Thursday, October 24, 2013

Compare and Contrast - one

We can all remember our schooldays when we were faced with the term 'Compare and Contrast' - it seemed to follow me around. Through literature, art, music and science, I seemed to have to compare and contrast all sorts of genre - yesterday, I had the chance to put it into action again...twice.

The first occasion was in The Hand Drawn Monkey beer emporium, when I came across a new beer from them, that was available both on draught and key keg. 'Jephers the big red dog' was a 5% collaboration between HDM brewery and Brew Dog, Leeds to celebrate the opening of that pub. The beer was a red{ish} beer. with ginger, orange and pink peppercorns - and obviously a way of getting at least one of my five a day !
I sampled it first on handpull - and found it frankly disappointing. Lacking condition, and with only the ginger coming through it was not the best of their beers I had tasted, but after a chat with Rob, who was at HDM at the time, he pointed me in the direction of the keg version. I ought to explain that the beer was actually intended to be a keg version and only a couple of pins (4.5 gallon casks) had escaped into cask so to drink it was a privilege and a rarity despite what it tasted like !

The key keg version was certainly better, and the contrast was quite remarkable. The colour was the first thing I noticed - the cask version being a deeper red. The condition was better, although a little more carbonation would have helped (but Rob accepted this as a flaw in the beer when we discussed it), and the taste was also different. The blend of flavours was better, the orange notes came through, along with a hint of peppercorn, but the dominant taste was still ginger although more subtle. I was somewhat surprised that I actually preferred the keg version.

It seems that it has been a beer to divide opinion with on line feedback covering both ends of the spectrum.
But maybe its a test worth trying again should I come across other beers on both cask and keg at the same time before I come to a final conclusion - as in all good science experiments!! 

No comments: