Action Figures & Their Beers - Hog-wild & hog-tied

by Beedo Sookcool
on 2013-04-22, 04:37:01

FORTYNINER

Ringwood Brewery, located in the New Forest, has wild-boar-themed labels on its beers. There are actually quite a few pig-themed action figures out there, but I don’t own many of them. So it is with no small amount of glee that I’ve found some good beer / toy synergy for this pairing. Ringwood makes Fortyniner ale. Fortyniner brings to mind miners. Miners + pigs = Ugnaughts! So I bring you a crowd of Ugnaughts. And with Ugnaughts, you gotta have Oznemoc. And with Oznemoc, you gotta have Mynock-Man stomping the ever-living pudu out of him. (Instant “Like” from Bill.)

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Brought to us by the same fine brewery that makes Old Thumper, Fortyniner is made with Maris Otter barley, and Goldings, Progress, Fuggles, and Challenger hops. This 4.9% ABV beer, “a celebration of the New Forest, is a full bodied premium golden beer with a deep bitter-sweet finish.” Yep, that’s fairly accurate . . . when the beer is fresh. You see, what with one thing and another, I had a bottle of this stuff standing around for months waiting for me to get off my arse, gather up the figures, dust everything off (literally), do the photoshoot, and write the review. And in that time, something interesting happened. What started out (as advertised) as a bold, rich beer with an aftertaste you could shave with, once it got about a month and a half past its “Best By” date, turned into a completely different beer.

And possibly a better one, at that.

This is what I wrote after drinking the out-of-date stuff: “This is a much more easygoing beer than Old Thumper. It’s actually quite mellow, but still retains a satisfying richness. It’s kind of like the beer equivalent of Madeira cake or pound cake: it’s not intensely flavoured, but you do get a sense that you’re having something that’s a bit more decadent than the baseline fare. Good for accompanying mild, salty snacks, or just sitting down and drinking.”

As regular readers (both of you) may have picked up on, I’m not generally a huge fan of bitterness or heavily-hopped beers. And the longer you leave a hoppy beer untouched, the more it mellows (or “wussifies,” if you like hoppy beers). And having aged a bottle of Fortyniner for a year or so (inadvertently), I really, really enjoyed it. Then I decided to get a fresh bottle and see how it was meant to taste . . . .

Kee-ripes, what a difference! The basic flavour is essentially the same, but in the way that a bird’s-eye chili is essentially the same as a jalapeño. It’s just orders of magnitude moreso. And then the aftertaste, sharp and hoppy, but cut with a bit of sweetness throughout, sets about your tongue like it overheard your tongue talking smack about the aftertaste’s mother.

Personally, I prefer the aged Fortyniner. Apart form the pleasing mellowness, it seems like it would be more versatile. Fresh Fortyniner is intense enough that it might only be worth accompanying bold snacks or game dishes.

Drink this if you also like: Old Thumper, other Ringwood beers, bitters, and red beers (if drunk freshly-bottled), or rich mellow beers in general (if you age it about a year).





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