Thursday, January 31, 2008
For those who enjoy beer or port, there's news.
First, beer. It seems that Carlsberg has just launched the world's most expensive beer - at about U.S. $400 per bottle!!! They're only producing 600 bottles, to be sold through some of Copenhagen's most exclusive restaurants. The brew, known as 'Vintage No. 1', contains 10.5% alcohol by volume. An expert said that "the taste of the brew hinted at prunes, caramel, vanilla, oak and cherry port bitterness, and was best consumed with gourmet blue cheese or on its own with 'a very special friend'."
At that price, mate, it'd have to be an extraordinarily special friend! I enjoy Heineken myself, and for that kind of money I can buy close to 40 six-packs of it! I don't think I'll be splurging on Carlsberg Vintage No. 1 anytime soon . . .
Another bit of beer news: the Japanese brewer Kirin has introduced "Hot Beer". Yes, you read it right the first time: beer that's consumed in a cup, like coffee. Kirin's Ichiban Shibori Stout is heated to 120° Fahrenheit in a microwave, then stirred to give it a Cappuchino-like foamy head. It's served with a cinnamon stick and sugar cubes.
Again, I don't see myself trying this one anytime soon! I like my beer cold, thanks. If I want something hot I have plenty of alternatives!
Finally, port lovers have something to feel sick about as well. A British retailer, Marks & Spencer, has launched a monstrosity known as "Pink Port", allegedly "for the ladies". It's bright pink with a fruity scent.
According to Guy Woodward, editor of Decanter magazine, it "doesn't taste like any port I know - it's more like vodka and cranberry juice . . . The nose smells like a rose but then you get this whack of confected fruits and alcohol on the palate . . . It tastes rather cheap, and is worryingly close to the alcopop market".
Once more, I think I'll pass! I like a good vintage port far too much to pollute my palate with some modern gustatory ghastliness!