Tuesday, 8 May 2012

May the 4th be with you...

May the Fourth Be With You...!

Sat here in the middle of YorkTap (at the bar) writing this on my laptop, it suddenly dawns on me how much this is taking over my life, not only the blog but the search for the perfect pint.
We all have our favourites and we all know what we like but what I talk about is the ultimate, the Holy Grail of Grails, the Championship Play Off winning goal.
What I talk about is the drink of drinks that when you take your first mouthful you realise that this is a relationship for life.

Over the years I’ve tasted a vast amount of real ale but one has always been my favourite. From the first mouthful of Wychwoods Hobgoblin to my last it has been something I’ve longed for and immediately made a beeline towards if it was on. Yes it’s not the most exciting ale in the world but it is one I love.

That was until recently.

A little under 9 months ago I took a trip, with Kerry, to the York Beer Fest and all this changed. Since that day I have harped on, mentioned at every occasion, championed and search high and low for this glorious nectar. This is why I’m currently sat in a pub AGAIN with maybe 2 more to visit if it doesn’t come on in time.

I’m addicted, I’m obsessed, I become emotional, angry, saddened when at the promise of this beer fall flat. WHAT IS WITH ME…? It’s like a drug, an addiction that eats away inside. Sad as it may seem I think I am addicted.

What, I hear you ask, is this allusive pint. Well, it’s only a small little Porter from a newish micro-brewery called Brass Castle Brewery. For all those that know me and my ale talk you will instantly know which beer is in question. For all that don’t try when you can Brass Castles Bad Kitty.

This is a delicious chewy chocolate/vanilla of a porter laced with oodles of Willy Wonkerness and a bountiful of desirability that the ladies of the Moulin Rouge would long for.

See, obsessed…

This is what has brought me out on International Star Wars Day (May the force/fourth… Sad I know). I’ve heard that 3 pubs in York are serving this delicious pint and my mission is to find it by the end of the day.

So I started with York Tap, but alas, it was not on. I plumbed for a North Yorkshire Brewing Co Beer called Organic Honey Bunny.
 NorthYorkshire Brewing Co Organic Honey Bunny – 4.2
As the name suggests you’d expect an abundance of honey. Well… This ale doesn’t really have a nose and only a slight bitter/flora taste as it’s hit. A slight honey presence is felt but only as a delicate sweetness that you could associate with honey. Imagine playing Hide and Seek with the 2nd best Hide and Seek person in the world. That is like trying to find the honey in this ale.

My journey continued.

Next on the list was The Slip Inn. Having recently visited here for their ale fest I knew this was a pub that looks after its ale. I crossed my fingers.


I’ve only waited 8 months to get my hands on this ale and I now can’t wait. The barman pours my pint, I slowly sit savouring every moment that passes. A slight fragrance wisps past my nose, I know I’m close.
I take my time, make sure everything is perfect and I take my first sip.

I am transported back to the first day and a wave of euporia passes over me. Heaven.

Brass Castle Brewery Bad Kitty – 5.5
(This is a new set of tasting notes after Brass Castle moved their plant to a new venue.)
Changing to a new brewhouse could have destroyed what has become a prolific ale. This is not the case. The same chocolate, vanilla and chewy caramel enrich the bitter rich cocoa infused within the ale. The same cocoa bitterness is present in the nose and it still has the draw of York on a Summers Eve.

Pushing my luck I decided to try the third pub that had reportedly housed a cask of Bad Kitty. I lucked out for the second time in the day.

The pub in question was the Waggon & Horses, York. This was my first visit. A local looking pub on the outside/inside with traditional d├ęcor, tables and bar. It boasts a selection of 7-8 Ales at one point, one being a cider (welsh at that).

I chose a Mild, being Mild May, and settled down to enjoy and write up the rest of the days events.

Great Heck Voodoo Mild – 4.3
A caramelly toffee nose gives way to the roasted malts which add a delicate bitterness to the overall drinkability to this Mild. Light milds used to be a thing of legend but with this leading the way we are in for a rosey future. With this ale you are left with a finish of bitter cocoa which gives you the feeling of wanting more.

So that was my little adventure... 

We're going to add another post straight after this with a few of our recent reviews... Hope y'all like them.

Singing off for another day.

Gareth & Kerry

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