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The Unpleasant Moblog Of Spank The Monkey

by SpankTM

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Another part of the Spank The Monkey media empire: offending your brain at The Unpleasant Lair Of Spank The Monkey, offending your ears at Spank's Audio Lair, and offending your eyes right here, right now.

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#Collabfest2020 beer 4: Big Chomp (Castlegate x Fierce Beer, barrel aged chocolate caramel stout, 9.00%)

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Unsurprisingly, our £2.50-a-can selection box doesn't include any of the high ABV monsters (though apparently some people have been luckier on that score) - we have to buy those separately. Equally unsurprisingly, Aberdeen's Fierce Beer has made one of them. As a nightcap beer, its mouthfeel is a little thin initially, but the huge flavours - chocolate, caramel, and full-throttle booze as advertised, and nicely balanced with it - make up for it. Plus it does get better as it warms up (though that's partly our fault for keeping it in the fridge so long). It could end up being another Very Big Moose if they play their cards right.

21st Nov 2020, 00:15   comments (0)

#Collabfest2020 beer 3: Finished Before It Started (Tallinn x Käbliku Brewery, IPA w/ Sabro hops, 5.80%)

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We both made involuntary 'oooh' noises on our first mouthful of this, which is generally a good sign - it's the best one we've had so far, admittedly from a sample size of three. Yes, there's all the haze and bitterness of a NEIPA, but there's something else interesting going on, which is presumably the new-fangled Sabro hops - a high note that's hard to describe, but it's not one you get very often in this style.. We've had a soft spot for Estonian breweries for some time now, and it's nice to have another one to add to the list. (Yes, it's true, we don't know anyone else who's keeping a list of Estonian breweries, like I don't know anyone else who follows Estonian pop star Noëp on Spotify.)

20th Nov 2020, 23:06   comments (0)

#Collabfest2020 beer 2: You Wouldn't Download A Beer (Manchester Outpost x Alphabet, hazy IPA, 5.50%)

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Dinner of home-made arancini - our surprisingly successful attempt to rescue a leftover portion of rice-based soup where the rice had literally drunk all the soup - is accompanied by one of those cloudy hop bombs that the young people still seem to enjoy. The bitterness bounces quite nicely off the chili that The BBG snuck into the tomato sauce while I wasn't looking. It's only slightly hazy rather than full-on NEIPA, but doesn't really stand out as being especially different.

20th Nov 2020, 21:53   comments (0)

#Collabfest2020 beer 1: "I'm A Beer Morty!" (Brighton x Hand Brew Co, witbier, 4.20%)

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Leapt on by The BBG for its comparatively low strength (making it a good one to start the night off with) and its rumoured Szechuan pepper content, and nothing to do with the Rick & Morty reference, I'm guessing. It's an odd mixture, with peppery overtones coming through a predominantly cucumbery witbier. Refreshing, certainly: it'd be nice in warmer weather than this, though The BBG inevitably wants more Szechuan in it.

20th Nov 2020, 19:36   comments (0)

#Collabfest2020 prologue: Stay Home, Protect The Beer, Save Lives

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Oh, look, he's posting on Moblog again, it must be Collabfest time. And it is, but not as we used to know it. Sure, there are still 80 or so beers that launch this weekend, each one a collaboration between a BrewDog bar somewhere in the world and a brewery that's local to it. But here in London, Capital Of Earth, we have the complication that we're in the middle of a four-week lockdown of all the bars in England. No matter: thanks to the spectacular work of BrewDog's staff, all the kegged Collabfest beers are being transferred to 500ml cans and sent to people's homes to enjoy there.

So here's what's happening at Chateau Belated-Monkey. The BBG and I have got a box of twelve beers that we ordered in advance, randomly chosen by the good people at the Tower Hill bar. We're also calling out to our local bar periodically to get them to bike over any of the remaining beers that sound interesting - we've picked up four more so far, there may well be more. Over the course of Friday night and all day Saturday and Sunday, we'll be making our way through these beers one at a time - starting off with taster glasses from the 500ml can, and guzzling the rest of it if we think it deserves it. (As the advance box cost us a ridiculously cheap £2.50 a can, we're prepared to chuck beers that don't work straight down the damn sink if they don't work.) As usual, we'll be writing about the beers as we go, and caring less about spelling and grammar as the nights wear on. Ready? Then let's go.

20th Nov 2020, 18:55   comments (0)

#Collabfest2019 round 12: BrewDog Canary Wharf

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54. Kungsholmen & Unibärsum Bryggeri - Shit Hop Puns (DDH Hazy Pale Ale, 5.1%)
This is our series finale, and it's a good one. My first time in the Canary Wharf bar since its shareholder preview night (a year and a couple of days ago)! Exactly four beers on the board we haven't had yet! A few things we've been searching for all weekend are finally here! And Ricky's here to say hello! Yay! As far as this beer goes, it's not one that was really on my radar apart from the sweary name. It's hazy and hoppy like they say, but not much else apart from that. Nothing spectacular about it, but pleasant enough.

55. Newcastle & Wylam - 6.8 Comeback Special (West Coast Grapefruit & Orange Zest IPA, 6.8%)
One of the ones we've been waiting for. Another fruity one, though it's hard to identify the specific fruit, and there's no indication in the taste that it's as strong as they say. It's no Elvis Juice (despite the hints in the name), but as grapefruit IPAs go it's fine, without having the punch of BrewDog's original.

56. Outpost Manchester & Cloudwater - Original Peak IPA (India Pale Ale, 6.0%)
Quite light for a Cloudwater, but it's up to the usual high standard in all other aspects. Not trying to do anything other than be a good beer - it's not trying any mad shit, unlike a few of the other beers it's been competing with here.

57. Southampton & Vibrant Forest - Tonkaccino (Tonka & Coffee Stout, 4.8%)
One advantage of me spilling every thought I've been having about beer live on the internet: Ricky tells us as soon as we walk in the door 'the Tonkaccino's on'. He also says 'it's like drinking an ashtray, but in a good way,' and he's kinda right. The tonka's mainly on the nose, with the ashy taste coming through on the end: but it works as a progression, without ever feeling weird. And with that, we're done, apart from the Coconut Sinnerman Ricky has bought us as an encore. At some point, we should sit down and collate our favourites of these FIFTY-SEVEN DAMN BEERS from the past four days: but not just yet.

20th Oct 2019, 20:05   comments (0)

#Collabfest2019 round 11: BrewDog Tower Hill

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52. Södermalm & Värmdö Brygghus - Feel My Flower (Berry Rose & Elderberry Sour, 4.3%)
You have to understand, this is the London bars collectively hitting the wall, not us: by the time we get to Tower Hill, they only have two beers left we haven't had yet (it would have been three, but the Tonkaccino literally ran out as we were ordering it). Hence the lack of flight board in the photo, and the big glasses. Anyhoo, we're back on the fruit sours again, albeit with not much fruit or sourness to this one: The BBG is saying it's the closest thing she's had to a disappointing beer this fest, with a faintly soapy taste to it. I reckon that Tower Hill playing back-to-back Muse songs on their PA is having a negative impact on their beer quality.  

53. Tampere & Pyynikin - The Dead Sunshine (Imperial Stout, 9.0%)
It's interesting to note that they stop playing Muse the moment we start drinking this. We've always had a soft spot for the Finnish bars, which have generally had the nicest staff of any BrewDog bars we've visited worldwide. That goes for nearby Estonia too, which is like Finland but with less outrageous prices. Both countries seem to share a fondness for big impy stouts, much like we do after the sun goes down. It's still light outside when we're drinking this, but it's still a fine example of the style, with no funny stuff except for possible hints of barrel aging. It's helped by a generous pour from the Tower Hill staff, who obviously noticed our disappointment at missing out on the Tonkaccino. We follow up with a pair of pizzas and a couple of Punk AFs to set us up for the final stretch, but you don't need to know about those.

20th Oct 2019, 17:35   comments (0)

#Collabfest2019 round 10: BrewDog Clerkenwell

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48. Brussels & Brasserie Surréaliste - Mirror Mirror (Kveik IPA, 6.7%)
Finally we know what a proper kveik tastes like that hasn't had shedloads of adjuncts thrown on top of it: it tastes like this. There's an earthiness to this that makes it different from a saison, which is the other farmhouse style we've had quite a bit of this weekend. I think I feel less meh about kveiks than I do about saisons, so at least that's that cleared up. 

49. Budapest & Mad Scientist - Blackcurrant Trifle (Imperial Pastry Gose, 8.2%)
This has been top of the Collabfest Untappd rating list for pretty much the whole weekend, presumably for being boozy as hell while looking like frothy Ribena. Which is depressingly predictable, in a way: Big Drop's half-a-percenter will never pull the big votes in a poll like this. Having said that, this is indeed lovely. The BBG is thinking it's less like Ribena and more like a really big Australian Cabernet Sauvignon, with initially insane amounts of fruit and body, which then fades into sourness and gose saltiness. Sometimes the mob turns out to be right after all.

50. Clerkenwell & Howling Hops - Hippo’s Don’t Lie (Banana Milkshake IPA, 7.4%)
The Clerkenwell bar is usually closed on Sundays, but they're doing a special opening for Collabfest. They have a history of going that extra mile for the festival: in 2017, for example, their cookie dough white stout was served with actual cookies on the side. This year, their banana IPA has a banana chew precariously balanced on top of the glass, which seems like a fun way to mark beer number 50. Eating it before the beer was possibly a mistake, though: it takes a mouthful or two of the beer to get past the taste of the sweet. By comparison, the banana's quite subtle in the beer, only really coming through towards the end: you're more conscious of the bitterness of the hops and the mouthfeel of the lactose.

51. Sheffield & Saint Mars of the Desert - Shoquaddyquaddy (Belgian Quad, 9.0%)
Now that's a reference that the kids will get. (I'm reminded of The BBG's comments yesterday, which at various points referred to 1970s adverts for Oranjeboom and Kia-ora.) Anyway, yes, this is straight-up booze: not the strongest one we've had this year, but the one where the alcohol content is most front and centre (this could be a proper winter warmer beer), with no quirks added to its basic style. Currently number 5 on the Untappd list, which is no real surprise.

20th Oct 2019, 16:12   comments (0)