Brains Craft Beer

Craft or Micro Brew is all the rage these days with smaller scale breweries popping up all over the country brewing beers of real quality and originality. Not content to be left behind Welsh brewing juggernaut Brains launched Brains Craft Beer in May 2012 and has already produced over 50 different beers! Here’s what I thought of 3 of them;

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 16.35.07Barry Island IPA 6% US inspired IPA made in collaboration w/ Simon Martin

Pale copper on the eye producing no real head.

Nose is sour, barley sugar, lemon, leather & cantaloupe melon.

Palate is sharp, malted sugars & bread, moreish easy drinking, lemon zest & herb finish.

Not bad at all and would happily go with garlic prawns. 6.75/10

 

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 16.35.28Atlantic White 6%  Belgian & US mash up producing a White IPA 

Yellow gold with good frothy head.

Smelt herbaceous, golden syrup, sunflower and grapefruit pips.

Nutty, spicy herbs, rocket, lean and a bit soapy.

Decent. Went well with Haddock mustard & cheese fishcakes. 6.25/10

 

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 16.35.40The Shy Porter 4.5% A traditional brown porter w/ added coconut chips and raw cacao nibs

Rich thick foam head, hazy cola brown.

Sweet & raw chocolate nose.

Sweet coconut, sour, unbalanced, acidic, pina colada, not right.

Fairly disappointing and I actually chucked it down the sink. 3.5/10

So these bottled signs were decent(barring the very poor or perhaps faulty Shy Porter), but having tried a few more of their beers at GBBF(Great British Beer Festival) on cask, I must concede that I find Brains Craft Beer tastes like a big brewer trying very hard to produce “craft beer”. By that I mean it’s perfectly ok, but lacks real character and that artesian touch.

Postscript :

At the British Guild of Beer Writers Awards 2013 in December last year I tasted beers from Brains Contitental Beer Challenge, where they worked in collaboration with some highly regarded UK beer writers & professionals. The aim of which was to brew the best classic continental style, with most adding their own unique twist. I tried a number of them and found most of them to be of a universally high standard, but was especially impressed by the Challenge winner Rye Catcher by Glenn Payne, Brabo by Des De Moor and Three C’Son by Adrian Tierney-Jones.  Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 12.00.27Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 12.01.00Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 12.01.19

Aldi Winter Tasting

Aye, it’s Aldi Captain, but not as we’ve known it

Aldi was once seen as on a par with Lidl and such like, just another continental out of shape budget supermarket that was good for things like chocolate, mysterious tinned goods, exotic looking biscuits and frozen lobster at Christmas, but little else. However over the past few years Aldi has been hitting the gym and is looking good, business is booming(pre-tax profits jumped 124% in 2012), yes it is partly to do with this age of austerity we are living in, but it is also because Aldi has begun attracting higher earners with it’s buff premium ‘Specially Selected’ food range & ‘Equisite Collection’ wines. I had read some good things about their wines so went along myself to see what all the fuss was about.

Things started out reasonably well with their fizz selection at the sub £10 level. Worth mentioning is Prosecco Superiore DOCG Valdobbiadene & Philippe Michel Cremant de Jura 2011. I found the Prosecco a bit chemical but won’t put most folks off at £7.29. The Cremant was a bit green and sharp, but for a Champagne method sparkler it’s worth a punt at £6.99.

I was most impressed by their entry level Champagne Veuve Monsigny NV Philizot & Fils. Warm buttery lemon & classic rich yeasty biscuit at £11.99 a bottle it’s an absolute steal. May load up on some myself. More great value can be found in magnums(1.5L) with Charles Mignon Champagne NV which is available from the end of November at £29.99 while stocks last.

Finally the Grand Cru Champagne NV Jannisson & Fils with it’s mature yeasts, nettles, lemon zest is a classy drop and a snip at £23.99(available early November while stocks last).

Moving onto the whites I braced my palate seeing the £3.99 pricetag on Cambalala Chenin Blanc 2013. Oh me of little faith, fragrant fresh and perfectly acceptable. Decent Sub £4 wines in the UK are very scarce so this was a welcome discovery indeed. Three very good whites under the ‘Exquisite Collection’ followed. First up was a £4.99 Bordeaux Sauvignon Blanc 2012, grassy clean & concentrated. Next the perfumed, green, generous stone fruit laden Sud de France Sauvignon Blanc Viognier 2012 @ £5.99 was a real winner. Saving the best for last Limoux A.C. 2012, made from 100% Chardonnay producing a tremendously complex wine with notes of rich smoky bacon, green plums and spicy smoky finish. I absolutely loved this £6.99 wine from the Languedoc in Southern France, an area more famous for making sparkling wine but on the strength of this we should be drinking more of their still whites.

The bargains continued with two roses on offer. Both from Spain(La Mancha & Utiel-Requena), both under £4 and both very drinkable. Grapevine Tempranillo Garnacha 2012 £3.29, yes 3 pounds and twenty nine pence. Toro Loco 2012 made from the interesting native Bobal grape was more complex and still only £3.69.

Things didn’t get off to the best start with the reds, and it wasn’t till wine number 5 that I thought “Hmmm… this isn’t too bad”. That was a £4.49 Pinot Noir NV by Vignobles Roussellet, then I hit two notables in a row with De la Rougerie Bordeaux Superior 2011 Toro Loco Reserva 2010 both impressing for their honest expression & £4.99 price tags. There was another spell of forgettable bottles before I hit a run of 7 stars(call me lucky), ranging from good to excellent and all from Spain & Italy. The bargain of the Spanish bunch at £5.49 was Minarete Ribera Del Duero D.O. Roble 2011 and is everything you could want in 100% Tempranillo from a highly regarded region.Screen Shot 2013-11-06 at 15.39.50 Grippy tannins, earthy black fruit, good mouth feel and nice length. Two more solid Spanish wines followed in Baron Amarillo Gran Reserva Rioja 2005 (£9.99) and The Exquisite Collection Priorat Crianza 2010 (£7.99). But it was a trio of Italians, the 3 Tenors if you will, that had me singing O Sole Mio into my glass.

First The Exquisite Collection Chianti Classico Riserva D.O.C.G. 2009 (£8.99) seduced with its gamey licorice, menthol, sour dried cherry, tobacco & cigar box. Also from Aldi’s EC range was a rich inky, liquorice allsorts, smoky blackberry Valipolicella Ripasso D.O.C. Superiore 2010. Perhaps a touch sweet but for £7.99 a bottle you won’t hear me complaining.

Finally my red of the day, Conventino Barolo D.O.C.G. 2009. It may have been a tank sample with a ratty temporary label but damn my taste buds it was magnificent! Wet undergrowth, fall leaves, hung game, dry dry fruit, pungent prune, earthy and rooted. Barolo is a notoriously complex & often restrictively expensive, a wine that took me many years to begin to appreciate. But this at £9.99 this accessible example is most definitely one to buy by the case (available November 24 while stocks last).

Domaine Lou Frejau Chateauneuf-Du-Pape 2012 was good but at £14.99 no better value than what other supermarkets can offer. More impressive was Edouard Delaunay Gevrey Chambertain 2007 with it’s mushroom, faded red fruits, game birds, lifted red berry perfume, licorice root, sad strawberry and salty leather tannins. Though not a great vintage at £19.99 a bottle if you are after some value Burgundy you could do much worse. 

The Fortified and Sweet Wines section kicked off with a double bang with Austrian Selection Beernaulese(£5.99) that was all lush apricot, honeycomb & candied melon. The Exquisite Collection Eiswein(Ice wine) from Germany was even more special with notes of creamy apple, flinty minerals and a long, fresh, smoky green finish. Lovers of Ice wine know they can be very expensive indeed, which makes this beauty at £7.99 all the more remarkable.

 

On the Port front their flagship Maynard’s ranged from a superb LBV(Late Bottled Vintage) right up to a decent 1989 Vintage with two very good Tawnies in the middle. My affections lay with the LBV that showed dense fig, prune, nutty chocolate and a real value buster @ £9.99.

Slightly disappointing was the beer and cider range. Though Sheppy’s Vintage Cider & Church’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer were solid enough performers.

They got back to winning ways though with their spirit selection. Right out of the traps their core range Oliver Cromwell London Dry Gin made me take notice with it’s light fragrant touch, that was balanced with just the right amount of Juniper. Bloody good for £9.99! An interesting 1973 Vintage Brandy(£29.99 & available while stocks last) followed before I was treated to 4 super whiskies and a top bourbon. Highland Black 8 Y/O Scotch Whisky was on the money with nettles, lavender & long earthy smoky finish, only £12.99. Glen Marnoch 12 Y/O was more sweet subtle smooth honey & heather at £18.79. Glen Marnoch 24 Y/O took the my breath away, literally. My note was “Wild boar on fire in my mouth”. A beast of a scotch not for the faint of heart, but very good indeed at £34.99. My favorite was Glen Orrin 30 Y/O Whisky(Available Dec 8 while stocks last) which had me saying things like “History, fishy bowels of a sailing ship, salty, TCP, pepper, long complex, so moving, wow!”. A whisky tremendous character but not cheap at £49.99 for 70cl. Finally from over the pond Jefferson’s Small Batch Bourbon wooed me with frontier charms of pine resin, gun smoke, savory white pepper & super spicy finish. Not a bad deal at £29.99.

Usually I skip liqueurs at a tasting but was drawn to their range frankly because it was cheap, and good value had definitely been the buzz word for the day.  I tasted all 6 of them and will be popping into Aldi to buy 4 or 5 of them as they weren’t half bad. Orange Liqueur was a touch chemical but at £5.99 worth it if you like Gran Marnier or Cointreau type drinks. A solid Ginger Wine, a must for Holiday cocktails was an amazing £3.29, Amaretto £4.99 for 50cl again did what it said on the tin and with style. Ballycastle Irish Cream Liqueur for £4.29 will have you switching from that more famous & expensive B named brand in a Gaelic heartbeat. Finally if you’re a real discerning drinker of the creamy stuff then the step up to Specially Selected Irish Cream will suit you down to the ground, and only £6.49!

 

 

 

Ok so currently they have less stores and you can’t get your groceries online but judging from this tasting Aldi is most certainly fighting fit for the modern age. Morrison’s, Tesco et all better watch their backs…

 

 

Silent Sipping

This is a homage to the days of silent films, and came about because I forgot to turn my mike on.
I am tasting a 21 Year old Speyside Whisky Liqueur, 15 Year Old Bas Armagnac and a Salted Caramel Chocolate Brownie.

Bay Tree Spicy Gooseberry & Coriander Chutney

Chutney, but not as we know it 

I discovered this award winning stuff when I was at a trade food and drink fair in Exeter earlier this year, and man was I impressed.

Here are my notes.

Thick attractive brown red clay colour. Good solid thick consistency. Sticks to the spoon.

Nose of rich Indian spices.

Rich real fruit, mouth coating texture. Zingy sweetness from gooseberry, tang of tomato & warming complexity from the spices, topped off with the lovely aromatic crunch of the nigella seeds.

A winner.

This loves cheese, but nothing blue or too stinky. Work a treat on a cold lamb sandwich or an inventive twist on rarebit.

Find stockists and further information at The Bay Tree Food Company

The Stable Bristol

 

The Stable is exactly the kind of place I wish I had as my local. Sadly I don’t but had the great pleasure of eating & drinking at their Bristol encampment on a glorious weekend this past July. Bristol is a great party town, and with all that warm sunshine Harbourside was rammed. We managed to grab an outside table which meant we had front row seats to the circus. The Canon’s Road wooden promenade was coursing with people from all walks life in search of a good time, and I pretty felt smug because I had found it at the Stable. Screen Shot 2013-10-03 at 10.56.05

Pizza-Pies-Cider is their simple motto and man do they deliver. I shared The Lamb Roast & Fresh Hawaiian with a pal and Hey Zeus they both were delicious! Screen Shot 2013-10-03 at 10.42.40So well made is the thin wispy crispy crust and so well conceived are the selection of toppings that every bite was a symphony.

It’s no wonder, as they focus on sourcing the best fresh local ingredients like smoked ham, marinated lamb and goats cheese. I was too full to try any of the pies but can imagine they are just as good.

It being the West Country the spotlight on cider is no mystery, and it’s an impressive line up with more than 20 on the go at any one time. I opted for a mix stick(5 x 1/3) but honestly don’t recall what they all were, though some I enjoyed more than others. Screen Shot 2013-10-03 at 10.42.26The tab was quite reasonable as you would expect with most pizzas around £10-12 and a pint of cider less than £4. The Stable Bristol is one of 4 Stables currently operating with other locations in Bridport, Weymouth & Bath tragically though we don’t have anScreen Shot 2013-10-03 at 10.54.57y as yet in London.Screen Shot 2013-10-03 at 10.54.30

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3 Blind Porters

Tasting Porter Blind…folded

There is a distinct change in terms of my palate as the air grows cooler and evenings darken. Gone is my desire for fresh light citrusy beers of yellow and gold, give me the dense browns and blacks to keep the autumn and winter at bay.

The tale of Porter began here in London in the 18th century. It got its name due to it’s popularity with the people who enjoyed it most, the river and street porters. A dark fortifying beer that’s spread from London to Ireland to Italy to Idaho and beyond. Regional differences have allowed it to evolve and as a result is made in differing strengths and styles. But it retains it’s roots in being rich dense brew full of character.

I decided to keep it true to its origins and only chose bottles from 3 London breweries. To add to the mix I decided to review the beers blind and though I knew which beers I had, I didn’t know the order in which I was to taste them.

Here are my notes…

Beer 1

Nose- Black cherry, unsweetened chocolate, cold expresso, quality Turkish delight, middle eastern spices, clove, cardamom, not too savoury, beautifully sweet & intoxicating

Palate- Rich, coffee bean, expresso, viscous, coats mouth, dark fruit, black raspberry, clean lingering finish

Score– 9.5/10

Beer 2

Nose- Sour gueuze, fresh plum, Japanese plum liqueur, unusual but not unpleasant

Palate- Clean, leaner than Beer 1, dark chocolate, raspberries, not thick, fresh bright, aromatic

Score– 8/10

Beer 3

Nose- Muted, earthy mushroom, cocoa, moist fruit way off down a tunnel or smelling fruit cooking in another room, peach, strawberry pie

Palate- disappointing, thin, some fruit, boysenberry, unsweetened chocolate on finish, uninspiring

Score- 6/10

I took off my mask and after squinting a bit these were the beers that I had tasted.Screen Shot 2013-09-26 at 10.17.58

But what was the order?

Beer 1 was The Kernel Export India Porter @ 6.1% abv. Not surprisingly I loved it, as I do most beers that they make.

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Then Beer 2 was By the Horns Brewing Lambeth Walk Dark Porter @ 5.1% abv. A well made beer with a very interesting aroma profile.

Finally and rather unluckily was Beer 3 Fullers London Porter @ 5.4% abv which is decent beer all round. But against the other two it was always going to struggle.

The idea that in taking one sense away you heighten others I found to be very true, as I found that I was able to recognise so many more aromas.

Click on the links above to find out more about the beers and see where one can buy em…

Eating Brixton

The transformation of Brixton over the past 5 years into a foodie drinky haven has been one of the most dramatic in London and luckily I live about ten minutes away. The downside to having such a culinary cornucopia on ones doorstep is that there is now so much choice, that deciding where to wet my whistle or calm those hunger pains has become a real challenge!

I fell in love with that sourdough pizza perfection that is Franco Manca some years ago as it was one of the first to see the potential in Brixton’s Market Row. Still probably the best pizza I have ever had.Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 10.05.19

Just a few doors down is the Bukowski Grill. As the name suggests it’s pure Americana.  A laid back dark moody space with boozy milkshakes, good beers and American BBQ. Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 10.04.25Crispy Cajun popcorn shrimp were the perfect amuse bouche. Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 10.11.08I found the rub a bit dry on the intensely flavoured smoky ribs, but this steak sandwich impressed despite my sourdough being a tad burnt. My favourite were these tobacco onions, sliced fine and battered in a KFC type batter. Heaven… The bill was very reasonable and with Charlie’s Beat poems adorning the walls of the toilets it was a “trip” worth taking.

Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 10.04.40Next door is Wishbone more US import style food but turning our attention to the humble chicken. I went on cold Sunday night and without heating or doors, we froze our wings off. Speaking of which we sampled a two styles of deep fried flappers. Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 10.16.11If I’m honest the food didn’t really hit all the right notes. Batter lacked crunch & sauces tasted a bit pre fab. The very en vogue deep fried mac n cheese was a bit soggy stodgy as opposed to crunchy gooey. The spare decor of the place & lack of warmth made it feel like we were eating in a meat locker, which certainly didn’t the food any favours. So in fairness should go back and give em another shot…

Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 10.17.40Over in Brixton Village I ate some of the best Thai food I have had in recent memory. Kaosarn is on the outside corner off Coldharbour Lane. A simple cafe type set up, wooden tables, paper napkins & plain white plates. But the food! I had this astonishing Gang Kua Sapparod Goong aka Red Prawn Curry with tomatoes, kaffir lime, coconut milk & pineapple. The flavours so distinct and nuanced. The rice fluffy, the prawns succulent. Kaosarn is great value and a must visit.Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 10.18.03

Inside Brixton Village is Senzala Creperie which is great for lunch or brunch. They do super buckwheat pancakes or as the French call them galettes with all manner of fillings served with proper side salads. With the likes of Honest Burger(which I have still yet to visit due the massive lines outside every time I go), the Craft Beer Company & the Crown and Anchor(who do very good food as well) plus stacks more Brixton is sure to only increase it’s notoriety as the place to eat & drink in south London.

Sainsbury’s Organic Wines

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SO Organic?

This September is National Organic Awareness Month and Sainsbury’s kindly sent me 4 wines from their SO Organic range to review. Now I don’t claim to be a leading light in buying organic. You see despite wanting buy more of said products I sometimes find it tough to either A) Find what I need at my local supermarket or moreover B) Afford it. But enough of my moral dilemmas when it comes to my shopping. Onto the wines…

Both whites were from northern Italy. Which suited me fine as I am a big fan of wines from that part of the world. I love them because at their best there are subtly floral fragrant, glinty flinty, stony saline, herbaceous fresh with zingy hints of lime, lemon, melon & pear. But at their worst? Thoroughly nasty mass produced chemical plonk water one glass hangover sauce.

But what would these be like?

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Soave 2012 Veneto 11.5 %abv £5.99

That nursery rhyme “The Little Girl with the Curl” comes to mind I think of Soave. Translucent in colour with minute yellow tinge to it. A nose of wet stones, hint of cleaning products, white flowers, green mango & raw almond. On the palate it’s bracing, like winter air. Then clean spearmint, spicy herbs ultra dry with faint pear finish. It’s well made and was easy but refreshing drinking. Happy solo, light salads or white fish with capers. Nice to taste a decent wine at 11.5% as well. Good girl. Score 14.5/20

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Pinot Grigio 2012 Delle Venezie 12%abv £6.99

Pinot Grigio is one of those grapes that has become a dirty word to some of us bloggers. Got it’s bad name as it overflowed from every pub wine list, tasting all too often lazy flabby, bland and charmless. Thankfully this PG isn’t like that. It’s pale pale yellow with a tingling lime, ripe stone fruit and climbing trellis flower nose. In the mouth it’s texture is round creamy floral, spicy rocket, ripe white melon make way for freshness, balanced acidity and a long dry lime & peach finish. It’s perfect on it’s own but would happily accompany soft creamy cheeses or roast chicken. Definitely worth grabbing a couple bottles of this one. Score 15.5/20

Now onto the reds…

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Shiraz Pays D’Oc 2012, France 13%abv £5.99 

One of my favourite regions for good value red wines, but you can get a bad bottle from time to time. Light purple garnet in the glass. Complex notes of warm spices, black liquorice, chocolate, treacle, black raspberry and crushed blackberries came wafting wildly up my nostrils. It tasted fresh, medium bodied, stony minerals, wild herbs, muscular forest fruit, firm tannins & not unpleasant stalky green finish. I had this open for a day and it needed it. Midweek casserole or bangers n mash would pair nicely.  Score 14.5/20

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Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, Western Cape South Africa 13%abv £5.99

On paper this Cab Sav was a socially conscious individuals dream wine. Not only organic, it was sulphur free and fair trade! Ticking all those warm and fuzzy boxes. But at the price I wasn’t optimistic. Deep Ribena in colour, nose of black clay, game birds & whiffs of rubber tire. Cue negative associations with South African red wine. First sip that burnt rubber was back, smoky chipotle chilli heat, grippy tannins, bright red currant, mid palate the rubber is fading, taught tannins, black minerals with a green pepper cassis finish. Now sadly I am jaded (having had too many SA reds that are affected with this burnt rubber syndrome) but if your palate reads it as smoky earthiness then fine. But not a wine I would buy. Score 13.5/20

The wines are all good value and aren’t massively high in alcohol. Both big pluses. So I would definitely say it’s worth trying em out…except maybe not that Cab Sav.

You can find the wines online or in most Sainsbury’s Supermarkets

 

 

Dinner with Mark De Vere MW

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A Blurry Mark de Vere MW 

To say that I am a bit late in writing this blog would be a huge understatement. I went along to the JW Steakhouse in Park Lane in May 2012 a guest of Mark de Vere MW and Robert Mondavi Wines. But better late then never I like to say. I lie. I don’t like that saying it and have very rarely used in my life. But I digress… back to dinner.

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Mark is a fascinating character. A peculiar, vibrant, highly intelligent and passionate wine communicator. Now despite working for that vinous colossus and preaching the wine gospel according to Bob Mondavi for the past 15 years, Mark is very much his own man. Of course he was there to talk up their wines but his focus was really on expanding our minds in terms of how we viewed the relationship between food and wine matching. “The Liberated Enjoyment of Wine and Food” he called it.

Most consumers feel comfortable with red wine with red meat & white wine with fish rule. But why does it work? There must be some chemical reasoning. But there was more to it as we were about to find out.

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The experiment began with the arrival of plates of cooked plain unseasoned chicken, sea bass and steak. There were also plates with sliced lemon and salt on them. Mark asked us to taste the wines(which included Robert Mondavi’s Napa Valley Fume Blanc aka Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir & Cabernet Sauvignon, all 2008 and around £15 each. There was also a tasty Inniskillin Ice Riesling 2006 from my native Canada) without the food and note what we tasted. Then we sampled the wines with the food and the results were startling. The classic matches were in disarray. The white wines stung the mouth, acidity completely out of control. The reds are all mouth puckering tannin, no fruit and metallic dryness.

“Mark you villain!!” we cried “What sorcery is this?! You have ruined our taste buds!!”. But he simply gestured to the small plates in the centre of the table. After adding a few sprinkles of salt andScreen Shot 2013-09-16 at 16.40.07 squeezes of lemon the process was repeated and as if by magic the food and wines behaved as you would expect. With the seasoning even the Ice Wine worked with the steak(not that I have tried it since). Miraculous! Not really Mark explained. It was simple science. So instead of delicious food and wine pairings being something inherent in their molecules, it revealed that when the balance is out in favour of sweetness or savoury umami without the grounding sour or salty, our palate focuses on specific characteristics rather than seeing the whole picture. Which makes it taste “wrong’. Really fascinating stuff!

Screen Shot 2013-09-16 at 16.40.41We moved onto their Napa Valley Reserve Fume Blanc(pricey at £30) & Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve(a whopping £80 a bottle) with dinner and though the wines themselves are perfectly ok, in all honestly I’m not wild about Robert Mondavi wines. Why? Because for the same money(and a lot cheaper than the reserve wines) I can find wines produced in much smaller quantities with so much more character and originality. Sorry Mark.

Food wasn’t anything to get excited about except for the pan bread. Nearly 18 months have passed but I can still taste it’s rich rosemary salty crunch and squishy soft buttery middle. Mmmmm…Screen Shot 2013-09-16 at 16.40.30

Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference USA Beers

Now I have been fairly impressed with Sainos Taste the Difference wines. They essentially contract established producers in “insert region” but the packaging is all Sainsburified. Well made wines at fair prices for the most part.

So I was hopeful this foray into USA “craft” beer with Tap Room Brewing would be as successful. Thanks to Beer Googles Reviews for sussing out that Tap Room is actually contract brewed by Genesee Brewing Company out of Rochester, New York. A little misleading methinks. Not the best start…

But here are my tasting notes.

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Tap Room American Pale Ale 5.3% abv

Eye- Sugar golden brown, no real head

Nose- Rye Bread, ripe banana

Palate- Ultra dry, tart, green, no fruit, lemony finish

Verdict- Honestly wasn’t much impressed. It tasted chemical & somewhat “unnatural”.

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Tap Room IPA 6.3%abv 

Eye- Caramel

Nose- Yeast, beetroot & crystal malts

Palate- Corn, dusty leather, some peach, orange zest, toasted brazil nuts w/ a spicy dry finish

Verdict- Despite tasting more complex notes on the palate I still felt let down. Brewed by numbers & lacking soul.

Well Sainos despite the eye catching Americana labels you best go back to the drawing board on these beers. Perhaps finding another brewer to collaborate with? You could do a lot better than this.