Monday, 7 December 2009

Oy Santa, on your bike — Christmas isn't for another fortnight

It's been a while since I posted a good old-fashioned description of what and where I've been drinking. On Saturday I met a friend in The Doublet where we started off with a pint each of Belhaven 80/–. The Doublet is a curious case — it has excellent cellarmanship, yet I dread going there because the two most common ales on offer are Greene King Abbot Ale, which I detest, and Belhaven St Andrews Ale, which I find too sweet. Occasionally there's something great on, which makes it all worthwhile. One time there was the most perfect Harviestoun Bitter & Twisted that I have ever had, and we just sat in the upstairs lounge, drinking pint after pint of it until closing time came and we stumbled out into the summer night. But anyway, the Belhaven was in fine condition, though I can't help feeling it's lost the character it once had, or perhaps I've ruined my palate with hoppy bitters.

Since it was a cold day, we cycled around to another legendary Hillhead pub, Tennent's on Byres Road. We were there specifically because we knew that they always have Broughton Old Jock as a house beer. The bar staff are used to warning people before pouring pints of Old Jock that it's 6.7%. Actually, the warning should be that it tastes as if it's off when it actually isn't. Among the rich sweetness, there's a distinct vinegary tang to it, not enough to be unpleasant but just enough to be slightly disturbing. As you get half-way down the pint you realise the "vinegar" is actually the alcohol.

As is inevitable when up the west end, we ended up in The Three Judges. Spire Twist & Stout came with a loose, sudsy head, smelt of farts and tasted of bacon. Big Lamp Keelman Brown Ale was much more pleasant. Kelham Island Best Bitter was decent, but disappointing because we expect much more from Kelham Island. Harviestoun Schiehallion restored my faith. When people started coming in in Yuletide dress, we decided it was time to leave.


  1. "smelt of farts and tasted of bacon"
    Sounds like my kind of beer. No wonder I loved it.

  2. Yes, it was very strange. This was pretty weird but I can't think what defects might have made it taste like that if it wasn't intended. I think I've had it before but don't remember it being like that. Maybe I just remember the name from having seen it on a list somewhere. I don't have anything against farty beer as a rule. Jennings is great.