A Cold Night In Leeds
I’m afraid I didn’t get round to opening any interesting beers that have been sitting around for “Open It” this weekend. However I did have an interesting beery Friday evening around cold, slushy Leeds.
I started off in Mr Foley’s with a pint of Summer Wine Project 6 Brew 6. I’d already tried it last weekend, but it’s only on the second taste that I was ready for the big solid punch of bitterness and was able to properly appreciate it.
After a quick trip to the Christmas Market (mulled wine rather than beer, as we were standing out in the cold), we went to North Bar for a couple of halves of Brewdog/Mikkeller’s I Hardcore You on keg. A really nice, fruity bitter beer. The fruit lifted the malt, strength and hops so they weren’t too sickly. The Barman reckoned it was mangoes and I’m inclined to defer to his analysis.
I was going to try the O’Dell Isolation Ale but then spotted Marble Vuur & Vlam on the bottle menu. Three drinks down, I was able to rationalise forking out £17 for the big bottle to share on the grounds that it’s almost as rare as a Heston Christmas pudding, and got some nice cheddar, bread and pickles to go with it. I also considered that I’d often blindly paid up to £30 for a mid-list bottle of red wine I knew bugger all about in a restaurant, so why not give a good, rare beer with a decent reputation a chance, eh?
After the very hoppy P6B6 and the sweet fruity bitterness of the I Hardcore You, even this initially seemed quite mild in comparison. A bit further on, we decided it was a really nice beer and it would be great if Marble brewed it as a standard. And it cost less, obviously.
The way home demanded one more stop to shelter from the cold so we popped into the Adelphi. They’ve had Jaipur on for a couple of weeks now but unfortunately had finally run out. Instead we went for Sharp’s Abbey Christmas – a dark brownish seasonal beer made with Yarrow. Whatever that is.
I do really like Sharp’s; Doom Bar’s great and the two Chalky beers brewed with Rick Stein use fennel and ginger in a very complimentary way. However the Abbey Christmas tasted an awful lot like sarsaparilla. Whilst I like sarsaparilla generally it would be fairest to say that, given what had gone before, I wasn’t really in the mood for a complex, vegetal ale.
It’s great to be able to try such a varied range of beers in Leeds city centre, especially in three of my favourite pubs. My wallet may not necessarily agree.