Back in 2012 Scottish craft beer dudes BrewDog were gettin’ ready to celebrate their 5th anniversary with all the usual party type things, y’know, cake, streamers, apple bobbing, a Livestreamed hot sauce circle jerk, but they just felt a certain summat was missin’. “Crikey fried fuck gizzards” they cried in unison, “We should probs make some beer or some shit, eh?”. And so they did. Based on the by now legendary AB:04, a teensy weensy batch of a chocolate, coffee, and chilli imperial stout for their boutique Abstrakt brand, the resulting Dog A was a chuffing great horny beast of a beer, and so were its 6th and 7th anniversary siblings, the entirely appropriately alphabetically named Dog B, and Doc C. I’d been meaning to do a vertical tasting of these wonders (minus this year’s Dog D, ‘cause barrel aged innit)
for a while but ‘twasn’t ‘til Christmas gone that I got ‘round to it. Aww yus!
‘Kay so I’ve said it before and I’ll continue to say it ‘til everyone’s sick of me then I’ll say it again. BrewDog, though better known for their hoppy pales, really shine with their stouts. Every damn one they make is magnificent and their best are a match for any I’ve ever had. This expression joins the original Black Eyed King Imp as my favourite of all their stouts. A 15%+ abv brew loaded with pure cacao and coffee and with naga chilli’s in a killer cameo role. So, Dog A then, and just the sight of that glorious sump oil-like liquid tumbling languidly into my glass caused goosebumps. ‘Tis a sublime brew erupting with mouth coating, rich, sweet, and complex flavours of dark chocolate, fine coffee, vanilla beans, stewed prunes, dates, figs, joy and magic. Add half a hedgerow’s worth of earthy, spicy, hops for added flavourama awesomness and a building bitterness towards the long, medium dry, and nicely warming finish, the cause of which can be shared by the smooth alcohol warmth and the perfectly judged naga chilli’s, and you’ve got it. *deep breath*
The other two are as you’d expect, just as deliriously flavoursome but with a slightly increasing intensity from their more mature and chilled out big brother. I think. I was in no fit state to make accurate notes or well, stand up, after these three. But whadda way to get wonky. P’r’aps my most favouritist of the like seventeen or so (loose estimate) beers I’ve tried to date, and revisiting them confirms that for me, barrel ageing 2015′s Dog D was entirely unnecessary, especially when BrewDog already have their exceptional Paradox series of barrel aged imperial stouts and the (hopefully!) now annual Black Eyed King Imp. Anyhoo, I’m off to see if I can get any more of these before they finally disappear for good, see y’all soon.
Anonymous asked: “I’m Dutch. I went to Glasgow, and visited Stirling. I wasn’t having issues with the inclines on foot. I guess it depends on the person. The Glasgow subway is magic.”
It sure is. Before the recent refurbishment, it was like stepping back into a seventies living room. Waxed brown tiles on the wall, the trickle of water water running between the tracks, yellowing tiles underfoot, as a vibrant garishly orange train lurches to a stop.
Okay, so, I was asked what my favourite pictures of Glasgow are. Here are some I’ve taken over the years.
The aftermath of gigs.
The humour in the face of adversity;
The flowers in Victoria Park;
The heads in Kelvingrove Art Gallery;
The bear on Hyndland Road;
The Mural at Hyndland train station;
The University of Glasgow;
A man playing a banjo outside the Botanic Gardens;
The colours of autumn in the Botanic Gardens;
And finally, a squirrel eating a sausage roll;
A new year, a new destination, a new mode of transport… All my previous trips to Scotland I used MegaBus to get to my destination, and I’ve always been quite happy with that. But to get as far as Aberdeen, it would become impossible to have a guaranteed connection in London, if I would have wanted to do the whole trip from Brussel to Aberdeen in one go. And as far as the sleeper bus is concerned, compared to trips to Glasgow or Edinburgh, we would have to spend an additional three hours in the rather confined space of our berths. Quite honestly though, I’ve always wanted to try the Eurostar and Caledonian Sleeper. So, even though the extra night we’ll be spending in a hotel in London would have solved at least the connection issues, the train tickets are booked!
Thanks to the site of the The Man in Seat Sixty-One, I was able to book some Eurostar seats facing in the right direction, and even conveniently next to a power socket. I’m hoping we’ll be traveling on one of the refurbished e300’s, but there’s no way to know for sure until the day we travel…
For the journey to Aberdeen on the Caledonian Sleeper, we’ll have a Standard Sleeper Berth compartment to ourselves . If there are some seats available, we’ll probably spend some time in the lounge car as well: apparently they even serve Scottish craft beer there!
On the way back to London, Standard Sleeper Seats will have to suffice. I just hope I won’t regret this money-saving decision too much…
Anyway, not even taking in account the destination, I’m tremendously looking forward to this trip!