Sunday, 3 August 2014

Bottle Share 2 - (Bottle Share 1 was before we became full time bloggers!)

So where do we begin? Perhaps the beer? Maybe the venue? How about the weather? Nah, let's kick off with the stars of the night, the people!!
Gav lines up the bottles!!

..... and so there were 12 of us! 

Angela, Laura, Kirk, Laura, Jim, Claire, Gav, Alex, Hali, Kieron, Sean & Edd. 

12 beer lovers, 12 excited bottle sharers, 12 semi-drunken, quiz winning swearers by the end of the night ;-)

We met at 7pm, Thursday 31st July. The night was balmy, the Bath Hotel was buzzing along and 12 of us squeezed nicely into the private back room. Glasses, water jug, sausage roll plates, a sexy guest bottle... the room was set up perfectly!

The aim of Bottle Share is to bring a few people together, share a few beers, share a few stories, and have a bit of a laugh... it seems like we succeeded!! We also scored each beer individually and came up with an average for each.... rapid, instinctive scoring.... it was brutal!!

Drinking in ABV order (allowing each beer to sing its beautiful song) Kirk kicked us off with a 2.8% Half Mast QIPA from Siren... a low ABV superstar beer that sets the new standard for low ABV flavour (scored 7/10).... he's normally an IPA monster, but Kirk was showing us his softer side! Next up was Padstow Pale Ale (scored 5.5/10), a fresh 3.6% bottle snapped up whilst Hali was on a recent holiday in Cornwall and then Angela delivered us a Five Points Railway Porter (4.8%). She'd had this previously on a memorable blind date, and the beer had been the highlight of that particular night (not the leopard skin undies) ;-) Tonight, its smokey, roast flavours proved popular (scored 6.5/10).

Claire proudly uncapped a Thornbridge Chiron (5%) and, only being a recent convert to beer, this particular American Pale Ale had been the first bottle she had been able to finish in full back in the Spring.... Claire had shared with us a bottle that had started her beer loving journey (scored 5/10). Laura rolled out the first big 660ml bottle of the night and everyone got stuck into the 5.1% smoked tea excellence (scored 7/10) of Wild Beer Co's Put it in Your Pipe, secured on that day from York's legendary House of Trembling Madness. Up next was Jim & he shared the first stronger IPA of the night. Jim's love of Metallica & Weird Beard inevitably led us to Hit the Lights (5.7%), a mixed up IPA (scored 7/10).

Alex turned the evening orange for a short while by offering up a beer from Dutch outfit Brouwerij 't IJ. This was called Natte and the murky bottle was thought to be anything over six years old... we held our collective breath but had nothing to fear, a typical Dutch/Belgian style 6.5% Dubbel was enjoyed and savored with relief (scored 6.5/10). Gav turned us back towards tea with a share of his Marble Earl Grey IPA (6.8%) (scored 5.5/10) and then offered up some of his own tea infused homebrew as well (scored 4/10). One was rated good, one not so good... Marble will be relieved to hear that they just came out on top in the Gav Tea Challenge!

Share, taste, talk, laugh, share, taste, talk.......
Alex revisited the 'very old bottle theme' with another from Brouwerij 't IJ and this was their flagship 8% Trippel called Zatte. Again there was a fusty old bottle trepidation, but again the beer delivered a very drinkable and distinct flavour (6.5/10). Edd from the Bath was on stage next and his bottle had a bit of 'superstar' about it. From somewhere in the darkest corner of the Bath Hotel cellar he had unearthed a grand looking bottle of Pond Hopper. A collaboration brew from Thornbridge & Odell. At a meaty 8.9%, this Double Extra Pale Ale came with plenty of oomph, but a well balanced flavour got it high scores and plenty of praise (scored 7.5/10) 

Science teacher Kieron took out his test tubes and delivered up a 10% 'double bill', perhaps the Morecombe & Wise or Torvill & Dean of the beer world.... a bottle each of Evil Twin Yin and Evil Twin Yang were eagerly anticipated and of course the suggested blending of the two was inevitably attempted with mixed reviews (scored 6/10). 

Siren Odyssey 001
........ at this point Laura F Bainbridge started to swear like a filthy trooper. The tone of the night turned blue, but the next beer was black.... we opened Laura's Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout and this 10% choc monster was very much a pudding beer, thick, inky and powerful (scored 7.5/10).

We finished off the bottle share with a return to Siren Craft Brew... one that Sean had pinched from his shelves, a 12.4% Imperial Stout 'beast' called Odyssey 001. A limited edition journey beer, aged in Banyuls wine barrels and then blended with fresh Liquid Mistress, it goes without saying that this hit the spot!! Bullseye!! (scored 9/10, the highest rated beer of the night).
As we finished the bottle share we started the quiz..... amazingly we won that as well, another eight pints and we also at some point definitely shared a Bad Seed Espresso Stout (scored 5.5/10), but goodness knows who brought it and no idea when we had it.... but the memory lingers somewhere in a dark, stout infested corner of my mind. 

Thanks again to Edd and his staff at the Bath Hotel, the home-made sausage rolls were outstanding (scored 10/10) and the venue helped towards what was an excellent night!!

The BS2 Crew were a fantastic bunch!!  How about Bottle Share 3? 

You Fancy Another?  x

Wednesday 27th August @ Shakeaspeare's Sheffield @ 7pm. Contact Sean to reserve your place. 12 max.

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