About two weeks ago now, I was kindly invited down to the Botanist in Leeds to try out their new around the world ale taster.
As you know, I don’t really drink alcohol, especially ales, but I thought I would give it a go. I mean what’s the worst that could happen?
The Botanist, are a chain of restaurant/bars, check your area there’s probably one right under your nose, who specialise in high quality unique ales, good food, and live music in a quirky surrounding.
Once I had arrived, I was kindly greeted by our friendly hosts, Laura and Kiran, and shown to my seat. I didn’t tell them I was coming with a massive white stick, so god only knows what they thought, haha!
Once I was seated, I started to have a little look around. When they say quirky, they’re not joking. I was sat on a long picnic table in a makeshift potting shed.
Once everyone was introduced to one another, Kiran started speaking.
He started by thanking everyone for coming, and he then started talking about the ingredients and the process they go through to become an ale. He passed around a small bottle of Hops, that for some reason smelled of chocolate. I’m not sure either but it had a very strange texture.
After that, he started showing us all of the ales.
In total there was eight. I’m not going to mention all eight, you’ll have to visit the Botanist for that, but here’s the ones that stood out.
Firstly the Schlenkerla Marzen from Germany. This kind of screws with your senses as it smells of Bacon and Cheese. Don’t worry, it doesn’t taste like it. It just tastes extremely smoky. It would go really nice with a thick juicy Steak.
Next is the Lindermen’s Cuvee Rene Gueuze from Belgium. This was extremely sour and reminded me of Cider. I think this one would go really well with a nice peice of Fish.
The last one has to be the Lefthand Nitro Milk Stout from the USA. It tastes like an alcoholic mocha with a touch of vanilla. It’s the texture that threw me. It’s just like drinking a glass of milk. The cool thing about this is it contains nitrous oxide, so you have to pour it in a very specific way. You have to tip it upside down and let it cascade.
With all the alcohol inside me, I needed some food. Luckily the Botanist had some delicious snacks on offer.
There was Camerbert, you know my thing about Cheese so I didn’t eat it, but there was also Sausages, Onion and Garlic Petals, and Calamari, which were gorgeous.
After all the ale had been drunk, a few of us just hung out and chatted. As well as me there was Jamie, Kariss, Faith and her husband,at least I think it was her husband, and Phoebe and her hilarious boyfriend.
I had an awesome time meeting everyone and trying all the amazing ales. I wasn’t an ale lover when I entered but I certainly am now.
The Botanist offer a number of tasteing packages including this one, a UK one and many more. If you would like to find out more about The Botanist, you can find them here.
I would just like to say a massive thank you to The Botanist for having me, and I highly recommend you check them out.
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