've read the basics of whisky, watched vidoes of the brewing and distilling prosses. so I did the same with Beer, reading about the diffrent types, how they are made their classificaion ect.

In my reading travles I came acros this Norwegian Brewery called Nøgene Ø, that's Danish for Naked Isle and comes from Henrik Ibsen in a poem, Anyway to understand the imporantce of this brewery you need to know that 98% of all beer made, sold and drunk in Norway is a piss caled pilsner or in norwegian just pils, it's bad stuff, but norwegians don't know how bad they have it, they are naive. Kinda like in the 80's when a Frank Zappa song Called Boby Brown, it became a BIG hit in norway people dancing to it ect. ofcourse Norwegians were stupid back then, and aperantly did not get the refrence to Golden Shower, we know better now, but the concept of norwegians digging and dancing to a song about a man pissing on another man is kinda funny.

It's the same today only the piss is not in a song but in the form of bad beer, norwegians drinks vast amounts of this stuff and they don't know there is actualy a whole world of other types of beer out there.

So in 2002 two home brewers stars a company, that now has grown into selling 250 000 liters of beer a year, half of which go to other countries, they have won atleast 1 price in 2008 for their Dark Horizon First edtion, they make propper beer, IPA, Imperial stout, bitter ect. and sevral other designer beers. I fell in love with the concept of the whole brewery, it would kinda be like if the whole of Scotland only made Blended whisky, and every body in Sotland only drank Blended whisky, but Ireland and Japan made Single malt, then suddenly a sole distillery in Sctoland decided to make a single malt, the Scots don't know what this single malt thing is all about, the blanded scotch is wonderfull nothing could be better ect. You get the point, same with beer in Norway, so these guys started a company that have gotten it's own fan club or association.
The make ale propper ale.

Today I tested thier Imperial Stout, at 9% abv it's strong, but damn it's bitter really really bitter, the foam is almost black, it takes some getting used to but I think I can learn to like it,
Something in the same ally was their Porter, Porter is fast becoming my favorite beer, Nøgne Ø proter is simular to thier imperial Stout only milder, it got the same feel and taste only slighlty less of it. It's bitter but not as bitter, it's almost as dark, it goes REALY well with dark chocolate, and ofcourse a strong peated whisky.

Well that's the report if you find Nøgne Ø were you live try it, I recomend in particular their porter and Imperial Brown, they do send some quanteties to America, I don't know if you can get in the Canada but you do get it in the States, and aperantly England, most of their beers have gotten a good grade at RateBeer website.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Beer, beer and more beer

Having learned to like whisky and enjoing it very much, there is one more think I should learn to like becasue it goes with the whisky, and thats beer. there are two adult drinks I've never learned to like that you have to learn, something that nobody likes the first times they try it.

One is coffee and I have no planes on starting to drink that shit, but the second is beer.

In norway 99% of the beer you get in the store is pilsner exept for corona and the norwegian "juleøl" you get every chirstmas.

If you want to get propper beer you need to go to a beer pub or to the wine monopoly were you have to go to get vine, and spirits and beer over 4.5% abv. Also they have imports, knowing I didn't like pilsner(or just pils in norway) I started to read the online catalog from the wine monopoly, on most products they got a short and concise description of the product, be it whisky, brandy, wine, vodka or beer. The one thing I realy wanted to try becasue in my opinion is the most manly form of beer is british bitter, but they have some beers that are descripbed as bitter after taste but they don't have any classic bitter beers in norway, some pubs might have it, but I don't know of any propper beer pubs in Oslo, so I just tried diffrent stuff, I tried Guinness and was disapointed. I expected I either hated it or loved it, instead i just tasted like "beer" something I did not enjoy drinking but didn't gag from either, a kinda limbo, some one pointed out that it might be the hops I don't like and recomeded more malty beers. I have concentrated on English beers becasue I'm an anglofile and English are the second most manly race of people after Scotts in Kilts.

I love the aspect of a propper english pub, right now you can get a plane to london for 320kr or about £30 I'm almost tempted to spring for ticked just to go to a propper english pub and then go back, the total price would be £60 for plane and £50 for two nights at a hotel, and it is "høst ferie" the next week, that is a week of fall vacation, i think it goes back to when the kids in the city would leave school for a week and go to the country to harvest potatoes. those £170 would almost be worth it just to go to a pub, sit down and say " a pint of bitter and a glass of single malt" soak up the atmosfare, I might even take an hour train ride to a country pub instead of one in the city(tho it might take longer then an hour to get away from london)

Amyway I dream, right now I'm drinking a Propper job india pale ale, not to my taste, it's "powerfully hopped" and if it is the hops I don't like than natuarly this one isn't my kind of beer.

It's not horrible but it taste to much like pils, tho even this beer is quite fine when I drink it next to my HP 18(you thought I wasn't going to talk about whisky this time didn't you) They compliment each other qite well, the HP18 is quite sweet, and the beer is hopped and not sweet but neither is it bitter, it got a hint of grapefruit in the arma, but it dosn't show up that well in the taste, to much hops.

Beeing norwegian you are at a disatvantage when learing to enjor propper alcoholic bevreges and spirits, the norwegian mentaltiy is to get realy drunk, rave around town, getting into fights, the old orange juice and vodka is the staple of norwegian youth growing up, there is actualy a pledge for graduating highschoolers that they have to dring one case of 24 33cl beers in 3 hours, natuarly doing stuff like having a beer in a glass and sniffing it is out of the question, the only time Norwegians actualy enjor a propper beer is when it's summer and you are out Barbecueing or the very first summer beer, but thats for adults, youth drink to get drunk, and it takes quite an affort to actualy start to get the mantality to enjoy bevrages and spirits for their quality and not the alcohol.

I don't know of that many Norwegians that actualy sniff their beer to get the aroma and nose, that is ofcourse becasue pils don't realy smell much of anything, but when you get some quality beer it's almost like whisky, they got a distinct nose and taste, not as powerfull as whisky. In whisky you got years of maturation in oak, you got the stronger alcohol, but still it's some of the same aspects. Like that you get good whisky at 40% abv but you kinda like when it goes up to 46% or more not becasue more booze is good but becasue the nose and flavores get more notisble, in the same aspect I think a good propper beer should have atleast 5.5% over 6% is better.

The second beer I'm drinking today is Samuels Smth's Taddy Porter, with aberlour 10 on the side, it's my first porter it got alot less of what i suspect is the hops, which means It's more to my taste, it's dark but not strong in the taste it's all very subtile, it got a small hint of liqourice, but it dosn't have any after taste which is a shame, the propper job even with it's strong hops had a nice after taste that went well with the whisky, here the beer taste goes away and the beer and whisky are kinda separate, no actualy if you change the order, and drink the whisky first which does have an after taste, the beer and whisky goes very well together, the aberlour is by no means a heavy whisky, it got some hints of spice, but it's not peated at all, I wonder how the porter goes with a heavier whisky, hmmm, hold on while I get the Laphroaig.

The Laphroaig is very nice, I think I have to by another Lagavulin soon so I can compare these two peated monster whiskies, I'm just gonna let it breath a little before I try the beer/whisky combo..

Lets see, hmm that was quite the combo, the peaty aftertaste is so long you could take a sip of the whisky and not have a taste of the beer for an hour and still get the combo. I like the combo the porter is a heavy beer and Laphroaig is a heavy whisky, to you'd think it got to heavy but they work well togeather.

Well I'll stop writing now, because in the end I got just to much beer and whisky in me today, but it's the first day of vacation so I guess I can indulge my self. It's clare that hops is not my thing and any beer with more pronounced malt or other tastes is my kind of beer.

This is all for now, I'm watching Hard Bolied but I got to caught up in writing so I almost forgot to watch.