Good evening everyone. I am writing this blog post on behalf of the Czar Vladabeer S. Bootin’ who is currently indisposed. He had a party last night and I’m afraid we still have medical personnel tending to some of the guests. The Czar himself and Svetlana have made it clear to me they are not to be disturbed until Wednesday.
My name is Karl and in the matter of beers I have editorial responsibility to clarify and communicate the Czar’s tasting notes and opinions. In the matter of other things I have other responsibilities. As the Czar likes to say: “You are being my number one bitch!” This is of course humiliating not only for the coarse language but as the statement is actually true. I do almost everything he asks because he grossly overpays me and because I really really don’t want to do what the Number Two Bitch has to do.
At brunch yesterday (before the party) the Czar, his associate whom I will call The Risky Bar (for obvious reasons) and I sampled the following offerings from the Samuel Smith Old Brewery at Tadcaster. This bewery is English and the beers imported by Merchant du Vin. We drank what you call ‘bombers’ of the Organic Lager Beer, the Organic Best Ale, the Nut Brown Ale and the Celebrated Oatmeal Stout. All of this brewery’s beer is vegan, which means that Svetlana’s Yorkshire Terrier can consume it. She seems to think there is a moral problem with a Yorkshire terrier drinking Yorkshire beer. I fear this buys the dog only a little time since the Czar considers drunk animals as funny as asking his chef to put feathers in my food. Since he does this often, I fear the dog will soon be adding tasting notes to the comments of this post.
The brewery has three main points of interest besides their beer: the 250 year old well they use to draw water for their beer (which the Czar has pointed must have excellent flavor from the industrial revolution), the fact that is fermented in open topped ‘yorkshire squares’ which look disgusting and difficult to clean if you ask me — no one did, and the fact that they run their 300 pubs in some kind of a purist (draconian) manner, disallowing soft drinks, large corporation spirits and music. The Czar of course has business interests in many drinking establishments, but he has only tried to ban ladies topclothings.
Overall this brewery’s beers were agreed upon as commendable, being excellent examples of their styles, without any of the common drawbacks one finds from similar beers. For example, the lager didn’t smell like vomit. The Golden Ale did not taste like cat saliva. The Nut Brown Ale did not cause the Czar to lose his erection and the Stout didn’t taste like someone put a cigarette butt in my glass. While none stood out as ‘the best peeva (beer)’ I’ve ever tried, I would certainly consider a night in any of the Samuel Smiths pubs (which also only serve Sam Smith beers) a night well spent. The Czar says if I makes [sic] attempt about amnesty in UK like Qaddafi he will shorten links from my chain.
To the tasting:
STYLE: Label says it’s Lager
APPEARANCE: Golden in color, think a shade darker and richer in color than Stella.
HEAD: Nice thick foam dissipating quickly.
LACING: Pond Scummy
NOSE: Sweet smelling with a honey tone.
TASTE: Slightly honey taste, creamy with a pleasant sourness
MOUTHFEEL: Surprisingly full for a lager. The beer is smooth and the finish, though a slighty bit metallic is not unpleasant.
DRINKABILITY: Maybe it’s due to the Czars rigorous training but none of us were able to keep this beer in our mouths long enough to taste much of it. It was swallowed immediately. I can safely say this is a beer we can drink all night. It is an old soviet idea that the lack of pain is the same as pleasure. The Czar also points out that this is an excellent breakfast beer with a raw egg and boiled potato after a vodka night.
RATING: 3 hop for lager.
Style: English Pale Ale
ABV: 5% (your country has strange import laws)
APPEARANCE: Darkish gold with 3 bubbles per second.
LACING: Chicken Pox
NOSE: Fruity, Apples
TASTE: The Risky Bar said this beer tasted like crackers. I tried it and it tasted, well, like crackers (not that I would dare to contradict The Risky Bar). The Czar was eating crackers and said it tasted like my mothers saliva.
MOUTHFEEL: This beer was slightly astringent and was very subtly and pleasantly tannic (just the hint of puckeryness).
DRINKABILITY: High. This beer is not as good of an ale as the Lager was a Lager. It lacks flavor but has no obvious flaws. It has a fairly dry finish with almost identical metallic aftertaste (again, not the tinfoil in the mouth you get from a natty, but just a ‘ting’ of closure). If I were trapped on a dessert island with Svetlana and three kegs of this beer I would gladly drown in it. The Czar has offered to make this happen for me if I mention Svetlana again.
RATING: 2.5 hop beer
Style: English Brown Ale (!)
APPEARANCE: Mahogany or cherry wood.
HEAD: Healthy and persistent [Czar’s comment omitted]
LACING: Dinosaur bones
NOSE: Soy sauce, caramel, sweet smell
TASTE: Woody taste, with a light nuttiness that wasn’t very forceful. Possibly subtle, possibly underflavored, definitely pleasant and easy to drink.
MOUTHFEEL: Dryer than expected with the same creaminess and slight pucker of the other offerings. Finish was cherry, dry and clean.
DRINKABILITY: High. This is the least disgusting Nut Brown Ale any of us have had to date. Consider this high praise from Czar who thinks nut brown ale is something completely different.
RATING: 3.5 hop beer
Additional Note: Svetlana had roused herself by this point and insisted on joining the tasting. She makes the additional comments: “Ohh! eww. Please to call priest; something has died in my glasses!” After three pints of the ale she has changed her mind: “pleasant, nutty flavor, in a cemetery sort of way.”
Style: Oatmeal Stout (English?)
APPEARANCE: Black and foreboding.
HEAD: Rock Solid.
LACING: Rorschach- While not particularly useful judging beer, the lacing did provide insight into my drinking companions minds. The Czar (who keeps his unconscious at bay in only a perfunctory manner anyway) admitted his deep and abiding attraction his namesake and two of the men on his field hockey team in Lithuania. The Risky Bar said the lacing looked like a newborn attached to a placenta attached to another placenta attached to another newborn.
NOSE: Chocolate (Czar), Asparagus and Feet (The Risky Bar) and Pub Floor (yours truly)
TASTE: Silky but a bit carbonated. Taste of some sweetness, but I wouldn’t say mollasses – more like sugared soy. Hints of chocolate. None of us know what oatmeal tastes like because we are Russian and don’t wake up until the afternoon. We call ever meal in daytime ‘brunch’.
MOUTHFEEL: Also dryer than expected with the same creaminess as the other offerings. Finish was clean and does not taste like the ashtrays that normally inhabit this style.
DRINKABILITY: High. No problem drinking 4 of these before or after dinner. Glad to oblige.
RATING: 3 hop beer
Additional Svetlana Note: “Weirdt but goot! I would drink this even if I wasn’t locked in my penthouse.The rest of my mouth seems to be able to taste this” (which is odd because most of Svetlana taste buds were lost in a previous life as a fire-eater and contortionist)
OVERALL: Samuel Smith’s beers have been ordered by our agents for purchase in the future at the Czar’s UK properties and at our sports interests. The low ABV and subtle flavors limit the profitability of this beer in our brothels and higher margin businesses. While not being the most impressive beers I have been forced to taste, the Czar praises them for their high quality and availability in his area. If you see them, drink them.