And I did have a couple of Galway Bay beers to share.
So the evening started off with an enjoyable dark lager – Tmavy Lezak at 5% – which is always a favourite style of mine.
Having first encountered a black lager at a shopping centre in Potsdam, Germany – visually appearing as stout yet tasting like a slightly burnt fresh lager gave an entertaining experience – I seek out these enjoyable beers & Galway Bay’s offering didn’t disappoint.
The main event however was a stonking 13.6% Barrel Aged Imperial Stout by the name of Counting Off The Days.
Rich dark & chocolatey – & that’s just the nose!
The palate was so rich & dense with flavour you could chew on it.
Yet there was a lively fresh vanilla from the barrel ageing too.
We had a whiskey chaser on standby for afterwards – but I’m afraid Counting Off The Days counted us out & we were unable for additional alcohol.
After having a run of underrated bargain basement beauties with Lidl’s Liberté Rum & Dunnes’ JG Kinsey Whisky – I suppose a disappointment was inevitable.
Aldi’s Old Hopking White Rum is presented with a rather plain white label that gives little away.
‘Bottled In Germany’ it says. A common practice using ‘Imported Rum’ from undisclosed sources. Where the sugarcane or molasses came from is not stated – nor method of distillation. At this price point – that information is a bonus.
So onto a taster.
A perfumed floral aroma greeted me.
More reminiscent of my wife’s gin rather than a rum!
This followed through in the palate – which was smooth & mellow – with a mild heat to keep it real – but otherwise no defining character.
Old Hopking is a simple easy sipper – but I wasn’t expecting a rose garden in my rum!
I don’t know if Lidl are ahead of the posse predicting a Rum revival – but they have another miniature selection I couldn’t resist.
Comprising of 4 x 40ml servings under the Ron Rumbero label – courtesy of Bimmerle KG, a German spirits producer & importer – with Cuban Rum being the source.
Ron Rumbero, Spiced Spirit, 37.5%
An attractively well balanced spiced rum offering. A bit too sweet for my liking – but a dark chocolate start contrasts with a gentle chilli led spicy finish.
Ron Rumbero, Cream Liqueur with Rum, 15%
An easy going creamy liqueur that provides an entertaining alternative to the whiskey derived offerings. Sweet, thick & creamy with a decent hit of rum on the finish too!
Ron Rumbero, 3 Años, 38%
Now this one surprised me! A definite vegetal funk on the nose. Slightly sweet yet smooth palate with a lovely flourish of spice on the finish. A great combination.
Ron Rumbero, 7 Años, 38%
Rich, warm & inviting. Slightly oaky. Smooth delivery. The dry oaky tannins are reminiscent of a good whiskey. Not bad.
A lovely little quartet of rums to whet your appetite.
When choosing my favourite I had a little surprise. Normally I’d go for the aged version – but with these – the wonderful balance of the funky start & gorgeously spicy finish of the 3 Años won out in this instance.
If only I could get a full size bottle for the shelf!