#323 Stonecutter – Renaissance

Name: Stonecutter
Brewery: Renaissance
Style: Scotch Ale
Source: Vic Park NW
ABV: 7%

Although I won’t be able to post this for a couple of weeks (which means if you’re reading it now, you’re in the future!), I’m going to write this post up as I drink it so as not to lose grip of my current enthusiasm.

Ho-ly smoke! When did the Stonecutter get so peaty? Granted I haven’t had one for years, but I do not remember it being like this.

The aroma is pure peat – not so much smoke, but that band-aid, medicinal smell you get with Rex and Islay Malt whiskey’s . There’s caramel malt too, and some dark fruit of the forest chocolate.

In the mouth it’s medium bodied and gorgeously smooth. It starts out sweet, toffeeish and still peaty as hell, but this develops into a roasty bitter cocoa finish. I’m pouring my second glass now and taking overly-enthusiastic gulps, so to call it drinkable (bit of a dumb term anyway, no?) is something of an understatement.

I can’t really believe it took me so long to blog this one. Full marks!

Published in: on July 12, 2012 at 11:47 am  Comments (7)  

#99 Renaissance – Marlborough Pale Ale

Renaissance Marlborough Pale Ale

Name: Marlborough Pale Ale
Brewery: Renaissance (Blenheim, New Zealand)
Style: Imperial I.P.A
ABV: 8.5%
Source: Beers, Wines & Spirits (K Rd, Auckland)

I’m just about to jump on a plane to Paraparaumu (I know, right? The life I lead!) and am blogging from the phone again so will be breif.

I picked this up last night at “Beers Wines & Spirits”, which I’m pretty sure is the best place to buy beer on K Rd.

It was, to put it succinctly, real yum. But because I probably have to say more than that, it smelled and tasted of candied grapefruit peel and bitter pine hops, with a big, syrupy malt backbone. It was full and tasty and devilishly clever at hiding its booze.

This beer deserves more, but it’s time to board! It looks like I’m getting on one of those miniature 12-seater jobs, so if post #100 doesn’t appear you’ll know what happened.

Published in: on November 16, 2011 at 2:14 pm  Comments (1)  

#93 Renaissance – Elemental

Name: Elemental
Brewery: Renaissance (Blenheim, New Zealand)
Style: Porter
ABV: 6%
Source: Albar (Dunedin,  New Zealand)

Yesterday, on my way back from Oamaru, I stopped in Dunedin to sink a few pints with my brother. It would have been rude not to.

The obvious place to do this was Albar – a cosy little pub in the Octagon with a small but thoughtful range of bottled beers, and three hand-pull taps. On one of them was the Renaissance Elemental Porter, which was just the thing to drink on a chilly, drizzly, typically shite Dunedin day.

It was a perfect rainy afternoon really. We sat on leather armchairs sipping porter, playing an archaic (1983) version of Trivial Pursuit.

The Elemental Porter was delicious as it always is – with strong notes of bitter chocolate and espresso, warm spices, roasty malt and a hint of smoke. There was a lovely balance between sweet malt and bitterness at the finish, and on the hand-pull it was silky-smooth.

It was so easy to drink that I had another, meanwhile failing to gain traction on the ancient Trivial Pursuit. Finally I got my first pie when I answered the question: What has  336 dimples?

Published in: on November 10, 2011 at 4:26 pm  Comments (6)  

#60 Renaissance – Discovery

Renaissance DiscoveryName: Discovery
Brewery: Renaissance (Blenheim, New Zealand)
Style: American Pale Ale
ABV: 4.5%
Source: O’Carrolls Freehouse

Apologies in advance for this post. I made terrible notes and now I’m so hungover that I can barely type the word ‘beer’ without shuddering.

I had this at O’Carrolls Freehouse with my mum and sister, who are turning into beer *shudder* geeks themselves and becoming pretty decent drinking buddies. Mum especially, since she quite often pays.

The Discovery poured  clear and golden with a small white head. It smelled of delicate fruity hops – mainly passionfruit I think. It was fairly bitter, and had a refreshing crisp mouthfeel. I can’t remember much else, but I do know I enjoyed it.

Also, I’m not exactly the highest authority in the land on b**r styles… but it didn’t seem particuarly American to me. I thought APA’s had more of a grapefruity/toffee quality, and this had the fruity bitterness that I associate with New Zealand Pale Ale’s. Like I said though, I probably don’t really know what I’m talking about…

What I can say with some authority, is that whatever kind of b**r it is you should drink it in moderation and with food.  I came to this realisation at about 1am this morning when I woke up to the worst fucking headache of my life (picture Dave Lombardo playing drums on your skull), owing to the 5 or 6 large, strong b**rs that had been my dinner. Not cool.

Phew. I made it to the end of the post without dying. Time to drink my beer *shudder* for today I guess…

Published in: on October 8, 2011 at 9:00 pm  Comments (2)  

# 8 Renaissance Craftsman

Renaissance CraftsmenName: Craftsman
Brewer: Renaissance (Blenheim, New Zealand)
Style: Chocolate Oatmeal Stout
ABV: 4.9%
Source: Victoria Park New World

I said yesterday that the cold weather was making me crave this, so tonight I decided not to muck about. The Craftsman is my favorite chocolate beer, made with high-quality cocoa nibs (how funny is the word nibs?) and organic oatmeal, added for a velvety-smooth mouth-feel.

Just listen to that name: Chocolate Oatmeal Stout. No drink has sounded more appealing to me since the (sadly fictional) mugs of steaming butterbeer on Harry Potter.

The Craftsman pours dark brown with a small tan head which diminishes quickly. The aroma is really chocolaty, and the taste is of fresh roasted coffee beans and high quality, dark bitter chocolate. It’s malty of course, and the sweetness from the chocolate is balanced nicely with a bitter finish. In other words – it’s real yum!

I shared this with my flatmate Hollie (that’s her in the background of the picture) who also really liked it. She makes lovely music that’s best enjoyed (I think) on a wintery evening, just like this beer. Try them together!

Tiny Ruins – ‘You’ve Got The Kind of Nerve I Like’ from Spunk Records on Vimeo.
(also featuring our fat cat Mimu)

PS – I just read on Wikipedia that “Butterbeer was a real drink… made from beer, sugar, eggs, nutmeg, cloves and butter back in Tudor times.” I am absolutely going to find an original recipe for this and make it!

Published in: on August 16, 2011 at 10:16 pm  Leave a Comment