Please continue the story with chirrut and baze with the little alien girl!
Honestly, this would be about 3,000 words about how she was so tiny in Baze’s hands and how Chirrut would sing terrible bawdy songs after he worked his way through the lullabies, and then both of them blaming each other for her bad habits of causing trouble and fighting everyone.
But I have a massive weakness for accidental baby acquisition so have a bit more (continuation of this)
They named her Saya, after Baze’s grandmother. She was quiet that first week, although she screamed like the winter winds if either put her down for more than a minute They repurposed one of Chirrut’s sashes into a sling so that she was cradled to their chests, her head over their hearts.
“She is as demanding as you,” Baze said. Chirrut was on Saya duty as Baze prepared their evening meal. “Her face is very expressive.”
“What does she look like now?” Chirrut asked. He caught Saya’s hand, gently unfolding her small fist as she settled.
“Displeased,” said Baze. “Her nose is scrunched up. She’ll be a terror when she’s grown.”
Bristol’s Arbor are one of the wealth of new breweries that have sprung up around England in the last decade or so. Equally happy brewing traditional English styles as they are brewing American craft beer styles (or English styles with an American craft inspired twist), their output is mostly cask supported by kegs and bottles here and there. I have two of their brews to share with you awesome and sexyfull Tumblroo’s this fine, breezy, and sun dappled evening, and both are stouts. No need to thank me, I can feel the adoration radiation from my laptop screen.
First up, Arbor Breakfast Stout, 7.4% abv. Based on an imperial stout, it’s loaded with oats, has a small amount of smoked malt and speciality German grains, and has locally roasted Brazilian Santos coffee beans and organic cacao nibs added to the boil. This particular beer also has a little drool added after the pour… *ahem*
The burned caramel coloured head hides a hypnotising, void like darkness. Aromas of intense espresso and burned malts invade my nose holes and do terrible, unspeakable things to the roots of my braintree. I may have begun dancing. I brave the drool drizzled head and take a glug, it seems the nasal abuse was but the first stage in a pincer movement. Minions sculpted from dark roast coffee, cocoa, caramel, fig, and licorice are now swinging from my braintree’s branches, hootin’ an’ hollerin’ and waving burning torches. My dancing has now reached fever pitch, my feet whirligigging round the room full-on Northern Soul style. My surrender is unconditional to this full, rich, roasty, smooth as you like beer with a dry, bitter finish. Jeepers creepers, this is good.
Once I’ve recovered it’s time to attempt the next one, Arbor Oyster Stout,4.6% abv. Back in the olden days of merry ol’ England, when vision worked in black and white and men dueled with their razor sharp waxed moustaches for the right to wear the tallest top hat, stout was consumed by the gallon in pubs across the land. Oysters were a favoured snack at these watering holes, and their briny goodness was a perfect pairing with the roasty black liquid. Some point later on a bonafide genius decided to put actual oysters in the brew itself, they were rewarded with a lovely new bright red bicycle (colour vision had been invented by now) by powers unknown and a sub-style was born. After falling out of favour in the latter part of the last century the oyster stout is back, and Arbour chuck loads of the delicious little things into the boil of their oatmeal stout. Just to watch them die. Or maybe ‘cause they they taste good. Nine different grains and Fuggles hops also feature, sounds good.
The pour is black, the head latte, and this time drool free. Masses of cocoa and heavily roasted malty aromas waft up from my weirdly jug like glass. A sip. Suddenly I’m a deep sea diver from times past sitting in my open bottom diving bell. Before a dive I like to relax with a nice stout, most of us daring divers do, dontcha know. The smooth, roasty ale’s chocolate and coffee flavours are there as you’d expect, but the lightless salt water below infuses the senses with a brininess that blends into the stouts initial taste. The roast soon begins to overpower this and is joined by slightly spicy, earthy notes before the moderately bitter finish brings the brine back. Damn good stuff.
I gotta say, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed these West Country stouts. The Oyster Stout is a really good example of the style, slightly briny at the beginning and end, luscious, roasty stout goodness throughout. It is, however, the Breakfast Stout that’s won my heart. Intense, rich, decadent, bittersweet, and downright delicious. Now if you’ll excuse me, my dancin’ shoes are callin. Cheers!
This is my 300th beer review, which also serves to celebrate the two year anniversary of Beeritual! I just wanted to say thank you to all 117,000 of you for watching, reading, and perhaps drinking along with me. You give me a reason to keep going. Now, onto the review. This illustrious double stout is brewed with coffee and chocolate, then aged for one year in bourbon oak barrels. I was lucky enough to come across this bottle of “KBS” while traveling through Raleigh, North Carolina. It’s been ‘cellaring’ in my wine cooler ever since, and I am so pleased to be finally opening it up!
On the nose, coffee stands at the forefront like a vanilla latte with whipped cream. Roasted specialty malts come across like oatmeal cookie dough, and cocoa powder. Bourbon stands on the back end with characteristic hints of oak, covering the traces of alcohol.
The palate begins like a rush of decadent fudge or chocolate cake, followed up cold coffee with cream and sugar. The middle register is lactic, sort of like a chocolate malted milkshake. Hops approach with weak herbal tones, topped with flavors of coconut, and hints of cinnamon. Caramel sweetness gently rises, overshadowing the roasted bitterness. Esters rise with accents of dark fruit that come in the form of black cherry or black currant. Light phenols depart with a kiss of spice. The bourbon barrel softens the edges, enclosing the finish with flavors of vanilla and oak. Mouthfeel is medium-full in body, super creamy, rounded, wet at times, powdery at others, leaving with a deep alcoholic warming.
I’ve been wanting to try this for a very, very long time, and so I’ve constructed a set of expectations this can’t realistically live up to. I suppose it doesn’t live up to the hype, but it’s still great. Perhaps the most amazing feat is how they’ve managed to so strategically conceal the alcohol, as it comes across as bourbon to make a big statement without completely stealing the show. This beer is complex in scale, yet simple in delivery, even somewhat thin in some respects. There is plenty here to appreciate, so savor and sip slowly. I recommend it!
Ahh, SIren Craft Brew. Of all the new wave of US inspired craft breweries in the UK these guys are one of my very favourites. Their small core range is rock solid, but it’s the specials, the collaborations and limited releases, that cause the involuntary intake of breath and quickening heartbeat. This is one of ‘em. To celebrate the 100th batch of their stunning core range breakfast stout, Broken Dream, Siren brewed a powered-up version loaded with even more coffee, cacao nibs, and vanilla, and packing the punch of an imperial stout. Don’t pretend you ain’t salivating.
And so to pour. The oatmeal head hides a lurking, fathomless darkness. Coffee, cocoa, and vanilla aromas ride the wave of charred malty goodness that rolls forth. A sip. ‘Tis soft and pillowy in the mouth, rich and full flavours of chocolate cake, dark roast coffee, and vanilla fudge lead with underlying notes of char, wood, black treacle, and stewed red fruits.
This really did live up my expectations. A sweet, roasty, malty treat of an imperial stout that hides its booze well and is as fine a liquid weekend breakfast as it is an evening dessert. As it turns out they brewed a double batch of this and have put aside some 800 litres to be aged in Banyuls, Bourbon, and Brandy barrels for later release. I swear I can hear choir music… For the time being though, however you can get it, on cask, keg, or bottle, just get it. Cheers!