Skip to main content

Advent Calendar Windows Fourteen and Fifteen

This weekend was a rather frantic affair that saw me in my house, awake, for a total of around two hours, so I've fallen a little behind again. Despite big social sessions on Friday and Saturday, I did manage to sneak in the Advent Calendar beers in quickly before each event, but simply didn't have time to do the write up. So here they are.
 

 It's another N√łgne seasonal behind Window 14 and another I’ve been looking forward to having had it stashed for many a month now. The God Jul that I had in Window 8 was good, but lacked that Christmassy edge I’d expected from this brewery. It’s lowered my expectations of the Underlig Jul 6.5% but, as I’m drinking this whilst preparing for a night out, just a terrific beer will do right now.
My enjoyment of this was almost immediately soured by its incredible liveliness which saw me lose half of the bottle to my (luckily wooden) bedroom floor. Cheers N√łgne. The plus side was this meaning a lovely, sustained head throughout the drink to contrast the darkness of the beer. It smells florally sweet but with a spicy warming sensation to it. And the taste is pretty special for me. It’s certainly sweet, but not in a sickly manner. It’s more orange peel than syrup and a spicy hop flavour balances it beautifully. Cloves and Vanillas battling against each other in a Scandinavian Christmas duel.  It’s similar in style and taste to the Gouden Carolus in many ways, but it’s reduced strength actually only increases its appeal. I could drink a lot of this and it’s over all too quickly. I know I can’t blame the brewery for this overly lively bottle, but this may have been my favourite Advent beer so far if more of it had made its way into my glass rather than on my toes. Frustrating.
Enjoy with: Maybe this Christmas by Ron Sexsmith, a delightful and overlooked Christmas song over all too quickly.
I was rather looking forward to getting the chance to try Hook Norton’s Twelve Days 5.5% again for the first time since 2010. I really enjoyed a spicy, warming, tinsel fuelled bauble of an ale that I thought may well make it to the top of the pile this Advent. And here it is behind Window 15.
I’m going to make comparisons based on a distant memory so I may as well get straight to it. This isn’t as good as the beer I enjoyed two years ago. It’s still deliciously dark, well balanced and has Christmas spiced undertones. It balances malts and hops in a traditionalist way only Hook Norton can. But the cinnamon, clove and ginger seem really toned down. Maybe last time I wasn’t accustomed to such a style so was blown away by those spices. Like when we all first tried Jaipur and thought it was the hoppiest beer that would ever be created and now it almost feels comparable to Landlord when placed alongside more recent efforts. I have a bottle of Twelve Days from 2010 somewhere, maybe I’ll crack that open just to check
Enjoy with: The Snowman, at one time a classic that truly made Christmas for me but nowadays I find a little tedious.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Children and Dogs in Pubs and Bars

  I once took my niece to the pub. She was either 1 or 2 years of age. I often looked after her on Saturdays and on one of our weekly walks, for the first time, I stopped by the local pub, mainly because my friend was there with his daughter of similar age. The two kids got on well together and it was a lovely couple of hours; a perfect showcase of adult friends and their children existing in public houses. But my sister was furious. She didn’t rant or rave but her lips were purser than a 90s children’s show teacher. It was here that I learned of the effect that our childhood had had upon her. She recalls many an afternoon being bored in the corner of pubs that our Dad had dragged us to, arms folded in the corner with nothing to do, and she doesn’t want the same for her children. The idea of her first born being taken to pubs infuriates her; fearful that they would be subjected to the same unhappy experiences that she was.  I don’t recall those times in the same way as my s

The Ten Pubs That Made Me - Part 3: Dr Okell's / My Foley's Tap House and Leeds

A pint in Mr Foley's Tap House from December 2022     This is Part 3 (the fourth post) of an ongoing project. Please see the beginning of Part 0 for details.    Come the end of this journey, there may be a lesson in procrastination that I am unlikely to heed. These posts stem from a list that I made three years ago and a series that I embarked on 18 months ago. We’ve only now reached a 30% completion rate and with this post we are back to fail for the second time.   This odyssey began with a trip to Mr Foley’s Tap House in February 2022 – named Dr Okell’s bar on my first visits in 2005 – only to discover that it was closed. It did reopen by the time that the post was coming out and I managed a brief visit in December 2022. However, my July 1 st 2023 trip to Leeds, on which this post is based, is met with this sign at the door of the bar:      A quick check of social media shows an Instagram post from the day before (June 30 th ) announcing the closure of the

"They Had Their Issues, So..."

      There’s a set of garages to rent as storage units near my workplace. One of them is taken by a local florist that uses it to store flower arrangements for various events, that are more often than not funerals.   As such, at least once a week at 8am I will pass a car being loaded up with flowers arranged into heart shaped patterns or the letters M U M. It is a grounding reminder that, as I mentally grumble my way through the upcoming arbitrary grievances of my ordinary working day, a group of family and friends locally is going through the hardest time. It provides much needed perspective on days when I could do with being reminded of all that I have to be thankful for.   These little moments explain to me why it is possible for us to share a communal loss when a celebrity passes away. Grief is often a personal and lonely experience, shared between a minority of people in your life. When a co-worker loses a relative or friend, it has little affect on me, bar signing of