Any Old Ale: The Undercard – Battle of the Regionals

Good ol’ Phil Hardy is back to his nefarious ways and this time he’s forcing us all to drink Barley Wines and Old Ales (same difference some might say).

My initial plan was simply to compare one Barley Wine that’s considered by many to be a classic of the style to one that’s generally shunned by all except a few drunken crazies. However, last week I was having a tidy up of my mind and my beer stash and I realised that I had beers from three of the UKs big regional breweries that were Barley Wines/Old Ales. It was at that point that I decided I would spilt my Any Old Ale experience into two – an Undercard and a Main Event. All week I’ve been accepting and rejecting the music that I would pair with the beer until about 10am this very morning when I decided that 60s psychedelia was the way to go… freak knows why, man, but like, you know, wow, far out dude

Here’s what went down…

(All comments were written while the music was playing and the beer was flowing – no edits, overdubs or studio wankery)

* * *

paired with

Nose: Crap cough medicine that won’t work that’s been mixed with water from the tank in the attic where you’re sure someone was drowned before you moved into the house

Taste: Nothing much. A little bit of toffee pudding. A little bit of Eccles cake. A little bit of cold surgical steel. Thin and bland. Not especially bad but boring and ultimately pointless

Sound: Cor! It’s like I’m 17 again and back buying pot from middle-aged men in tie-dyed tshirts. Ahhhh… it’s impossible to hear Grace Slick sing and not have an overwhelming desire to drop acid and then run hand in hand with her through a field of blue poppies. An immense slice of 60s psych – classic after classic… and having Venus in Furs follow Pictures of Matchstick Men is a masterstroke that very few of us will ever be able to truly appreciate and understand

* * *

VINTAGE ALE 2012 [8.5%] by FULLERS
paired with

Nose: The aftermath of a bar brawl in an old folks home – leather loafers soaked with sherry and port. Or, if OAP violence ain’t your bag, a ramekin overflowing with boozy berries

Taste: Christmas cake! Christmas cake! But it’s not even snowing! This is tasting far more rounded and complex than the bottle I had late last year, which gives me high hopes for the two I’ve stashed away until 2020. Pleasantly surprised

Sound: The hippies are getting angry! Frowns not Flowers! There’s many a classic on this disc but thankfully not the ones that those bores who get all their musical knowledge from BBC music documentaries will recognise

* * *

paired with

Nose: Screaming homosexuals, unrelenting nymphomaniacs and lashings and lashings of ginger beer

Taste: I have a strict policy that I don’t comment on the taste of Wandering Woodwose unless I have two of them – sorry, but rules are fucking rules

Sound: The lost classic from the supergroup Dad’s Love, which features the twin powers of Arthur Lee and Arthur Lowe

* * *

… and now I do believe it’s time for the main event …


~ by landells on March 23, 2013.

4 Responses to “Any Old Ale: The Undercard – Battle of the Regionals”

  1. Haha, I won’t ask how you know what the smell of screaming homosexuals & nymphomaniacs smells like, were you in Pulp Fiction by an chance as an extra living in someone’s cellar?

    Enjoyable read mate, made me laugh, great choice of tunage too


    • The ‘screaming homosexuals… [etc]’ was borrowed from the Comic Strip’s Five Go Mad in Dorset.

      ‘Proper’ beer reviews can be a bit samey so I’ve decided to just have a bit of fun with my Pub Crawl posts.

      The Main Event should happen within the week

      • Oh really, they were great little mini comedies those, haven’t seen them for ages. Not a criticism tho dude, I enjoy reading them, beer should be fun & reviews like this make me chuckle.

      • I didn’t take it as a criticism – I realise and appreciate that you get what I’m trying to do. Cheers

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