Guinness Black Bottom Cupcakes (All credit to Sweet & Stout)

Today is St Patrick’s Day and, whether you like it or not, annoyingly (as an Englishman), this day is celebrated the world over and with plenty of the black stuff sunk. I say annoyingly, it’s not like I have anything against the Irish, only ‘their day’ has more importance than St George’s. Oh well.

Anyway, rambling aside, I stumbled upon a recipe on the fantastic Sweet & Stout blog for Guinness Black Bottom Cupcakes. So I thought, why not!?

I had to adapt the recipe somewhat from the US ‘cup’ quantities, but think it worked out ok. 
 
For the bottom
 
192g of flour
20g unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
200g sugar
1/2 tsp salt
113g melted butter (I used unsalted)
1/2 pint of stout
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp white vinegar
 
For the top
 
500g cream cheese (Philadelphia)
1 egg
67g sugar
1/4 tsp salt
 
Not too sure whether I put too much mixture in or the muffin cases were just huge, but all in all I probably cooked them for about 35-40mins (as opposed to the 18-20 recommended) as the cream cheese mix was still far too wobbly. So I’d probably use this as a general rule of thumb.

A big thanks to Jackie at Sweet & Stout for the recipe - they look awesome! (although not quite as awesome as hers!) 

Guinness Black Bottom Cupcakes (All credit to Sweet & Stout)


Today is St Patrick’s Day and, whether you like it or not, annoyingly (as an Englishman), this day is celebrated the world over and with plenty of the black stuff sunk. I say annoyingly, it’s not like I have anything against the Irish, only ‘their day’ has more importance than St George’s. Oh well.


Anyway, rambling aside, I stumbled upon a recipe on the fantastic Sweet & Stout blog for Guinness Black Bottom Cupcakes. So I thought, why not!?


I had to adapt the recipe somewhat from the US ‘cup’ quantities, but think it worked out ok. 

 

For the bottom

 

192g of flour

20g unsweetened cocoa

1 tsp baking powder

200g sugar

1/2 tsp salt

113g melted butter (I used unsalted)

1/2 pint of stout

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp white vinegar

 

For the top

 

500g cream cheese (Philadelphia)

1 egg

67g sugar

1/4 tsp salt

 

Not too sure whether I put too much mixture in or the muffin cases were just huge, but all in all I probably cooked them for about 35-40mins (as opposed to the 18-20 recommended) as the cream cheese mix was still far too wobbly. So I’d probably use this as a general rule of thumb.

A big thanks to Jackie at Sweet & Stout for the recipe - they look awesome! (although not quite as awesome as hers!) 

The Kernel - Imperial Brown Stout 9.2%Every once in a while you have something that blows your socks off, makes you screw up your face and say wow. This beer was one of those moments. Big rum and raisins on the snout, cherries, marzipan, slight hint of coffee beans. Then the blow your mind moment comes. That taste that not only lives up to the nose, but completely smashes it. It’s like an explosion of the best boozy Christmas cake in your mouth, only without the overpoweringness off the booze. If that makes sense. It’s just full of that flavour. This rolls over your tongue like velvet and the flavours keep on exploding, sweet up front, that bitter dark chocolate on the middle and a creeping warming, wintery hug at the back. Without doubt, this is right up there with one of the best imperial stouts I’ve drunk. If not THE best. If you see it, buy it.

The Kernel - Imperial Brown Stout 9.2%

Every once in a while you have something that blows your socks off, makes you screw up your face and say wow. This beer was one of those moments. Big rum and raisins on the snout, cherries, marzipan, slight hint of coffee beans. Then the blow your mind moment comes. That taste that not only lives up to the nose, but completely smashes it. It’s like an explosion of the best boozy Christmas cake in your mouth, only without the overpoweringness off the booze. If that makes sense. It’s just full of that flavour. This rolls over your tongue like velvet and the flavours keep on exploding, sweet up front, that bitter dark chocolate on the middle and a creeping warming, wintery hug at the back. 

Without doubt, this is right up there with one of the best imperial stouts I’ve drunk. If not THE best. If you see it, buy it.

The Kernel - Pale Ale S.C.A.G. 5.4%Just looks glorious in the glass, doesn’t it? Inviting with its white fluffy head. Lovely tropical fruit nose on this; mango, pineapple, then it’s sweet up front with a smooth but slightly carbonated mouthfeel, followed by a creeping grapefruit bitterness at the back that lingers. Lovely, lovely pale this one. And a cracker that it’s a 500ml bottle. There’s just something about The Kernel stuff that’s very special. Something premium. Like nothing else. You can just taste the quality.Oh and the hops in this one are Simcoe, Columbus, Amarillo and Galaxy

The Kernel - Pale Ale S.C.A.G. 5.4%

Just looks glorious in the glass, doesn’t it? Inviting with its white fluffy head. Lovely tropical fruit nose on this; mango, pineapple, then it’s sweet up front with a smooth but slightly carbonated mouthfeel, followed by a creeping grapefruit bitterness at the back that lingers. Lovely, lovely pale this one. And a cracker that it’s a 500ml bottle. There’s just something about The Kernel stuff that’s very special. Something premium. Like nothing else. You can just taste the quality.

Oh and the hops in this one are Simcoe, Columbus, Amarillo and Galaxy

The Kernel - India Pale Ale Double Black 9.8%

I’ve only ever had one experience of a black IPA, and that was only this past weekend at London Brewers Alliance - Brodie’s Black IPA - mental experience; big grapefruit nose and bitter kick, but a smoother mouthfeel and all from a beer that looks like stout. Bizarre. So this being an imperial I was excited by the thought of this being even bigger. I bought this from Utobeer in Borough Market before I went to the event.  You’ll have to excuse the fact I didn’t even get a snap of the beer in the glass, I only realised after it was all gone. Seriously, I was THAT absorbed by this beer. But you can pretty much guess it was almost jet black with a slight reddy/brown tinge.

Initial punch of grapefruit and mango on the nose, later getting sweet, sticky piney aromas, typical of a big IPA. Light carbonation on the tongue. Bitter grapefruit up front, definitely getting that familiar imperial IPA sweet sticky mouthfeel as well, akin to say a Human Cannonball but a massively smoother, softer almost sweet caramel mouthfeel in the finish. And as you’d expect, still getting that wicked grapefruit bitterness nibbling and lingering at the back. This beer is absolutely sensational. I’m proper gutted I didn’t pick up more than one now and hopefully I’ll be able to grab some more in London next week. 10/10 from me.

The Kernel - India Pale Ale Double Black 9.8%

I’ve only ever had one experience of a black IPA, and that was only this past weekend at London Brewers Alliance - Brodie’s Black IPA - mental experience; big grapefruit nose and bitter kick, but a smoother mouthfeel and all from a beer that looks like stout. Bizarre. So this being an imperial I was excited by the thought of this being even bigger. I bought this from Utobeer in Borough Market before I went to the event. You’ll have to excuse the fact I didn’t even get a snap of the beer in the glass, I only realised after it was all gone. Seriously, I was THAT absorbed by this beer. But you can pretty much guess it was almost jet black with a slight reddy/brown tinge.

Initial punch of grapefruit and mango on the nose, later getting sweet, sticky piney aromas, typical of a big IPA. Light carbonation on the tongue. Bitter grapefruit up front, definitely getting that familiar imperial IPA sweet sticky mouthfeel as well, akin to say a Human Cannonball but a massively smoother, softer almost sweet caramel mouthfeel in the finish. And as you’d expect, still getting that wicked grapefruit bitterness nibbling and lingering at the back. This beer is absolutely sensational. I’m proper gutted I didn’t pick up more than one now and hopefully I’ll be able to grab some more in London next week. 10/10 from me.

Magic Rock Human Cannonball 9.2% £3 330ml bottle

Magic Rock Brewing may be relatively new on the block but in the short time they’ve been on the scene they’ve created quite a stir. Not through any particular gimmicks, their branding is funky, contemporary, stylish - however, their brews more than do the talking. Human Cannonball is the bigger brother to their flagship IPA, Cannonball, this being a double IPA weighing in at 9.2%. Smacks of grapefruit as soon as you pop the cap, sticky and sweet, pours a deep reddy orange. The huge hop aroma follows though with notes of orange pith, more sweet pine stickiness and a tongue tackling hoppy bitter attack at the back. The alcohol is well balanced here, no burn, but you definitely start to feel it as you’re halfway down the glass. Human Cannonball really does the business. An absolute stunner. I’ve already got this down as a staple heavy hitter for the cupboard and almost regret only ordering 3.

Magic Rock Human Cannonball 9.2% £3 330ml bottle

Magic Rock Brewing may be relatively new on the block but in the short time they’ve been on the scene they’ve created quite a stir. Not through any particular gimmicks, their branding is funky, contemporary, stylish - however, their brews more than do the talking. Human Cannonball is the bigger brother to their flagship IPA, Cannonball, this being a double IPA weighing in at 9.2%. Smacks of grapefruit as soon as you pop the cap, sticky and sweet, pours a deep reddy orange. The huge hop aroma follows though with notes of orange pith, more sweet pine stickiness and a tongue tackling hoppy bitter attack at the back. The alcohol is well balanced here, no burn, but you definitely start to feel it as you’re halfway down the glass. Human Cannonball really does the business. An absolute stunner. I’ve already got this down as a staple heavy hitter for the cupboard and almost regret only ordering 3.

Odell Brewing Co. - St. Lupulin 6.5% (Seasonal)

I wasn’t too sure what to expect with this beer, being an ‘extra’ pale ale I knew it was gonna be punchy, but concerning flavours, it was definitely gonna be a new experience. As soon as you pop the cap off and stick your nose over the bottle, you’re greeted by bursting hops, pine and passion fruit. This pours a clear orange colour with quite a fluffy head. Also to note is there is a fair amount of lacing as you drink down.  Did I mention this is bursting with hops? A definite taste sensation. As you drink, you’re getting fizzy sweets, loads of tropical fruit notes from the hops, more passion fruit, pineapple, mango. The hops aren’t too overpowering though, and the bitterness is balanced out quite nicely with the malt. There is SUCH a fine line between this extra and an IPA, it just ‘lacks’ that big bitter, dry kick at the back and it’s not quite as full bodied - which are the only things that separate them. Otherwise, it really reminded me of Victory’s Hop Devil IPA. I dunno why, but that IPA immediately came to my mind last night when drinking it.  Either way, this is a monster of a beer, and definitely one I’d recommend and repeat another time!

Odell Brewing Co. - St. Lupulin 6.5% (Seasonal)

I wasn’t too sure what to expect with this beer, being an ‘extra’ pale ale I knew it was gonna be punchy, but concerning flavours, it was definitely gonna be a new experience. As soon as you pop the cap off and stick your nose over the bottle, you’re greeted by bursting hops, pine and passion fruit. This pours a clear orange colour with quite a fluffy head. Also to note is there is a fair amount of lacing as you drink down.  Did I mention this is bursting with hops? A definite taste sensation. As you drink, you’re getting fizzy sweets, loads of tropical fruit notes from the hops, more passion fruit, pineapple, mango. The hops aren’t too overpowering though, and the bitterness is balanced out quite nicely with the malt. There is SUCH a fine line between this extra and an IPA, it just ‘lacks’ that big bitter, dry kick at the back and it’s not quite as full bodied - which are the only things that separate them. Otherwise, it really reminded me of Victory’s Hop Devil IPA. I dunno why, but that IPA immediately came to my mind last night when drinking it.  Either way, this is a monster of a beer, and definitely one I’d recommend and repeat another time!

Thornbridge - Versa 5%
I’ve had this once before, key keg at The Evening Star in Brighton, and really loved it. So I knew the next haul of beers I ordered in, this was gonna be on the list. Pours a sort of fawny, cloudy orange colour and pongs of herbs, banana and orange pith. And the taste does not disappoint. BIG amounts of banana (reminds me of those quality banana foam penny sweets), tangerine, with a slight herb undertone. Such a wicked mouth-feel - so smooth. Then there’s the chewy natteriness you do with your back teeth after it slides down as the bubblegum hits you. This is one proper awesome and very, very morerish weissbier and I would put this up there with some of the best. If you’ve never tried this - buy it. Now. It’s a bargain at Á£2.50 for 500ml of pure goodness.

Thornbridge - Versa 5%

I’ve had this once before, key keg at The Evening Star in Brighton, and really loved it. So I knew the next haul of beers I ordered in, this was gonna be on the list. Pours a sort of fawny, cloudy orange colour and pongs of herbs, banana and orange pith. And the taste does not disappoint. BIG amounts of banana (reminds me of those quality banana foam penny sweets), tangerine, with a slight herb undertone. Such a wicked mouth-feel - so smooth. Then there’s the chewy natteriness you do with your back teeth after it slides down as the bubblegum hits you. This is one proper awesome and very, very morerish weissbier and I would put this up there with some of the best. If you’ve never tried this - buy it. Now. It’s a bargain at Á£2.50 for 500ml of pure goodness.

Fallen Angel Brewery - Lemon Weissbier 4.8%

This brewery is a tiny little brewery out in East Sussex that I stumbled upon online about a month or so back. Their distribution is pretty small, but I did find one place that stocked their stuff - a garden centre about a 10 minute drive away. Anyways, managed to grab a few of their wares last weekend, and although unfortunately I had missed the lovely late British summer weather to crack this one open, I decided to just go for it last night.  I had my eye on this particular one since checking out their website, it seemed interesting, and ever since then I’ve been imagining lemon meringue in a glass. That, however, was sadly not the case.   This pours a deep dull orange colour, looks reminiscent of cloudy apple juice. The pong is raisins and citrus. Weirdly I just couldn’t get the apple juice thing out of my head; it tasted like a slightly carbonated Scrumpy Jack. But a lemony version. Hard to explain. This was after I’d poured a half glass and as per the label suggestion - make sure all the yeast goes in - and once it did, it definitely gave the beer a more zippy, tangy, bitter lemon punch. But this is one majorly tart hefeweisen. Hugely tart. It’s really not unpleasant in any way, but it was just interestingly different. Also tasted herby notes coming through and eventually towards the end of the glass I started to get an after-taste of banana, which was finally something more familiar to expect from a weissbier. I think this is one I will definitely be re-buying next year for a hot, sunny afternoon barbecue occasion. I was just thrown back by how mental this was for a wheat beer.  

Caldera Brewing Co. - IPA 6.1%

The first lot of my beers from my recent haul at mybrewerytap was Caldera Brewing Co.’s IPA. Two reasons I chose to drink this first - I really like the can concept, especially for an IPA, even though cans are something you would automatically relate to tinned nat’s piss like Foster’s and Carling. In the craft beer world, cans are a rarity, but the difference being, you know the contents are gonna be good. But, yeah, I also wanted to guzzle this first as it was gonna be the quickest thing to chill in the fridge!  I’m always excited to try a new IPA and like many I’d say it’s probably my favourite style. This poured a lovely burnt orange colour with a slightly thick off white head that stays a mm or so high and clung to the sides of the glass. The whiff is everything you’d expect from an American IPA which follows through to the palate; pine, tropical fruit notes like mango and pineapple. Also a bit of a sweet, sticky scent. One mouthful and BAM!! - my tastebuds were literally doing a fucking riverdance, the hop bite at the back is wicked and it sticks around tapping away at the back of your mouth….and it keeps going on…and on…and on! This is an IPA I would definitely recommend, and will be buying again. Shame I don’t live in America where I could just go and buy a 6 pack of these relatively cheap

William Bros. Brewery - Profanity Stout 7%This is the second bottle of this I’ve bought and meant to write about it first time around. Now I’ve got another bottle in my hand I just had to get something written down as this beer is definitely worth shouting about.  Now a lot of stouts you drink, well modern stouts, seem to be brimming over with either dominating chocolate or coffee flavours. This, however, doesn’t. Which is quite refreshing. Of course, it does have subtle coffee and roasted chocolate malt undertones, but neither are dominating the flavour which basically gives the drink a really well balanced taste. Sweet treacle toffee flavours hit you up front, lovely mouthfeel, and a really welcoming (not brutal) bitterness at the back which is when you get the subtle chocolate and coffee flavours. Closely followed by a nice warming hit of booze. Lovely. Lovely. Lovely.  I can’t believe this beer didn’t even make top 8 in Sainsbury’s recent Great British Beer Hunt. Hopefully one of the supermarkets will have the brains to stock this full-time.

William Bros. Brewery - Profanity Stout 7%

This is the second bottle of this I’ve bought and meant to write about it first time around. Now I’ve got another bottle in my hand I just had to get something written down as this beer is definitely worth shouting about.  Now a lot of stouts you drink, well modern stouts, seem to be brimming over with either dominating chocolate or coffee flavours. This, however, doesn’t. Which is quite refreshing. Of course, it does have subtle coffee and roasted chocolate malt undertones, but neither are dominating the flavour which basically gives the drink a really well balanced taste. Sweet treacle toffee flavours hit you up front, lovely mouthfeel, and a really welcoming (not brutal) bitterness at the back which is when you get the subtle chocolate and coffee flavours. Closely followed by a nice warming hit of booze. Lovely. Lovely. Lovely.  I can’t believe this beer didn’t even make top 8 in Sainsbury’s recent Great British Beer Hunt. Hopefully one of the supermarkets will have the brains to stock this full-time.