It’s a hard life being a blogger. On the odd occasion I get asked to review products that I wouldn’t normally find in the shops. These three beers are imported by Grey’s Fine Foods and very kindly sent to me to try. I thought I’d start with the weirdest sounding one first…
Cerveza Er Boqueron
Apparently this beer is made with Mediterranean seawater. I’ve holidayed in Spain several times as a child. Granted it was many years ago, but I’ve been told that they’re still making it (just kidding). I’ve been in the sea there, which was very clear and nice and warm. On my last holiday there the sun was roasting down and I was spending most of my time between the sea (sometimes in an old yellow and blue blow-up dingy), the outside pool in front of the villa that my parents were renting for a couple of weeks, inside the villa in a very cold bath to cool down, and also racing around and around all the building sites in the town on the knackered old Raleigh bike I’d found in a closet. It was more like an aqua holiday. I’m sure as a young boy I was caught short and peed in the sea! Although the write up on the website assures me that the seawater is from “an area near Valencia known for its level of purity.” Okay, so I don’t think I holidayed there anyway. Anyway, I digress… with some trepidation and a quick look at a map to make sure, I popped open the 330ml bottle to smell the 4.8% volume’s contents. This cloudy beer poured with a glorious head. There was a yeasty smell followed by a mixture of malt and stronger bitter hops. There was quite a bite to start with in the flavour, a saltiness bringing out the yeast and bitter hops, this full flavour keep on giving like a mischievous jelly fish’s sting as you wade unawares in the warm current. The website recommends to try this beer with spicy food like tapas or Asian food; it would also go very well with fishy meals. To be honest with you though I really liked drinking this beer on its own without a food accompaniment. It’s always a shame when you only have one bottle of a high quality beer such as this in the fridge. I certainly admired the complex bitter flavours brought out by the Valencian seawater. Must be good there… I’ll have to visit someday and remember not to pee in the sea!
I rather liked the name of this beer. I thought it was quite a lovely word as I tried to pronounce it in my head. Although the Spanish pronunciation rattling around my beer addled brain made it sound more Italian. However ‘desiderata’ means ‘desired things’ in Latin, so I guess I possibly wasn’t too far off with the Italian pronunciation in my mind. Although they do say that no one really knows how to pronounce Latin, I’m sure after a goof bowl of Bolognaise anyone could have a stab at it. Desiderata would also be a perfect name for a sexy Mediterranean anti-heroine in a spy thriller. I’m sure James Bond would be knocked off his feet.
This 5% volume Pils beer was brewed in Seville near the southern tip of Spain and not too far away from the border of Portugal. I have to agree with the fruity floral description on the website, but there was also the yeasty smell on opening that went to prove that this is a proper beer. Again this beer gave a good head, but this beer was crystal clear and had a more vivacious fizz to it than the last. Having said that they stated that no further carbonation had been added to this beer after its low fermentation and filtration. There was the floral and lightly fruity hoppy bitterness that mixed well with the malt and yeast and twirled around my mouth like a stamping Spanish Senorita embroiled in traditional dance. Again spicy food and fish dishes would be a perfect accompaniment for this beer to wash down, but again I just loved drinking it on its own and so wished I had more when the bottle was empty.
Cerveza La Socarrada
The last of the three beers that I’d received from Grey’s Fine Foods. No disrespect to it before opening as it was just the way I’d lined them up in Cinabar’s new cavernous fridge. Apparently this is a winter honey ale brewed with barley malt, hops and yeast, rosemary and rosemary honey. It has a high fermentation process, and described as having a smoky sweet rosemary floral flavour. I initially felt a bit strange opening this beer now as I’d rather have kept it with my vast beer supply (just in case the shops run out) for the winter months. I reckon it would have made an unusual late November to mid-December blog, but never mind… On opening the 6% volume beer I took a moment to admire the curvy bottle. It seemed to have an unusual Mediterranean shape to it. There was a definite sweet floral smell to this golden ale. It was lightly cloudy and the sun from the window shone through it amplifying its colour like a beacon of loveliness as I sat typing. I could see that there was plenty of sediment in this craft ale so waited impatiently as it settled a while. On flavour I reckon if you blind tested me on this ale I’d pick out the floral honey sweetness, there is a smoky finish and a light bitterness throughout the full-bodied flavour. However I’d never place it from Spain though as this ale has the reminiscence of the hardy Scottish ales I’ve savoured in the past. I can see why they describe this as a winter ale for its warming qualities. It’s definitely made for a dark cold stormy night, and would wash down a roast lamb and mint dinner with plenty of runner beans, carrots and roast potatoes. Mmm… roll on winter!
I noticed they have three ciders on the website too, maybe if I’m super lucky… hint… hint?! ;-)