#364 West Coast – The Artist

Dave Kurth Barley WineName: The Artist
Brewery: West Coast Brewing
Style: Barley Wine
ABV: 10%
Source: Dave Kurth

Today is a momentous day! Do you know why?

I mean sure, the history books might remember it as Curiosity’s first full day on Mars. And yes, the newspapers have chosen to prioritize Tongariro’s eruption – but if you cut science out of the picture (and really, who needs it!) then what are you left with?

The 365th day of Beer For a Year!

I should warn you that I’m too excited to sit still, and have consumed nothing but coffee (two) and cupcakes (three) today.  As a result of my hyperactivity, this post may not be 100% cohesive.

I drank The Artist at my dining table last night – the same place I’ve enjoyed the majority of the beers on the blog so far – and realised as I photographed it that this was the last time I would perform this little ritual. I got a bit sad and melancholic for a minute, but then I had a sip of this 10% beer and felt great!

On the nose I got sweet, fruity flavours of dried apricots, barley sugars, toffee and a little savoury hint of something like marmite.

In the mouth it was sweet and mouth-filling, with all those fruity toffee malt flavours blossoming into something epic, before being curtailed at the last second for a bone-fry finish. I never intended to drink the whole thing myself – but somehow that’s exactly what happened.

Dave Kurth sent me The Artist a few months ago, and it was supposed to be released soon. Sadly the brewery went into liquidation in May, and so he and this beer are just stuck in limbo for now. I really hope it does eventually get released – because apart from the fact it’s bloody nice, the most beautiful label has already been created for it:

West Coast Barley Wine "Elephants in the Atmosphere" by Jo Cringle.

“Elephants in the Atmosphere” by Jo Cringle.

Today’s thanks goes to my Dad. When I first told Dad about the blog his exact response was: “You will get very fat young lady!” but it didn’t take long for him to become almost more enthusiastic than me. He’s since bought me loads of fancy beers I could never have afforded myself, ventured into the wonderful world of homebrewing with me, and like Mum become a total craft beer enthusiast (bordering on geek) himself. Dad is even flying all the way up from Wellington today to drink my final beer with me. Thanks Dad!

Finally – in case you somehow missed it on here/Twitter/Facebook – I will be drinking my 365th and final beer at Galbraith’s tonight. I had considered doing some sort of  live blog type thing, but as the beer will be 8.5% I think spelling could prove a challenge. If you’re in Auckland, please join me. And book Wednesday morning off work!

Published in: on August 7, 2012 at 3:38 pm  Comments (13)  

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13 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I’ve just now realised I’m very much going to miss this blog

    • Nyaww thanks Kate – I think I just realised I’m going to miss it a lot too! Perhaps you could be the one I pass the baton too? Eh? 😉

      • Hells no, I ain’t taking that baton 🙂

    • I think we all will

  2. I agree with Rosalind (although having been away on a long holiday I happily still have 36 entries to catch up on).

    May your hangover be mild, unlike your last beer for the year.

  3. I’d like to second Rosalind’s sentiment. This is probably the only blog I look forward to seeing in my feed (Except for XKCD perhaps, but they’re so boringly regular).

  4. Thanks for the blog, I’ve been following it since around Xmas and I’ve really enjoyed reading about the wide array of different beers you’ve consumed.

    PS – you listed a top ten… any thought of outing a few of the worst ones you had?

  5. Indeed, ye shall be missed. I hope you keep writing about beer in some form or another, as it is just too much fun!

  6. Wow… just had a 12 pack of The Artist in my hands an hour ago… and couldn’t drink it, Torture! Congratulations on seeing your project through!

  7. Thanks for your dedication to celebrating fine beer (and some others) over the year. I’d echo the sentiments above and hope you’re able to continue your beer writing in some form – you’ve got a knack for it.

  8. I’ll miss this blog too! Been a good way to discover a few new beers.

    I hope The Artist gets out there. I’m a huge barley wine fan – I’m never sure if it’s the taste or the booze that I like more.

  9. Great choice for your penultimate beer Alice… I’d rate Dave Kurth as one of the very best brewers in NZ at the moment and to see such a beer hamstrung by company issues is a real shame. Hopefully we’ll see more of this beer out there.

    And, on that note… is this best beer name and label ever?

    Really strong finish to this blog Alice… great work. I’ve probably been thinking, a lot like your mum, that I’d like to see less of the “too drunk/sick/tired to remember” posts and more of your gold. But, then again, I’m not game enough to take the 365 beers baton… so I should just shut my ale hole!

    We clapped, we cheered, we laughed… and maybe now we’ll shed a tear or two… but we’ll all be following the “Offaly Good” blog when it kicks off. It’s not the beer we’ve followed but your journey. Hopefully you’ll convert your family and friends to haggis too.

    Slainte mhath

    ps. isn’t it nice how Kieran is letting me become the top commentor on the blog?

  10. Congratulations!! A shame I couldn’t make it to the finale, but really enjoyed drinking at least three of those 365 beers with you. Feel like you really broadened my beer horizons (and simultaneously ruined and improved my life – can’t just drink any old dross any more in the same way, much less convenient). I am in awe of the way you managed to keep this blog funny and entertaining as well as informative. Hope the last hurrah was a smash hit.

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