Considering it’s been an alcohol Free week, I reckon I have actually spent more time with a beer in my hand than usual.
Over the last seven days, 7 different alcohol free beers have been obtained and drained, all by me and all for the sake of research that is as scientific as Adam Sandler is funny. Well in recent years anyhow
Each day this week, I will post a beer review, counting down from dish water in a can to what many may perceive as the best of a bad bunch! But stick with it, for the beer purists out there, open up your mind & consider a little outside the box thinking.
Every beer that I report on was bought & paid for by me. Some were shit and some were surprising, either way it was money well spent, well kinda, but then my kids don’t strike me as college types anyway.
The brews that I sampled were chosen purely by their local availability & price. The neighbourhood Walmart or ASDA as they keep correcting me, had a few of these brews on offer, while the rest were picked up for their regular retail price.
As I am a highly refined chap, each beer was perfectly chilled before consumption, and consumed without food or snacks.
To whet your appetite or to increase your disdain... above is a gallery of what I drank this week.
The worst of the bunch will be revealed tomorrow.
It’s a normal, freezing February Saturday in Ireland, thankfully the fire is blazing and in a few short hours the 6 nations rugby championship returns for the third week of the 2018 fixtures. Today Is the highly anticipated Home nations clashes.
Ordinarily this would mean a day filled with beer, snacks and a lot of couch sitting, but today is different.. I will still be couch sitting, snacking and drinking, but as I announced last week it will be Non Alcoholic Beer only today.
Today marks 7 days of no booze, the first week of my off the cuff break from my beloved Magners has ended. 7 days is a long time In politics and also in sobriety... so How do I feel
Well In 2016 I took part in the Sober For October challenge, no booze for a month in aid of personal well being & Macmillan Cancer Charity. Admittedly I found that to be a very long month, in fact I took two days off during that October and had a few beers, this was allowed under the schemes rules, although it cost me a £15 donation on each occasion. So for £30 I was able to have a drink & still complete the challenge, seems expensive, but the cause was worthwhile. The Charity that is, not my indulgence.
I can honestly say that so far this break from booze has been different. I don’t have the same urge to drink or the desire to sink a few cold ones. So far so good
This has been my favourite AF Beer of the week.. more on that coming soon
I haven’t missed the taste or that instant feeling of relaxation that accompanies a few sips of your favourite tipple. I haven’t gone out of my normal routine to distract myself or fill my time.
So why is this break so different? What is placating the urge to drink? Strangely enough my break from Beer & Cider has been made bearable by, well Beer and Cider. Whether it’s the much discussed Placebo effect or the vast improvement in taste, I have found that the Non Alcoholic versions of regular beers and ciders have allowed me to ditch the addictive alcohol while enjoying my usual routine.
This could be very much a personal experience but I found that when sipping on a cold zero free beer I was feeling the same chemical reaction in my brain that regular alcohol creates. Similar tastes but sans alcohol was giving me that same chilled out feeling regular strength beer provides.
Maybe this will prove to be a short lived, only time will tell. I can report that I Amy sleep has improved, I am regularly eating breakfast, which is new for me... as for the beer belly... well the scales don’t lie, but I’ll disclose those figures at the end of the month..
Sobriety! The art of being sober, to be without alcohol... let’s not panic.. keep reading
I was met with a number of blank stares, many social media queries & enquiries as to why? Whenever I first floated the idea of taking a break from booze and switching to Alcohol Free (AF). So I thought it may be helpful to explain some of the reasoning behind this decision. A lot is being made of the drinking culture in the U.K, we hear many Doctors & mental health groups cautioning us of the dangers we face in respect of this nations drinking culture.
So I thought it interesting, when on the back of that message I found many articles to indicate that the U.K. actually appears to be on the brink of an unforeseen, ungodly & quite frankly terrifying social shift. Depending on your standpoint of course.
Are we as a nation moving away from Alcohol?
While the traditional Pint continues to suffer the craft beer revolution, which shows no signs of slowing down, what is left of the Ale supping old guard now face a further threat, a threat which they could never have predicted.
AF Beverages! Alcohol free or to be techy drinks with a max of 0.5% ABV. Beer, Wine, Cider & now even spirits substitutes.
What used to begin and end with Becks has now sired an ever expanding and most importantly, improving, product line of alcohol free alcoholic beverages (work that one out).
If you are worried about how much you drink or have been thinking, for whatever reason of cutting down, there has never been a better time to give it a go. As I have been finding out quitting booze in 2018 doesn’t mean giving up the tastes you love and know so well.
Before anyone tries to kick my soapbox from under me, I’m not attempting to preach or indeed lobby for the Sobriety community, they speak for themselves. This is still a booze review site, I am not abandoning or turning on my Craft Beer buddies or indeed the wider alcohol consuming community, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the emergence of this market & the rise in quality they bring to the bar. To that end I thought it would be interesting to embrace this vibrant booze free community and at least sample what they have to offer
Now Admittedly, I was one of the biggest cynics, sneering as I passed by the one item in the zero alcohol range... AF Beer? What’s the point? You may as well have a beer? Yet, if you take the time to check out what’s being produced in this ever expanding niche, you will at the very least be surprised.
The range of AF Beer is still the little guy in the room, but with the increasing quality and taste, he is holding his own with the giants. Those same giants have started to take notice as they too begin to cater for the zero alcohol consumer.. Brewdog, Guinness, Budweiser, just some of the market leaders that are investing in AF products.
When these guys put time and money into something so fundamentally different from their core product, then you know that there is a growing market for it.
So for the next month or so, I will be drinking only AF beverages, sampling whatever I can get my hands on, from the core beer and ciders to spirits and even dealcoholised Wines. If German Olympic Athletes are drinking this stuff after physical activity, then there must be something positive to discover and I may be able to shed a bit of my well earned beer belly.
When my Beer drinking resumes, which it will. I will be aiming for quality over quantity.
Nestled at the Southern tip of Manhattan deep within the City’s FiDi, as it’s known, lies the Fraunces Tavern Block Historical District. While this name is not as recognisable as the Big Apples countless other attractions the District was the setting for some significant moments in American history, from American Revolution peace talks with the British to the site of General George Washington’s farewell speech to his troops. The area is distinctly different to much of Manhattan and the Tavern itself is believed to be the oldest building on the Island.
On a recent layover in Manhattan I took a late morning stroll round the entire Wall Street area, enjoying the stark difference in foot traffic from Midtown & the picture perfect views of the Brooklyn Bridge that the adjacent waterfront provides. The -7 on dry land temp was enough to convince me not to ride the Staten Island Ferry but to instead take a short walk up Water Street, perhaps so called as long before the land reclamation it was on the water, stopping by number 30. Of course this address was always my destination.
As I stood across the street from 30 Water Street, NY, I couldn’t help but picture Mr Fredricksons house, that old cantankerous balloon seller from Disney’s Pixar Movie, UP. It’s A five story red brick building in a short terrace standing bravely in the shadows of surrounding skyscrapers. The Architectural equivalent of David & Goliath, an analogy that speaks perfectly for the success of the business within when compared to its current size.
The building itself is almost 200 years old but the bar it shelters has just turned 5. Yet although its only moving into long trousers, in those short 5 years The Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog has already garnered more awards than most boozers ever manage & certainly more than I can be bothered to type out. It’s safe to say it’s somewhat successful but then ever since the creative masterminds behind the rabbit got together back in Belfast, their skills of drink mastery has laden them with more accolades than the Old Trafford trophy room could carry.
Of course plenty has been written about this Bar and generally by those bestowed with better penmanship than I will ever have. But now with vast expansion plans at the construction stage, it’s never been a better time to drop by. So to take a fresh approach this post is less bar review and more in-depth focus on what it’s like to spend 11 hours in the Dead Rabbit. That’s right, my aforementioned stroll was in fact 45 minutes of freezing, time killing hell that were spent pounding the sidewalks in an attempt to keep my core body temperature from shattering, all while waiting for opening time. It was bloody cold in New York the day I was there & being from a part of Ireland where we have one train an hour, I misjudged the subway schedule, arriving the best part of an hour early for a drink. So, cue walking about like an alco who is waiting for Lidl to open!
Finally 11am hit & much to the relief of the 4 Port Authority Police Officers who had been eyeing me warily as I dry humped a radiator inside the Ferry Terminal, I jogged the short distance to this!
After a quick snap of the sign, I bound my frozen joints up the steps & made for the door! I thanked the doorman who was on hand to welcome me inside, I later realised he was not actually a doorman but had merely been coming down the stairs as I got to the door, instantly the icy day was burnt off by the welcoming heat of the Taproom. With sawdust on the floor & traditional music wafting on the warm air, size is the first thing my rapidly defrosting eyes acknowledged. I had studied plenty of pictures online but only when you stand within do you realise that this really is a small, cosy intimate spot. A plus of always being is having the choice of the seats, sliding onto my stool midway along the bar I ordered a Guinness (the quality of an Irish bars, well any bars Guinness is an indicator of the overall quality of the establishment) & took in my surroundings.
Narrow in width, the Taproom is a well adorned slice of Ireland. The walls are dressed with distinctly Irish pictures and mementoes, yet there is nothing garish, nothing that over eggs the pudding by screaming Irish bar. No neon leprechauns beaming from the ceiling, instead Photographs from home litter the beams above your head while uniquely a framed copy of the 20 year old “Good Friday Agreement” stares down from its position not far from pictures of George Best & Martin McGuinness, amongst others.
As my perfectly poured Guinness settled in its glass, Annie, who had just finished pouring it introduced herself, offered her hand and asked my name, instantly making me feel as if she was glad I dropped in.
At 1105 and with only two other punters seated In Henry’s corner, Annie had plenty of time to host me & in spite of my sober social awkwardness the conversation was unforced and genuine. As I sipped the black stuff, I was enthusiastically regaled with stories of the bar, expansion, regular trips back home & even glitter covered Dr Martens.. no lie, it’s the latest must have work shoes that Annie’s daughter was describing via text from Belfast. Despite what I was thinking, it was later confirmed that despite the footwear she doesn’t infact work for the Circus.
Annie was so deep in our conversation that on two occasions she served me items requested by the two guys in the corner. My mistake came in pointing out her mistake and using two words of simple language she clipped my wings in a way that only a woman from the North of Ireland can. Suitably chastised It was then that I realised that yes the combination of the decor, theming, marketing & world class drink quality may have earned all the awards, it was the people who were the real attraction. Sure Jack & Sean has the public profile, but it was Annie & the rest of the team I was yet to meet who made the bar
As I made my way through a couple of different 9oz brews, I was joined at various stages by different Wall Street folk all dropping in for lunch before heading back to the office. Now having this as your lunch venue? That’s the definition of jealousy! Every dish I caught a glimpse of looked appealing so Ignoring my own rule of ratings cheating, I took the plunge, ordering the house Scotch Eggs & truffle fries. Unfortunately the Scotch Egg was excellent, which has totally ruined Tesco value never mind Marks & sparks version for me..
It seemed I had visited on an unusually slow day as after the lunch service the crowd stayed light for an hour or so. That suited me just fine as Open the doors of any Irish bar and Inside you will find a bunch of tourists visiting a little bit of the old country, sipping subpar Guinness, stuffing themselves with potato free Stew cos seemingly the famine never ended, or corned beef hash, another staple Irish dish that this particular Irish guy hasn’t eaten in over 20 years and even then it wasn’t hash but corned beef sandwiches in my school lunch.
All this occurs while genuine 1/16th Irish folk enquire if the solitary genuinely Irish staff member happens to know their great great grandmother who was born in County Kerry
But today, it was just me, Annie & one of her regulars. Before long I was invited down to the back of the bar to enjoy her company in what turned out to be an entertaining afternoon listening to tales of a rich life of adventure and exploration. In the greatest bar in the World I had found the company of the arguably the greatest regular in the World. Like a Long Island Lady Hemingway or Capt Tony of the Key West Saloon fame, this lady held court with effortless charm and humour, before sadly all to soon her visit came to an end.
She was shy about her connections to the bar, which go far beyond the usual regular customer backstory. To that end I won’t name her, but if you are ever lucky enough to end up in her company, you will know who she is. I may have also suggested she have her portrait commissioned, which I offered to paint, which should then be adorned upon the walls. Not sure how any Crayola masterpiece I may draw would look to be fair.
This is where the day gets hazy, as I settled into my new surroundings by the kitchen, with almost VIP access to the gentleman’s facilities, I was joined by Heinz, a German born English Hedge fund whizz kid who, having just flown in from Singapore or maybe it was Dallas, was drowning his over travelled Arsenal supporting sorrows in the first bar he found! Some people have all the luck. Heinz was like me, visiting with all his mates and it was Annie & her hospitality who hooked up 2 solo travellers to put the World to rights. As fate would have it this blossoming bromance would later choke early on as jetlag and beer combined to convince Heinz that the toilets which are adjacent to the bar where accessible only by a long staircase. In reality this wasn't the case, yet as the day got older Heinz swore he was having difficulty safely negotiating the phantom steps.
As the day got older the crowd got bigger, with those clocking off from the man arriving in for after work drinks, then every so often the serious drinking would be disturbed by a tourist with a camera, who with a desire to tick attractions off their vacation list came in to snap pictures of the worlds best bar before departing as quickly as they came. Splashing out on a drink and staying a while to enjoy the true appeal, atmosphere, of this bar, didn’t seem to be on their brass faced agenda. That’s no way to treat a bar!
By now it was around 6pm & the tab held truffle fries, scotch eggs, 1 Guinness, 1 sixpoint sweet Acton and 6 Weihenstephan.. & a secret halfun that was gifted to me only after I agreed to sign a Non Disclosure Agreement.
What was left to try in the Taproom? Well set down before Heinz & I were 2 perfectly poured Irish Coffees. It was explained how the current version, made with clontarf Whiskey was about to be changed & would soon be made with Bushmills. The Dead Rabbit is somewhat well known for this drink, which is patiently crafted backstage by bar back Ceaser long before it’s assembled for the customer. Both versions were incredible, but the Bushmills coffee pipped it, based entirely on geographical biase
Sadly Annie clocked off around 7, so with a couple of selfies taken, which in the light of day probably look like she is pictured with a beer bellied lamppost (there was a slight height difference) she left me in the capable hands of the evening shift. Around this time Heinz let those imaginary stairs beat him and he to disappeared into the night.
After a few hours of people watching the mixed crowd and topping off with some Blackthorn English Cider, which is the only black mark The Dead Rabbit conjures in my opinion. Where was the Irish Cider? A point acknowledged by the boss lady herself. I settled my tab, slipped a few bar mats into my pocket & braced by 11 hours of boozing made my way back onto Water Street for the short walk to the Subway.
My day at the Rabbit was done. The time spent within had passed in an instant and as I caught the 1 train back to Mid Town I knew I had spent my layover in New York the best way I could. I had intended to visit Black Tail a short walk across Battery Park at Pier A, the sister bar to Dead Rabbit, Black Tail is said to be an opulent cocktail venue and came highly recommended. Sadly I never made it on this trip, but it creates a great excuse to return to the FiDi, which after my long but warm day is now my favourite part of New York
This image of an empty glass had previously contained a serving of dead rabbit Whiskey, which was released on 12 February 2018, marking the bars 5th birthday. I was kindly allowed to try this prior to release. Sadly I cant remember anything other than it was bloody good
I visited The Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog on Wednesday 31st January 2018. All food and beverage consumed was paid for personally with the exception of a shot of Dead Rabbit Whiskey & 2 Irish coffees.
These items were not received in exchange for a positive review. Let’s face it, no one reads my scribbles!
More information can be found at
Life moves so fast these days that it’s easy to feel like you are hanging on to the latest pop culture trends by your fingertips! It’s inevitable that you will miss out on the next big thing or the next next big thing.
Take for example television! With all the streaming services now available and the advent of box set binging, keeping up with what’s hot is harder than ever before. Game of Thrones is a perfect example, it’s filmed not far from the Liquorjunky Bar and I have been on several of the sets, the actual programme however, well I’ll get round to it someday!
Craft Beer it seems moves even faster than television, fashion or tech! New breweries pop up daily & staying current of what’s considered fresh is impossible.. so to cut a long story short, you can forgive me when I present you with Marco Pierre Whites Real Ale almost 7 years later
In early 2011 the famous Chef Marco Pierre White, henceforth known as MPW, seemingly decided to get into the beer business. Real Ale business to be exact. It was around the time, coincidentally, that MPW decided to tell his customers and anyone else who read the articles, that British food should be paired with beer and not wine
Although a concrete timescale is a little hard to pour, it appears that MPW’s collaboration with Manchester based brewery, JW Lees and the subsequent removal of customers favorites such as Fosters and Strongbow from a few of his Gastropubs also fall within the same six month period.
The newly created real ale, called the Governor, after his fathers greyhound failed to capture anyone’s imagination and only poured salt on the wounds of his establishments regulars who having failed to embrace his changes, continued to pine for their old, now removed, favorites.
It seems that I should have clung on to my bottle of “The Governor”. Internet articles referencing the beer do exist, but are short in both content and number. In fact I may have endured an item that would have been better placed in my special collectors box, which I keep under an inch of dust beside the bin.
The Governor which was launched in both cask and bottle, comes in 500ml bottle and is served at 4.1%. The label which is signed, not by Marco but the breweries Michael Lee-Jones clearly outlines that this is a beer to be combined with food.
To be fair in my assessment, I whipped up a full bowl of dry roasted peanuts to compliment the Governor. The nuts didn’t so much as compliment this as save the entire experience
The Governor looks ok in the glass, the head is a little thin and it’s aroma isn’t the worst, the taste however was hard to find. It’s bland, tasteless, carbonated and weak. A complete miss for a product that markets itself as Real Ale. Suddenly it’s failure is making sense
But how does the story end, well after rejecting MPW’s plans for modernization. Modernization for not only their beloved bar but their individual palates, it was in fact a staff revolt that brought the curtain down. Legend now has it, that only one manager of a particular pub remained after the entirety of the venues staff walked out. The gastropub was shuttered and listed for sale shortly after..
This post began in the present but I quickly realized that it would only work as a historical piece. You see, The Beer that I picked up for less than a pound in, you guessed it, Home Bargains Larne, has seemingly become more elusive than a bottle of original recipe Sailor Jerry!
This isn’t down to some clever marketing ploy, designed to create demand through scarcity, a’la Cabbage Patch Dolls or Tracy Island at Christmas time. Nope, it seems that the truth actually lies in a culinary geniuses ego & the crucial massaging that although expected, didn’t come..
It is possible that a beer caused a successful business onto its knees?
What do you do to celebrate jacking in a day job, leaving the rat race & turning your home brewing hobby into your occupation? Well, if you are William Mayne you brew a beer to mark the occasion and call it P45! Seems pretty straightforward.
3 months ago in September 2017, Mr Mayne took that life altering plunge, which is impressive in its own right. The real proof (if needed) of the steelyness of this guys kahunas though, comes with the fact he only set up his brewery in 2016!
Utilising a bullpen, yep an actual pen in which live bulls would be kept, I’ll assume it wasn’t being used at the time. William Mayne began producing his craft beer on his grandparents farm in Newtownards, Northern Ireland (a few miles North East of Belfast)
Initially brewing less than 400 Litres of Beer per Batch, all of which was bottled and painstakingly labelled by hand. William emulated the marketing style of Del Boy and sold every bottle from the back of his little car!
Things have changed a little in the past 12 months, all for the positive. After picking up a local business accolade in late 2016 and hooking up with a local Distributor, William Mayne recently launched a crowdfunding campaign, with the aim of improving on site facilities, increasing the capacity for production & onsite bottling.
Having raised over ten thousand pounds in 28 days, it would seem that the story of Bullhouse Brewery is just getting started.
If you would like to support the expansion plans of Bullhouse sheer you can find more details here -
This is the official description of P45 from the company website at www.bullhousebeer.co.uk
“Dangerously drinkable Pale Ale. Strong Biscuity Backbone underpinned with a plentiful does of citrus fruit from the Amarillo”
I found it to be exactly as described. The citrus fruits, I’ll accept the mans word that hail from the Amarillo, mix well with the overall flavour. It’s definitely something i could drink a 6 pack of l, which is not something I can always say of craft beer. Eyes are peeled for the rest of the core range and the special brews popping up.
No one at www.Liquorjunky.com has any connection or financial interest in Bullhouse beer. I bought this can, drank it, liked it and here we are! Enjoy
In the last ten to fifteen years its been hard not to notice a significant increase in the number of gardens displaying ghoulish Halloween models from late September onwards or the sheer number of homes bedecked in streams of twinkling lights with Inflatable Snowmen and Reindeer guarding the front door. The finger, probably large & foam, can be pointed fairly and squarely at the good ol' USA.
Uncle Sam's Classic holiday traditions, that we are well accustomed to seeing on the silver screen, have steadily taken hold in our realities. In fact this is true to such an extent, that its highly probable you are currently living in a house that can quite possibly be seen from space. Of course, whether you embrace this décor personally or merely go along with the will of those in power, aka the kids, is irrelevant.
In spite of all this over exposure, far removed from the timeless beauty of a simple Christmas tree. Our Cousin's across the Pond have given us a classic holiday tradition that I will happily accept, and that tradition is Eggnog. The American as Apple Pie, Christmas delight that has quietly made its way to the UK, Europe and even Australia, where its popularity is said to mirror that of its home nation.
Pistonhead Kustom Lager is Kustom brewed with a double-clutch of Münchener and Pilsner malt injected with Spalter Select, Magnum and Perle hops that will leave a hint of bitterness on your lips, but never in your heart.
And for anyone that understands what the heck all that means, post it in the comments!
Brewed in Sweden for Brutal Brewing by Spendrups Bryggeri AB, Pistonhead Kustom Lager is a 4.8% Lager Beer.
Ah good old Lager! The drink from whence it all began, once considered the holy grail, but long replaced in my heart by IPA, APA & the rest of the craft cupboard.
It's not all bad, Lager treated me well when we were together, so perhaps I will always give it more kudos than it's due
Pouring a weak yellow with a flat slightly white head. It was weak on the nose, not really setting itself off on a good footing.
You really need a good old whiff, even risk getting the nose wet to see what's there, it's fruity when you find the scent.
Taste wise, its Lager, lager like it should & does taste! It's neither impressive nor offensive, but when thats your recipe & what people expect, then you can't really take flak for it.
If you are used to Budweiser & Coors then this will probably impress you. If you have already moved on to greater things, well, don't expect much
Definitely a beer to start the session on, working up to something with much more presence for the senses! Get it arse about face & you will probably spit it out, and well that's just rude.
Pistonhead brews are created by Brutal Brewing which was established in 2011. We are a serious about our brews, but not serious about much else—our simple mission is to create great drinks. Pistonhead supports artists of all types. We love creativity and individuality.
My local Home Bargains has been a home run for picking up discounted lagers of varied descriptions and it's where I found this Ale from Sadlers, named in honour of the Peaky Blinders from the excellent television series of the same name.
I only recently watched the first two seasons of the tv show and can only describe it as absolutely bloody brilliant! But then this post is about the Ale, so I'll leave it up to you to watch
Sadlers homeage to the Brunmie gang (Birmingham) is a 4.4% Black IPA - brewed with 5 different malts and 5 different hops.
Pouring dead of night countryside black with a thin off white head, Peaky Blinder is a strong toasted malt and coffee scent, it's a decent IPA with a strong deep long lasting aftertaste.
I wouldn't have liked to have spent much more in this, it's a decent beer if you can pick it up for the right price. It's good, but the tv show is better
I think I paid £1.50 for my bottle of Peaky Blinder in Home Bargains, Larne
The act or quality of being arrogant; haughty; undue assumption; overbearing conceit.
Way back in 1995, while Greg and Steve, the brains behind Stone Brewing were toiling to perfect the brewing process for their Stone Pale Ale, they made a glorious mistake which, far from being resigned to the bin of beer gone wrong, eventually fermented into Arrogant Brewing..
With an official release following 2 years later, the Arrogant bad boy found runaway success and officially split into his own brewery in 2015. With several variants on sale yearly the Bastards are bolstered by seasonal releases and a small batch series.
So with a brief family history in the bag, it's time to meet The Bastards, two brothers of differing size and strength. Like most families the eldest overpowers the youngest, which at 7.2% is a potent mix of classified hops!
It's a beer that's billed as one you shouldn't like, you won't like and in fact your not worthy of, as you my friend are more suited to the mass priced fizzy water that the zombie like population buy and drink on a weekly basis...
Well I for one saw the craft beer light a few years back and having been baptized into the world of Hoppy goodness think I'm ready for such a challenge.
Fast approaching his 20th Birthday, Arrogant Bastard Ale is brewed in the USA and Berlin by the European arm of its parent, Stone Brewing. Pouring a strong hazy mahogany this thick headed Bastard is very impressive in the glass. It's mighty strong both in flavour & ABV with a bitter taste and mouthfeel. I found it to be quite caramelly, with a whole lot of Arrogant thrown in
At 4.7% the little Bastard is a step down in strength but is it a Reduction in flavour? Brewed exclusively in Berlin (& on sale in only 7 European nations) at a lower ABV to satisfy the alcohol content rules of some EU nations, little bastard pours almost identical to its older brother. This is where the shared genetics stop! Of course it doesn't have the punch of Arrogant but it stands up on its own as a decent English strong Ale. It's a little lacking in flavour though, with a slight watery finish. Caramel is once again the present flavour.
I think the little guy suffers when enjoyed directly after the stronger sibling, but then with a reduction of 2.5% that's unavoidable. They may be family but to be enjoyed on their own merits you need to crack the smaller of the two and then work up to the big guy.
I picked up the Bastards in the Vineyard on Belfasts, Ormeau Road.
I may not be worthy, but I don't give a shit! I'll be back to drink more you Arrogant Bastard...