6th December SX Bottleshare LIVE!


This blog could go two ways, on one hand it could be a great laugh following from beer to beer at tonight’s Christmas Barley Wine Special SX Bottleshare, or it could be a huge mess, turn out not completed and ends the run of #BeerBloggingAdvent leaving me looking pathetic after 6 days! The plan is to try and write the shenanigans of the bottleshare, take some photos, upload them on the bus home and publishing the post before midnight in whatever state it may be… I will most likely be doing this on my phone so tomorrow I will tidy up the way it looks but won’t change the content…


It’s a cold December Tuesday night and the fog has stuck around a bit today, but a group of beer geeks have strapped up warm (minus Clayton’s shorts) so they can make their way down to the last SX Bottleshare of the year. Not that it was compulsory but it was encouraged to do a Barley Wine special (god knows why!) and also to wear a Christmas jumper, thankfully I don’t own a Christmas jumper but I am wearing a grey one, that’ll do.

It is about this point that I lost loads of content because WordPress app on the phone is shit! There was something about me calling Brewdog Bulldog and me announcing if anyone had seen Bulldogs latest bullshit, which takes it to a new place. It then really did lead it perfectly into my next bit about Hopinions number one mascot Dave pulling off the best Bulldog beer Instagram shot of 2016. I  think I listed all the beers I had pre bottlshare but they have gone… Before bottleshare started Steve made a speech thanking me for counting badges for #BadgeQuest2016, he then presented me with an amazing Thornbridge sign to put up on my bar wall. I was over the moon and really thankful, I can’t wait to put it up. We then started the bottleshare off with some new beers from Daz Oakley, I totally wrote about them but have lost them too, other than the last the beer from him we had, which was…..


Saison-ish is the next bottle, very floral on the nose and I’m getting rose water? Maybe just me! But yeah nice floral in taste, tingling on the tongue and complex. Without doubt my favourite. Steve quote… “I really like the saison” queue people ripping him on his beer o’clock show days of calling a Saison a sayzzon!

James is still stuck on a train somewhere so a big fuck you to Greater Anglia right now! In honour of shit trains we have opened a shit train Beer, Hop on Board from Virgin trains is a shit as the Greater Anglia train service. All agreed, creamy arse beer!

Terence the new Alehouse landlord has just dropped a bottle of Pig & Porter Gothic on the table (what a chap!), shit just got real! Pouring a dark black with a mahogany glow and only enough head to circle the glass. On the nose it smells incredible and to quote Justin with his superhuman taste interpretation “it smells just like a imperial chocolate brownie and tastes of licorice”. The bottle label is awesome.

First wee break of the evening. Someone in the loo next to me is either rowing on the phone to someone or is having a bad time right now!


James is here and he just walked in and slammed this beast on the table! Homebrewers, got to love them.. And two bottles of J.W Lees Harvest Ale 2006… 2006!!!! 10 years old! What an entrance..wp-1481062345908.jpg

Justin’s beer is Flying Dog Belgian Style Dark Ale, big and boozy! 10% not tasting that strong when drinking it but loads of warmth in the after taste. 5 years old too.
Double pours, one side we have Clayton’s fresh Adnams tally ho 2016 and on the other is Martin’s 2014 tally ho. Slightly disappointing show down, both very similar, the 2014 is very slightly enhanced. “I can’t remember which one is which and I can’t tell the difference” somebody says from down the table, maybe they need more ageing.
Tom just poured his own beer with “ohhhh yeah this is good” and to be fair he is right, it’s Manchester Star from J.W Lees. I had this a while back and really enjoyed it and it’s still on point.
40% battery in the phone.. Still some beers left I could be in trouble! Starting to feel the lights dim a bit but I don’t think anyone has adjusted the lights!
Jay has cracked the torpedo worth of home Brew black IPA. I personally wanted to do a two swig pass like a bottle of white lightening but apparently we have to pour it in bottles (boooooo!). Called Last Cup Of Sorrow it’s certainly not a cup of sorrow at all its tasting great, loads of mosaic on the nose and instantly telling you its a black IPA. Weighing in at about 6.7% ish this is a smashable beer and James best home brew yet I think.

 Steve brownies are out and there is an entire terry chocolate orange in there… Just sit back and imagine that! or you can look at the pure delight on Justin’s face below.


The bottles I brought to the table was Hackney Brewery’s award winning Barley Wine. Two 330mls to cover everyone, a few of us did share a bottle of this round mine a while back but to be honest it was in the middle of a bit of a session so I can’t fully remember how it was so I am looking forward to giving it another go. I popped them open and the first quote was “a real chardonnay character to it” pretty sure someone is taking the piss now! I personally think it is one of the smoothest easy drinking Barley wines I’ve had for along time. Dangerously drinkable.. Hackney any chance of this on cask?

Just before we open the next bottle we spark a convo about Aldi new “craft” wine, surprisingly we are all excited and half of us admit to having a bottle at home, myself included.


Ok, first time of the night I wasn’t paying attention, missed the beer, Clayton’s trying to take a dick pic with my camera up his shorts, James is travelling the world and everyone is rowing over the beer! It’s starting to go a bit mental.


 So the 2006 J.W Lees Harvest Ale bottle has just been opened and instantly I thought Steve was about an inch from blowing chunks! “Honestly it feels like I’ve been violated in every single way”.. I don’t think he liked it.”It’s like drinking sorrow”. I think it tastes ok, pretty old and slightly charcoal feeling. I’m in the middle and kind of weirdly get chocolate ice cream. However,  Justin loved it just said “it’s beautifully smooth”. So swings and round abouts.


Last bottle of the night is a bottle of victory old horizontal and the way I’m feeling I could be horizontal by the end of drinking of it. Congratulations on Andrew on his first last bottle of the night, I always hate being last to opening as usually I’m too pissed to pour. “This beers tastes like everything”.. Make of that what you will! I think it’s way too bitter, has Barley Wine flavours with a bitter finish which to me doesn’t work. That’s the last bottled beer of the evening but we are moving onto the post SX Bottleshare beers and the Straffe Hendrick has my name smothered all over it.


So I said I wouldn’t but we all knew I would, I’ve got a Straffe Hendrick Quadruple to finish (me off). Steve is talking Marvel Universe and Clay is talking about Peter Jackson’s first film Bad Taste and Feebles. No idea what Thomas is shouting at me, something about Buxton and Arsenal in the champions league but I’m not sure what’s going on. A mega decision crosses my mind,  do I get the 10:09 bus home or the 11:09 bus home.. I’m pretty sure I’ve got bacon at home so I’m think it’s time to dart off.
 Interesting quotes of the evening (without mentioning beers or names)
“I get baked beans on the nose”.
“I need to quality control the Stilton”
“Any preference on your cracker”
“Is it better with cheese?” – “I don’t know do the mega blend”
“Did somebody say spunk juice”
“malt.foward.lagers. Sounds shit to me”
“Blue nun was the first time I got drunk”
“Who’s on the undercarriage?”
“I’m getting a bit of jizz covered biscuits”
“That could be past peak”
“Smells like barrel aged arse juice”
And to finish it off, is this not the most arty photo of a cracker ever? Taken by Clayton…
Disclaimer – I was pretty mashup when this was wrote and for that I apologise. The beers I brought to SX Bottleshare was paid for by myself… All other beers by the other members

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