On May 5th 2010, my wife and I welcomed the arrival of our first child – a son – Oskar Reuben. Somehow between the late night nappy changes, endless loads of washing and sleep deprivation, I have managed to somewhat neglect my blog. Go figure. Thankfully, life is beginning to return somewhere near the realm of normality, and I find myself with enough time to write this post. So, without further delay.
It is with a small ounce of irony that my first post back is a beer tasting. Oskar has not yet led me down the garden path of alcoholism, however I do find myself leaning upon the gate.
That aside, Long Shot is the latest offering from the team at Matilda Bay* (think Fat Yak, Redback and the venerable Alpha Pale Ale). A coffee infused dark ale, Long Shot forms part of the Matilda Bay seasonal release range that has previously sprouted the likes of Sebastian and Barking Flamingo, to name but two.
Long Shot is a collaboration between Matilda Bay head brewer, Scott Vincent and Toby Smith from Toby’s Estate. These guys obviously enjoyed working together. The beer pours well with a deep chocolate colour contrasted by a creamy caramel head, reminiscent of the best crema. The aroma is heady with dark bitter chocolate and coffee the predominant players, just perfect for the cold winter evening in which is was to be consumed.
But what about the taste? Not one for the faint of heart, the palate is thick, creamy and oh so delicious. There is a definite bitterness supplied by the Northern Brewer hops, and chocolate courtesy of the malt. Both flavours worked well with the coffee infusion providing a basline of cocoa-enriched goodness. The coffee, although subtle, rounds out the flavour nicely, yet I can’t help but feel that after the silky mouth-feel dissipates, I’m left with an almost grainy Nescafé Blend 43 aftertaste. This really sounds far worse than it actually is however as Long Shot is an exceptional dark ale.
The biggest problem with Long Shot by far, is it’s limited availability. So if you do manage to find a bottle or two, pick it/them up. You won’t be disappointed.