A third appearance, here, for dear old ‘George’. Not because it’d changed a whole bunch, or any other newsworthy reason — rather because the Diary was always about recording bloody-marvellous beer moments as much as it was for keeping notes of the new to guard against my hopelessly-crap memory.
The weather was getting wintery, I’d had a long week at work, and was just keeping to myself and turning my Sunday into a ‘Domesticity Day’ full of neglected laundry and other household stuff that is somehow even easier to fall behind on when you work nights. I wandered to the supermarket in the evening and realised there was room in the week’s budget for a nice bottle of beer — well, it’s more fair to say that I slightly rearranged the week’s budget to make sure there was room. We’d been selling the new batch of this at work, but I hadn’t had a chance to have one yet, so the What To Buy decision was unusually-easy.
Just-about everyone compares this to hot cross buns. Perhaps that’s partially down to the Easter-ish1 timing of its annual release, but there’s an undeniable similarity in both the spice flavours and the malty bigness. What there bloody-well isn’t, though, is any of the godawful glugginess of a hot cross bun nor any of their horrible here-and-there raisins — an inexcusable waste of grapes, if you ask me. I guess this is the danger in these comparisons — and I’m not sure if my frequent fondness for slightly more whacked-out and metaphorical ones counts as me trying to avoid that problem, or makes me even more prone to it. I guess the point is this: even if you’re appalled by the ‘received tasting note’ for something, taking a gamble might prove rewarding. And: Taieri George is a stonking great pint of seasonally-apt deliciousness, year after year.
Also, there’s a rare-ish glimpse of a beer perched right here (he says, gesturing beside the keyboard he’s currently using, on his desk at home). At-home beers much more often tend to be comforting, sessionable old-standbys rather than the sorts of things which (usually) make the Diary — the actual physical thing-of-which is also right there, behind the BrewDog coaster, in its second incarnation. The original Diary (now full) is on the bookcase, just out of shot. These things really do exist.
Verbatim: Emerson’s ‘Taieri George’ 10/4/11 $9 from NW, at home, after a Domesticity Day and a PKB. The traditional dark, dark ruby. Nice spicy nose; cinnamon + nutmeg — but then, I can’t cook and can never remember the canonical ones. 500ml 6.8% We always say Hot Cross Buns, but this is so much nicer. I mean, it’s a liquid, so it avoids that horrid gluggy stodge, and retains the nice spicey flavours. Perfect on an Autumn night.
1: Seriously, ‘moveable feasts’? What the Hell sort of history-keeping descends to that level? Easter is arguably the most theologically-important event in the Christian story, and everyone’s okay with its anniversary swinging wildly from March 22 to April 25? That kinda freaks me out, as an ‘outsider’. The Wikipedia page on the ‘Computus’ problem makes for baffling reading, leaving me wondering why no one succeed in fixing a damn date — and suspecting that all that peculiar mathstronomya was a way to confound the ‘common people’ and maybe also something of a make-work program for monks who otherwise didn’t really have that much to do.b
— a: You start from the 21st of March (but there’s a schism over whether you use the ‘new calendar’ or the old one) because that’s the vernal equinox (except it’s usually not), wait until the next ‘lunar month’ starts (which will happen at the ‘new moon’, though there’s a fudge-factor built into deciding just what counts, for that) and then you add fourteen days, because that’ll take you to the next full moon (except it often won’t), and then (finally) you look to the next Sunday — that is apparently “Easter day”. I think.
— b: Except the Trappists, of course. They make beer. So I’m more okay with them.