Truth be told, it’s not every day that we receive specially marked packages here at SA VIBE, more so in the form of beer. But there’s a story to this. A few weeks ago I stumbled upon a press release on the new Castle Milk Stout Ultra Smooth and was highly intrigued by the emphasis and special mention the brewers made to ‘first nitrogenated draught in a can’. Knowing us, we had to get a hands-on.. erm, our taste buds rather, on the actual product.
The note accompanying our CMS Ultra Smooth trial pack boldly claimed that we have been specially handpicked to try out the newly launched offering. Au naturel, I had to pop my two new best friends (read; long toms) in the fridge to a perfect, utmost chill before I could savior THAT moment we always hear about on these Castle Milk Stout ads. Fair enough, this allowed me enough time to read through the page long instructions on how to enjoy that perfectly brewed draught at home with a full creamy head – the way I am actually supposed to enjoy it. (Spoiler alert: I actually pulled the creamy head off, read further to find out how)
I actually did not have my CMS Ultra Smooth in that moment, I had to wait for the perfect setting first. Sunday afternoon. My new friends had been chilling perfectly over the weekend at just -3 degrees for 48 or so hours, I had to calm the glass to at least 3 degrees 15 minutes prior too (this is not necessary). The glass had to be long enough. Referring to my instructional note at hand, I perfectly placed my glass down – not tilting it, remember this is where the theatrical moment comes in – poured out all my Ultra Smooth contents at an +180 degree angle, directly into my glass as quick as possible and with just the perfectly mastered technique to get a big head of foam. The foam head was tight and creamy as the press release suggested. The foam looked too good for me to allow it to pause and let settle.
This is where the instructional note caught me off guard. After stealing a taste from my foamy head, the note suggested that ‘A Castle Milk Stout drinker is someone who takes the time to appreciate things in life.’ explains why this was my first time trying out CMS.
As suggested, I waited about 5 minutes for the Ultra Smooth to settle – this patience thing is no joke. I have tons of respect for those who master it (patience) especially when there’s a sweating glass filled with chilled malt starring back at you. A distinctive line between the creamy foam and the rich dark Ultra Smooth goodness started showing which marked the end of my wait. It was time.
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But wait… This pretty much looked like an everyday process for CMS drinkers, where does the Ultra Smooth factors, balance of nitrogen and Co2 gases fit in? According to Frieda Dehrmann, Consumer Science and Sensory Manager at SAB; “Most beers are pressured with carbon dioxide, which gives them their sharp, effervescent quality. A nitrogenated beer is pressured with a mix of nitrogen and carbon dioxide.” Thus ensuring that the beer takes on a creamy mouth feel with tingling sweeter aspects drawn to the forefront.
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From the smell one would assume this would be a very malt-heavy beer and lacking on the hops and that it is, CMS is the only beer local beer that uses dark roasted malt. The flavors found in the smell are also very present in the taste with the heavy bready malts hitting the tongue first followed by the sweetness of the caramel. For the remainder of the beer the flavor passes from brown-sugar sweet to bready bitter while the malt fights for dominance. The finish is both dry and slightly. very slightly sweet leaving your taste-buds ready for the next drink.
There’s nothing more rewarding than getting to enjoy an ice cold beer – mastered to perfection – after reading a three page press release (take note all PRs). I raised my glass to the lazy Sunday rays and sipped on my Ultra Smooth through the little that was left of my creamy foam.
See the full image gallery and exclusive TVC after the jump
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