19 March 2012

Grim Rhondda

In a well-meaning gesture of Celtic solidarity, the Bull & Castle bought in some Brains Black for visiting rugby fans attending the rout of the Irish team in Lansdowne Road last month. Two weeks later it was still on tap when I asked the barkeep to blow the dust off the handle and pour me a pint.

Oh dear god send it back to the hell it crawled out of. Brains Black looks the part and that's really all it has going for it: upfront there was a powerful whack of disinfectant and I am positive this was not down to any lack of line hygiene on the Bull & Castle's part. The stale oxidised flavours and an abject wateriness all hit me before any of what the brewer intended, namely a mild chocolate flavour.

It's a vapid apology for a stout, poorly executed and delivered. The Welsh rugby fans have a lot to be proud of this year, but Brains Black isn't part of it.

12 comments:

  1. I quite enjoyed it in bottle format...a fortnight on keg is perhaps too long?

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    1. I'm sure the freshness was part of the problem, and the nitro dispense wouldn't do it any favours either. But I'm still convinced the beer underneath was shite to begin with.

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  2. I drink this beer quite often and don't recognise that description at all. Loads of chocolate malt in the flavour yes, but smells of disinfectant? No. Would put that down to the pub not the beer

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    1. I sold 4 pints of this on the day of the Ireland V Wales Game, in a pub with a lot of Welsh supporters. They blasted it and told me I had been conned out of money when I bought this. I also clean lines between beers, as I have been doing for over 20 years. Sorry, but sometimes a beer is just poor.

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  3. It's available in my local Tescos Up North and it's perfectly fine in bottle format.

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  4. I've once had it served way to cold that suppressed flavour but generally its a very drinkable (Guinness copy yes) stout,
    enjoyed it in can, bottle and keg myself.

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  5. For a total digression, what can you tell me about Smithwick's Barleywine? This guy isn't keen (scroll down; better still, read the whole thing, it's brilliant).

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    1. Can't tell you much about Smithwick's Barley Wine, unfortunately. My entire experience with it is contained in one paragraph in this post. While I'm sure it was rubbish, I really do regret never having availed of the opportunity to drink it.

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  6. Professor Pie-Tin3:51 p.m.

    I suppose it would be too much to expect the Bull & Castle to get some " Lancaster " Bomber in to mark the resurgent England team's demolition of the Irish at Twickers ?

    Wahaay !

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    1. Wahaay. I'll leave that one to The Beer Manager too.

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  7. The point of this muck is the high cost of buying in Guinness. Vertically integrated regionals with a tied estate regularly decide they don't much like buying in Guinness & various lagers and try out their own. Then they realise the power of branding and scrap it.

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  8. had a drop of this in Cardiff recently; didn't get any of the disinfectant, so indeed that may be a freshness thing. I wasn't bowled over by the non-disinfectant version either though!

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