Monday, March 31, 2014

A Robaina and some craft beer...


One my way back from another trip I made a stop at the Brew Moon Cafe in Amberley. This place is not only a cafe, they also brew their own beer. A good chance to try their range with a tasting panel of 4 beers which I paired with one of those fantastic Vegas Robaina Familiares from 1998.

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Those were the beers I had:
  • Hophead IPA
  • Amberley Pale Ale
  • Broomfield Brown Ale
  • Dark Side of the Moon Stout


I had the IPA and the Pale Ale with the first third of the cigar, the Brown Ale with the second and the Stout with the last… for me it was perfect and they all fit well to those parts of the cigar… here are my impressions.


The Hophead IPA has a fresh lemony and grassy aroma with some hints of earthiness. A good portion of citrus flavors paired with a perfect balance of bitterness.

The cigar starts already with full power from the very first puff. Intensive woody notes, some leather paired with some floral flavors… a very good interaction with the citrus and hops oft he IPA.

The Amberley Pale Ale is a bit sweeter, malt, caramel and some spices in combination with citrus, grapefruit and the bitterness of the hops.

Also this beer gives a good balance to the cigar, the citrus and the sweetness in combination with the woody and leathery flavors build up a very complex aroma… the cigar start to mellow down, the flavors turn more to floral aromas with a decent hint of spices…

Broomfield Brown Ale mellows down also the beer side… aromas of chocolate and almonds with some kind of plummy fruityness… it ends with a decent bitterness…

The cigar is still very floral, very intensive… after a while aromas of roasted coffee join, some cedar wood is coming up in the mix… a very complex combination of beer and cigar… very tasty…

At the end oft he second third the intensive woody flavors that I had in the beginning come back. It's also getting stronger, earthiness is very intensive now… it seems like the roasted coffee from the beer jumped over to the cigar, giving it a pleasant and decent bitterness…

Let's see if the Dark Side of the Moon Stout can compensate those aromas… and guess what: it can! Chocolate, coffee, hints of plums, vanilla and lemon. Sweetness of dark toffee and some burnt malt buffers first the intensive aromas of the cigar and ends up in line with the smoke with a dry, creamy and bitter finish…


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Harbour Street, Oamaru


If you enter the well-known Harbour Street in Oamaru you feel like you did a time travel back to the Victorian Age.

This is the only Victorian village in New Zealand (no complete village but a nice wee part of it) with a lot of historic buildings which have been put back to shape.

You step into old stores, an antiques shop, an old bookstore... you can really smell the history of that place. Warehouses on the other side of the street, some have been used for corn and barley, some are used now by The New Zealand Whisky Company to store their casks.

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The Harbour Street

Dressed up inn Victorian style


Best saddles ever - Brooks


In the old bookstore

BTW... talking about whisky: of course I also made a stop a The New Zealand Whisky Company. A nice location for a store in one of the historic buildings.



My tasting flight

The tasting that I made there was consisting of 4 whiskys, all of them really high priced in comparison to Scotch Single Malt, all around NZD 200 and more...
  • South Island Single Malt, 21 yo., 40 %: Coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla in the nose. A nice mouthfeel with pears, vanilla, toffee and a wee bit of cocoa.
  • Vintage 1987, 26 yo., 43 %: Ripe banana and vanilla, apple and fresh bread. Some hints of oak and pepper in the taste with some honey sweetness.
  • Vintage 1988, 25 yo., Cask Strength: Spicy, caramel, hints of vanilla and apricots. Thick and sweet in the mouth with more banana, black pepper and allspice.
  • Vintage 1990, 23 yo. Cask Strength: Intensiv toasty aromas with hints of pineapple and herbs. The mouthfeel is spicy with a nice portion of vanilla, caramel and barley.
All in all I've to say that all of those whiskys were good but for me they're overpriced in comparison what I can get from Scotland. They're all more on the sweeter side, nothing which hit the peaty spot of my taste buds.

Slainte!

The New Zealand Whisky Company

I continued my way to the nice harbor area of Oamaru where I took the chance to enjoy a cigar in the sun. I'd some fantastic weather here while there's some really crappy weather in Christchurch with storm, rain and even hail. A nice daytrip which was definitely worth the time I spent on the road.


View over Oamaru


Friday, March 21, 2014

Pomeroy's Old Brewery Inn


What a great place! I found it more or less by accident while checking the internet before my departure for possible restaurants where I could go for dinner. The Pomeroy's Old Brewery Inn was also one on that bucket list...while checking their homepage I read that they'll also held a Tasting Event together with Whisky Galore and 8 Wires Brewing... whisky and beer, sounds like an awesome combo.

Therefore I went there to pick up my ticket for this sold out event... and ended up with trying some of the awesome stuff they'd on tap. Being overwhelmed by all the fancy names I asked the bar guy to give me a hoppy beer... he filled a sample in a little tasting glass and I found what I was looking for: the Panhead Supercharger. Filled to the brim with a variation of different hops which deliver the typical citrus on one hand and the lovely bitter notes on the other hand...

The second one was the Beer Baroness Lady Danger, a hoppy red ale... really good stuff.

During the time I had my beers I could realize an interesting thing: it seems that the Kiwis nearly pay everything with a credit card... 2 bucks? Here's my card... A little bit different to Switzerland...

The atmosphere in this - for me - typical British style pub - is fantastic... this was my first visit and it definitely won't be my last one...

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The Pomeroy's Old Brewery Inn

The chalk board with all the beers on tap

All kinds of beer on tap...

All kinds of beer on tap...

All kinds of beer on tap...


The traditional bell for the last order



Panhead Supercharger

Beer Baroness Lady Danger

Beer Baroness Lady Danger





Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Erehwon Park


It's a beautiful Sunday morning when I made myself on the way to an area called Erehwon Park. If you think that this name sounds strange, just read it backwards: Nowhere. And that's where this place is... somewhere in the middle of nowhere... but it's an amazing place.

If you'll be asked by somebody where it is, the answer would be: where the sealed road ends, the gravel track begins... there begins Erehwon Plark...

I think I don't need much words and leave you alone with the pictures, just this additional information:
  • This area was part of the Lord of the Ring trilogy. Edoras, the capital of Rohan, was located on Mt. Sunday... the only hill in the middle of the valley...
  • The second important point is the scenery of Helms Deep which is behind the Mt. Sunday...
I made pictures of both points, maybe you can recognize them...

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The gravel track through Erewhon Park

Reflexions in Lake Clearwater


Welcome to Rohan


Mt. Sunday in the foreground, left behind Helms Deep


On the "summit" of Mt. Sunday

View over the valley


Helms Deep