You'll have to excuse me if I don't complete this post today. I'm not sure I can face typing it all out.
Did I mention that what I post is often taken verbatim from my notes? I call them notes. Others might consider them a short novel. Especially when I'm on my own. Then I only lay down my pen to pick up my glass.
So here we go with possibly part one of Saturday in the Blind Tiger . . . . . .
I can see why this place comes highly recommended. Peering through the crowds, I think I spot an excellent beer selection. Not as big as in some other bars, but good quality stuff. From my miniscule knowledge of American beer.
I've started off with a Southampton Burton Ale. Handpulled. Judging by the head, they've got a sparkler on. A pretty nice slurping Bitterwith low carbonation, a bit of sweet malt and a gentle bitterness in the finish. [Due to me misunderstanding the chalkboard (it was too far away, really) I at first thought it was 6% ABV. Not $6 a mug. Ratebeer tells me it's 4.2% and a Bitter. I'm so pleased that I could recognise a Bitter.]
I could be mean and clain that Burton Ale should really be dark. But I'm no style nazi. I'm no kind of nazi. It's really rather good. A nice temperature, too.
The only downside is that it's a bit full. I hate crowds. Poor old misanthrope me. And ever since breaking both my ankles, I prefer to sit if I'm staying for more than one. I always stay for more than one. Only the good fortune of arriving at exactly the right time got me a seat.
Six dollars a "mug". What size is a mug exactly? Is it a common measure? Me stupid foreigner. Look, European beer is my thing. I have to draw a line somewhere, or I'll go completely crazy. My ignorance of local drinking customs is almost total. Gives proceedings an air of mystery.
I couldn't leave the other handpump, dispensing Otter Creek Russian Imperial Stout, untroubled. Well it's nice and black. Not a great deal of head on this one. No sparkler, I guess. What head there is has a dark tan colour. Looks good. The aroma is roast, almost to the point of dead match-heads. It stops just far enough short of nastiness. In the gob, it's like treacle fudge. The underlying sweetness is balanced by a good dose of hops and some roast bittereness. Tastes like there's some c-hops in there, but not enough to annoy me. Damn, damn good. If I were in scoring mood, I'd give it 80+. Great to get a beer this strong cask-conditioned and in good condition.
Two beers. That can't possibly be all I drank in the Blind Tiger. And it isn't. Me, arse and a negative. I warned you at the start about possible motivation issues.
More tomorrow. Unless I get sidetracked again. Who is the kind, bald stranger? What does he offer me? And I drink another Stout. What is it and does it make me scream like a madman? Find out tomorrow. . . . . or the day after. Sometime fairly soon.
Blind Tiger Ale House
281 Bleecker St.,
New York 10014.
212 - 462-4682
Southampton Publick House,
40 Bowden Square,
New York 11968
Tel: 631 - 283 2800
Otter Creek Brewing
793 Exchange St.,
800 - 473 0727
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