Tuesday, December 8, 2015

December 8th: The Constable Copper Ale

December 8th: The Constable Copper Ale, 345ml, 3.4%, 0.9 standard drinks.
Price: $4.09
Why I picked it: Kinda wanted to know that a "copper ale" was.
Colour: Pantone 7571 C
More stuff: On Saturday night, with my airconditioning unit chucking a hissy fit in the 35 degree heat and the day off on Sunday, I figured it was a good time to drink through all the beers that I had accumulated that hadn't made it into the tree, one of which was the Nine Tales Amber Ale in the same range as this beer. My notes for the night (I was getting quite boozy by this point) read: I like this one, not in an "omg this is my new drink of choice" way but defs in a "this is what I wanted from that last one" way. It's bitter like I want it to be but not like it's trying too hard, like, sure, we're trying, but it's almost effortless."
Drunk me likes to quote Gina from Brooklyn Nine Nine.
I'm giving this context so I can say this about the copper ale: it is trying too hard. Maybe I'm just missing out because most of the stuff they've written about on the side of the bottle is talking about the "nose" of the beer, and that all that stuff is needed to make the bitterness more interesting. Instead, drinking this beer feels like when you're chatting with the douchey pseudo-intellectual hipster who's (possibly unconsciously) doing their darndest to exclude you. It is, I suppose, exactly what I would fear craft beer to be, going into it.
But they're right about the lingering bitterness.

December 7th: Young's Double Chocolate Stout

December 7th: Young's Double Chocolate Stout, 330ml, 5.2%, 1.4 standard drinks.
Price: $5.49
Why I picked it: You know how double chocolate chip cookies are better than the single kind? I didn't have a single chocolate beer, but I realised a couple of days after first filling the tree that I had two flavours of mudshake in there, so this replaced the chocolate flavored one.
Colour: Pantone 7533 C
More stuff: Finally, we get to one that I don't like. It started well; I poured it into a little glass and marveled at the foamy head, something I'd been missing in beers from a bottle compared to beers on tap.
Sadly, this was the end of the good stuff. I really don't like the taste. Compared to the nice charred meat and vegemite taste of the other very dark beer I drank on my practice night, this tastes like something that shouldn't have been burnt.
I don't think it tastes like chocolate. But, just to be sure, I had a lick from the tin of cocoa powder in the cupboard. It didn't taste like that, it doesn't taste like dairy milk, and all the dark chocolate in the apartment also contains mint. I tried it with Cadbury Coco (a 70% cocoa with mint chips) and discovered that I also really don't like that chocolate either*. Also, it didn't taste like the beer. I considered actually burning some chocolate, to see if that was what it tasted like, but that seemed like a waste. So I ended up drinking the chocolate mudshake too.
It was fucking delicious. If you like beer, drink beer. If you like chocolate, have a mudshake. Also, I hear the Baileys chocolate is delicious. The bottle was too big for my tree, which is a shame.
*what little mint flavour it has appears to be spearmint, which is a rubbish choice: spearmint should only be utilised when the surrounding context is cool, such as for a milkshake. With the richness of dark chocolate, the coolness of peppermint is needed to cut through it, and in much greater quantities than the meagre 8% mint chip content of this variety.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

December 6th: Absolut Botanik Berry Apple

December 6th: Absolut Botanik Berry Apple, 330ml, 5.7%, 1.5 standard drinks.

Price: $5.49

Why I picked it: I wanted a vodka, but didn't have enough Thursdays to throw back on to have a Cruiser, and this looked interesting. 


More stuff:
While this tasted nice, I retain a deep deep distrust of anything that refers to itself as "lightly sparkling" - just make it bubbly, so I don't get indigestion. Flavour wise, it is very fruity; it tastes like a Sommersby pear cider would if you were eating fruity mentos at the same time.

I like it, taste wise, but don't like the fact that it isn't bubbly. If it was cheaper, I'd consider getting it and giving it a whiz through the soda stream machine to see if that helped. Instead, I think in future I'll just drink Sommersby, while eating mentos.

December 5th: Mildura Honey Wheat

December 5th: Mildura Honey Wheat, 330ml, 4.5%, 1.1 standard drinks.

Price: $3.99

Why I picked it: I like Mildura, and I like sweet things.

Colour: Pantone 1345 C

More stuff: This beer is like the opposite of last night's - the beer itself I didn't love* but it gave me my best tasting burp so far. From the fact that it just says "Honey" on it in big letters I was expecting it be be a lot sweeter or more syrupy than it was but really it just tastes like a fairly boring not very bitter beer. There wasn't much of an aftertaste until I neared the bottom and it was getting warm (thanks to the mid 30s heat and the fact that my aircond has decided to die) but it still certainly wasn't bad, just, well, beery. Boringly so. I'd almost rather that I'd hated it, because then I'd have gotten to work out why. Instead I'm left thinking of all the other drinks that I didn't buy, that I look at at work every night and think "ooh that looks interesting" but probably won't bother with, because paying $4 a pop for all the individual bottles isn't a very economic way of buying drinks, and it feels a bit daft if you're doing it for no reason. This though feels like a missed opportunity. 

* "I didn't love it" is the ultimate form of me damming something with faint praise. Loosely translated, it means "I was actually super keen for this, but it ended up just being okay." 

Friday, December 4, 2015

Day Four: Miller Chill

December 4th: Miller Chill, 330ml, 4%, 1 standard drink.
Price: $3.99
Why I picked it: So that I could snapchat everybody "netflix and chill" jokes. I'm not ashamed to admit it.
Colour: Pantone P 10-6 U
More stuff: This drink is weird. Seriously. It is apparently made with "Real Lime" and for the first sip I thought, "ugh, it's like corona. I hate corona" but actually, it doesn't taste as bad as that going down. Firstly, when you take little sips of it (which I have to do from a glass bottle, since swigging it leads to it going flat and flat drinks leads to indigestion) it tastes like beer for a tiny second, then it tastes of lime, and then it tastes vaguely like you ate some lime flavoured lollies 3 hours ago. It was the fastest I'd ever had a taste leave my mouth.
Then, in an effort to preemptively burp out the indigestion, I got the blowback. Apparently, (according to Oz and James Drink to Britain, my go-to source of all beer facts*) the place you get the best idea of the taste of beer is in the burp. Therefore, I do not like this beer. This burp tasted horrible, and I am a lover of burps, because they give me life, while I cry in my car that I am dying while eating an entire packet of quick-eze.
This would be a huge shame but actually, I don't have netflix either.
*Except the few gleaned from people at work, in between the insanity of pre-christmas sales. Shout-out to Kyle and Tom in particular.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

December 3rd: Cruiser Mudshake

December 3rd: Cruiser Mudshake (Original Cowboy), 270ml, 4%, 0.9 standard drinks.
Price: $4.49
Why I picked it: I mentioned on day one that there were a few throwback drinks in there. This is one of them, though I'm pretty sure that back in the day they weren't secretly cruisers, but I could be wrong.
Colour: Pantone 4675 C
More stuff: I forgot how good these actually taste. I mean, milky drinks aren't good for a big sesh or a hot day, and they remain very much the twelvie version of Baileys, which is the soft old lady drink of choice* so they're not great for your drinking cred. But with a box of TeeVee Snacks (the original dark chocolate ones, obviously) and some Netflix Original Series, they go down a damn treat.
But I also have a story to tell with this particular drink, because I need to slybrag about what a good I did for my best friend's 24th. Since she grew up in a super religious household, she never got to twelvie, so for her 24th, when I surprised her by taking her to Ballarat so we could stay at Kryal Castle and watch jousting and do archery, I also got her two of them, because at 24 she was a twice twelvie.
I'm super exited now for our 36th, when, by that reasoning, we'll get to drink three.
*frankly though, soft old ladies are few and far between. Most of them drink port or something else fortified as strongly as they are, and say things like "there's no point if you can't taste it" and "would you like a glass of fruity lexia with breakfast" and "it's so boring here in the hospital, Sara, and they don't give you any alcohol. Can you go and get me a bottle of something?" while vehemently denying they even drink very much at all and refusing to put the alcohol on the back seat lest someone see them (Hi Nan!)

The tube pattern pieces

At A4 size, with the grid squares measuring 1cm each, these should wrap perfectly around a 375ml can, while also being sufficiently long enough to loosely hold a 330ml bottle. If you're definitely just going to stick with cans, and especially if you're drinking the little short 330ml cans, make them a couple of centimetres shorter to save on cardboard and tinsel requirements.