Two Centurions walk into a bar……
That could be the start of a joke. I am certain that many a Centurion would have walked into a bar, or an ale house, no make that a wine bar, or perhaps an orgy. Anyway what ever that venue was it would not have been the Portland Hotel, home of the James Squire brew house just around the corner from my office.
There are a number of reasons for this, one of which I’m pretty sure the security at the Portland does not allow swords. Centurions tend to have swords. Two Centurions = two swords = unhappy bouncers. There is also certain aspect of time travel required to get people from the Roman era into current brew pubs.
Therefore a bottle of this beer is a close as you’ll get. I don’t think any actual centurions were involved in the production of this beer, actually I have no idea of the link between the beer and the name of the beer. It’s an American style IPA, nice copper/golden colour with a rounded citrus hop profile. It was also free and that’s also a nice thing. I am tasting this beer with some cheese.
This bottle came into my possession thanks to the nice people at the Portland giving it away through Facebook. It was no doubt linked to a promotion but I’m liking the beer and that’s all that matters. It seems that it’s a limited edition, I have bottle number CLXIX of CC. As I don’t remember doing the whole Roman numerals thing at school someone else can figure that out.
OK to the beer. It’s a little past its prime I think but from where I’m drinking that’s not a bad thing. I’m not certain when the beer was brewed but I think it would have had a much more aggressive hop profile, more bitterness, more hop flavor and more aroma. However I can only guess how it was. Nice I guess. The age hasn’t really hurt this beer though, the bitterness has rounded off and kept the citrus and jammy character, but I like aged hop flavors in beers. If only it had an english yeast character (I recon it was brewed with a US ale yeast?). The lable says 70 IBU’s. I think it may be a tad under that, I’m guessing its a calculated rather than a measured figure but no stress there. The hops are smooth in this beer, no nasty after taste.
So nice hop flavor, brewed just around the corner from my office, bit past its best but still ok. What is my favorite bit of this beer? The malt backbone! It gets the hell out of the way of the beer and you don’t have to chew the damn thing down. I have said it before and I’ll say it again I’m not a massive fan of heavy chewy under fermented indigestible cloying interpretations of the IPA style. This beer is not one of those. Would I have a second pint? most certainly. It’s a big beer (6.8% ABV) that’s easy to drink and doesnt leave you feeling like you need to go for a massive burp before you can drink any more.
I think its time for the boys at the Portland to dust off the recipe book and bust out another batch of this one, nice beer. If they do I’ll be in for a pint (OK I’ll be in for a pint anyway, but this would be nice to see on tap).
So people I also need to ask for some positive thoughts to be directed towards my Vicbrew entries. On Saturday I packaged up my 8 entries, filled in the 8 forms and put the entry fees in a ziplock plastic bag and dropped it off at Grain and Grape. I’m happier with the beers I’ve entered this year, but I havent entered as many as I’d hoped to. This is part due to James the IPA going bad and just not brewing as much this year. disappointed I didn’t get as many Belgium beers or any sour beers made in time to enter. That will some soon, perhaps even a spontaneous ferment beer? perhaps that will go into next years Vicbrew?
So there we have it, positive thoughts at my beers, and the Catters for the AFL grand final. September is all about finals!