All I Ask Is a Tall Glass and a Beer to Fill Her By

By Rachel Riot and Kunoichi Erica
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Jun. 5, 2009

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“Give my people plenty of beer, good beer and cheap beer, and you will have no revolution among them.” — Queen Victoria

Wise words from the queen.  We especially like the advice that good beer should be cheap.  Maybe it’s time the new administration took a hint from our former rulers and passed the 28th Amendment: ‘ The right to drink and bear change in the wallet.’

In honor of her long-gone majesty, we’ve sallied forth with two beers redolent of ages past:

Southampton Imperial Porter 7.5% ABV 

Southampton Brewery, rather like Detective Holmes, prides itself on its “infinite variety” — of craft brews, that is.

Kunoichi Erica: Porter. The word stared merrily up at me from the menu at South Philly Taproom, calling to mind images from my youth, which, as a self-professed bibliophile, was spent mostly indoors sprawled on the floor with a good book. It was in the old English novels that visionaries like Charles Dickens first hinted to me of the comforting qualities of the red-cheeked cherub the adults termed as “beer.” At last, I was determined to try this staple of Victorian culture that so fascinated me at an early age and, like the fiddler in A Christmas Carol, to "dip my face in it."

As the waiter deposited his dark burden before me, the aroma of blackberry soda invaded my olfactory.  It was soon complimented by the swift, bitter punch of black licorice.  Overall, this porter reminded me of a hearty shepherd’s pie — there wasn’t enough bang to make it one of my favorites, yet it offered the warm delight that accompanies most comfort foods.  My tongue was pleasantly insulated with the bitter taste of ale, which served as a steady companion throughout the meal.  Southampton Imperial Porter will definitely be a beer I call on once the winter months roll back in, and I find myself in need of a bit of good, old-fashioned indolence from the Publick House.

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Whilst Kunoichi Erica was stomping through 19th century England, Rachel Riot was also there storming the heavy seas.

Aye matey hold onto your britches:

Heavy Seas Holy Sheet Abbey Ale 9% ABV

Drink up me 'earties, yo ho.

Rachel Riot: To sail the seas or wait ashore was my initial thought about this Abbey Ale.  After a few minutes of debating and advice from the bartender I decided a 9% beer pint for $5 seemed like an opportunity this thirsty lass couldn’t pass up.

OH HOLY SHEET! This full-bodied beer with a dark ruby glow was a great choice! The aroma is sweet and somewhat flowery (which initially frightened the hell out of this floral hop hater) but the taste is mostly of  tart fruits, spices, and hints of caramel. It’s a strong beer with a bite that tingles the side of the tongue but leaves a smooth and appealing aftertaste. If you want a bang for your buck this is the beer to buy!  One or two glasses of this fine ale and you’ll be staggering like a lily-livered pirate after having a bit too much grog with his favorite wenches. Argh!

Rachel Riot and Kunoichi Erica are pseudonyms for the writers of Philadelphia ExBEERiment, where this post first appeared.

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