October 15, 2007

King's beer: I'm lovin' it

Kings Beer 3A very dear person just returned from Goa, bearing the sweetest of all gifts from that lush land... King's Beer. As I noted in this post, King's is one of the nicest beers I've ever tasted. Kautilya and I, were in Goa on a college trip, sometime in 1995 or so. We left our classmates to go have a gander at this island thing. As luck would have it, he and I arrived at the ferry literally minutes after the one we wanted to catch had pushed off, headed for its umpteenth trip across the lazy Mandovi. With not much to do, we found a run-down shack near the jetty and ordered a beer. He only had local brew – Kings. I am happy to state the forty minutes (or was it an hour) were spent in a happy state, tasting a really, really good beer, enjoying very good company and great scenery in lazy, lovely old Goa.

Of late, though, King's has become really hard to find. This person, evidently, spent a fair while searching for my five bottles worth (heck, I even love the shape of it, now echoed by the almost equally elusive Kingfisher Stubby).

Well, I'd like to thank her for taking the time to look for it. Oh, and I just wanted to let you guys know that I'm going home to five super-chilled bottles of the stuff. Yippee!

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October 12, 2007

Haywards Black: I like it

Haywards Black PintsWikipedia says stouts and porters are dark beers, made with roasted malts or barleys. As would be the case with anything that's so old (1677!), it now has varieties and flavours.

SAB Miller, the chaps who brew Haywards 5K & 2K, Royal Challenge, Knock Out and Castle Lager (international brands include Miller, Peroni Nastro Azzure (Rossi's ex-sponsor) and Pilsner Urquell (quite nice, The Wife purchased some for me from Prague, not so long ago) recently launched Haywards Black, which is India's first stout beer.

The taste is a bit strange to start out with. Especially if you're beer-lover and beer-novice rolled into one. So unlike my friend Kautilya, I haven't been intimate with old Guinness so far. Please, please hold those collective groans, I'm working on that. Anyway, there's a strange taste I found hard to identify, but after reading through SABMiller's site, I think yes, it is that hint of caramel. The beer is just a tiny bit more viscous than normal beer and hence, tends to sit a bit heavy. It's no Guinness class meal yet, but you will notice the extra weight at the end of the pint. There is some extra alcohol, but again, it's not like the extra pint is going to knock the steadiness out of your legs or anything. On the whole, I like the beer a lot. That's why my fridge is now equally divided between HBs and Buds (Yes, I like the Indian Bud a lot too.)

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