A full-bodied stout with a velvety mouthfeel. Bursting with aromas of roasted malt and chocolate. A hint of smokiness. Our Milk Stout combines a 250-year commitment to brewing dark beers with a determination to never stop innovating.
Marrying the deep roast characteristics of Guinness Draught with lactose sugar results in a unique stout with a subtle sweetness. Slight hints of caramel toffee are balanced by a subtle bitterness. Distinctly complex and best enjoyed in the company of an old friend.
Man, they are good with words! It's almost as if Mills and Boon wrote the advertising copy, A full-bodied stout with a velvety mouthfeel. Bursting with aromas of roasted malt and chocolate! Beer? That sounds like my perfect woman!!
Guinness Milk Stout. Say again, Milk Stout? It shows the power of the Guinness name and brand that I didn't walk right by this bottle, it doesn't exactly sound appealing to the palate. However Ignoring a new bottle of booze from Arthur would be considered a crime in these parts, so out of respect I picked up a few bottles on a 4 for £6 deal. The Brewers Projects latest beer is the modern take (If you consider 1875 modern)on aged beers and porter, its fresher, lighter and has one hell of a zing to it
Pouring deathly black with little head that moves on quickly this hits the nose like a lighter version of Guinness Stout. It's unmistakably Arthur and tastes like a fresher carbonated version of the famous black stuff. The initial aftertaste isn't great to be fair.. fizzy, almost like a soda.. Like a cold cola with an ABV. A 500ml bottle at 5% isn't slow to remind you that's its a alcohol infused child of the Open Gate Brewery and while it becomes more palatable through familiarity, this isn't one I would buy again.
The Great Guinness taste and scent is there, its a little too fresh and sparkly for me.
The First Sunday of February had arrived. Super Bowl Sunday was finally here. Now with the time difference between North America and Europe, the Game never usually begins in Ireland until close to midnight, or three am if the Host City is on the West Coast.
No matter how hard I try to stay awake, napping during the day, sleeping late that morning or drinking gallons of Red Bull until I'm pacing, involuntarily around the Bar. Come the end of the 1st quarter I'm losing the battle with slumber. Having already explained how my plan to go to the game had been crushed, thanks NFL. My desire to watch the spectacle in its home Country at a reasonable hour still appealed and thus it was included on my Bucket List.
The Day, or at the least the drinking portion, began in my Hotel Room. After nipping out for a Filet Steak at Longhorns Steakhouse on Highway 192, I decided to finish the beers I had bought the night before in Wal-Mart. It's almost shameful that after countless trips to the states I have only just to round to trying Yuengling, which I can strongly recommend. As anyone who has been following will know, I was staying at Cabana Bay Beach Resort on the Universal Orlando Complex and had a view of the new onsite Waterpark, Volcano Bay, which is under construction. So I sank a few cold ones while surveying the impressive volcano! At around 3:30 I hailed an Uber, if that's the correct term, using the new App on my phone.
This was my first time using Uber, so I was quite excited. A few nights previously I had asked the Barman in Bubba Gumps about the service, mainly if it was safe to use. He assured me that it was and even had a waiter, who drives for Lyft, come over and explain it to me. Both Guys completely missed the point I made about Uber being new in Ireland and that we consider it safe, as there are only three drivers on the whole Island, so everyone knows them. Some Americans really do believe everyone in Ireland knows each other.
Anyway, within a few minutes I found my Uber and was on my way. Typically, having travelled halfway around the World, my driver turned out to be French and spotting my Rugby Top, proceeded to dismiss American Football and discuss the 6 Nations Championship instead. ( I leave the Country for one Game and Ireland lose to Scotland)
Time has a way of disappearing when you are having fun, and that's what had happened to my stay in Lake Buena Vista. Having drank my way across the World, Disney World that is, it was time to pack up and move on. While sad to leave one of my favourite places, I was excited about the next part of my trip. It was only a short drive East bound on Interstate 4 to reach my final destination. Universal Orlando Resort was to be home for the next four nights and a room at their onsite Cabana Bay Beach Resort was waiting.
Universal Orlando Resort, formally Universal Studios Florida, or at least it was when I first visited back in 1992. Its a sprawling vacation destination that began quietly in the early 1990's on a small plot off I4 just South of Orlando. It has expanded rapidly since then and now included 5 onsite hotels, 2 Theme Parks, an entertainments district and a soon to open Water Park, Volcano Bay
I can take or leave chocolate. Its not something that I would crave or seek out on a daily basis. I have always been more of a savoury guy and would pick crisps/chips or nuts over anything sweet. Where am I going with this? Good question. While the whiff of chocolate may not cause me to instantly want some, I am drawn to Cadburys Cream Egg! For some reason, perhaps its the vibrant colours or the childhood association of carefree Easters, I have always been drawn to the foil wrapping of a Cream Egg. Which is what drew my attention to Phuket Lager Beer. When I looked at the bottle I thought cream egg. The Beer Itself was nestled on a shelf amongst, maybe 20 to 30 other brands of beer, but my eye was instantly drawn to it. Marketing Genius? Ok, just coincidence then.
Described on its Website, which has curiously been archived, as a fledgling boutique premium beer brand understood immediately by those who know the paradise island of Phuket as a “Tropical Getaway” . Phuket Lager Beer was launched 15 years ago in 2002 and is named after the Largest Island in Thailand. It has been marketed, & I assume this refers to Thailand, as a "Premium" Beer attaching itself to the laid back Beach Resort lifestyle of which it is named. Brewed with Hops from Germany and Jasmine Rice from its Homeland, its available via export in Europe and Australia.
It claims to have won a few awards, which I found quite staggering, until I realised they had been awarded in Thailand.
So, finally we get to the drinking! It pours a medium straw colour with a light head and settles nicely in the glass. While refreshing and crisp initially, once I got over the it's wet and it's cold tick box, the after taste was very poor and the overall experience wasn't good. It was weak, watery and almost unpleasant. In fact I struggled to finish the glass. That's always the sign of crappy beer.
It's a simple conclusion on this beer, don't waste your money. I have taken the financial hit to save you the hassle, you are welcome! However, wanting to be positive, as always. It is Possible to say something kind about what is otherwise a bleak brew. To that end I have included an image taken from the website. The beer may be crap but the beach looks inviting.
My bottle of Phuket Lager Beer was purchased at Gapwines in Carrickfergus, Country Antrim.
Part I is in the February archive! The link I posted was defective
By the time the Bus passed under the famous "Magic Kingdom" sign I was ready for another drink. Thankfully it's a short walk from the recently extended Bus Terminal across to the resort Monorail line, passing in front of The Railroad station at the Bottom of Main Street, USA along the way.
With two stops on the resort Monorail (Contemporary Resort & The Transportation & ticket centre, or TTC) prior to my destination, it wasn't long before the Monorail pulled into Disney's Polynesian Resort. This tropical resort sits on the shore of the Seven Seas Lagoon, with views across to the Magic Kingdom Park and has to be one of the coolest resorts on the property. While most of us go to Walt Disney World for the parks and entertainment, but if you have the time, some of the resorts are worth a visit.
Having visited this amazing hotel before I knew the layout of the great hall fairly well, but it still took a minute or two to find the discreet door that leads to possibly the most hyped little bar in the Orlando area.
Trader Sam's Grog Grotto is a relatively new addition to the Polynesian, that has become incredibly popular, due in part to the almost legendary reputation of its sister bar, Trader Sam's Enchanted Tiki Bar located at the Disneyland Resort in California. Despite Sam's low key façade, which could easily be overlooked by guests unaware of its existence, this little bar fills up quickly and queues and waitlists are not uncommon. Arriving at around 6pm on a Thursday in February, I was lucky not to encounter any delay in being admitted and was warmly welcomed by the hostess who is positioned just inside the door.
Small, dark and intimate, I found it to be holding about half of its 51 person capacity. Although relaxed with cool background music, I found that it got quite noisy whenever the cast members served up one of the speciality drinks, as certain cocktails are served with sounds effects and chants that some of the patrons were getting in on. Sitting alone at the Bar I intended to order something that came in a glass with no fanfare.
My Skipper (bar man) recommended the HippopotoMai- Tai A sweet concoction of Coruba Dark Rum, Bacardi Superior Rum, Bols Orange Curaço, Orgeat (almond) syrup, Organic Agave Nectar and lime juice. It was perfectly mixed & after a walk in the Florida heat, extremely refreshing. The cocktail came in a glass mug featuring, the Maui Tikiman who’s statue can be found in the Great Ceremonial Hall of the Polynesian. This Mug, like many of the glasses used in Trader Sam's was available to buy for a little extra, and this one actually looked pretty cool, so I picked one up on the way out.
Trader Sam's certainly has very cool décor, in fact the walls are packed out with bits and bobs based around the typically detailed Disney backstory that goes hand in hand with the Imagineers theming. Trader Sam, who can be found on the Jungle Cruise ride trading in heads, has some of the most interesting Concoctions on the property. Each with a backstory tied in with the legend who has his name on the door. As legend has it he gave up trading skulls and turned his hand to mixology.
The intention was to head upstairs to the Tambu Lounge and try another signature cocktail, before returning to Trader Sam's a little later in the evening when things had heated up.
Located a floor above Trader Sam's, The Tambu Lounge sits in the corner of the great Ceremonial Hall, on the edge of the O'Hana Restaurant. Its a busy open plan area where diners stop by on the way to or from their meal and its home to the famous Lapu Lapu. In spite of the amount of people waiting on their reservations at O'Hanas I was able to find an open stool at the bar and was warmly welcomed in that Disney way by Walter, who was tending Bar. A quick browse of the menu lead me to what I knew what I wanted, A big Pineapple filled with Liquor
The Lapu Lapu is a Pineapple filled with Myer’s Original Dark Rum and Tropical Fruit Juices topped with Bacardi 151 Rum. The novelty of drinking booze out of a big whack of fruit can never be overstated, though thankfully the cocktail tastes good on its own. A cheaper version can be bought minus the Pineapple, which looks a little bit more sophisticated and mature. But I was at Disney World after all, so where was the fun in that.
Settling into the atmosphere of my surroundings and eased by the booze I decided to extend my visit and ordered another Lapu Lapu. I found that when sitting alone at a bar, conversation with other tourists was easy flowing and the banter between the bar staff and the patrons was light but fun.
Walter suggested some light snacks and quickly passed me a bar menu. I didn't see much that I fancied on the list, but was taken with the Pulled Pork Nacho's. These are a base of thick-cut housemade potato chips, with layers of pulled pork and cheese. Finished off with a topping with a sweet and tangy pineapple salsa and a spicy mayonnaise.
These were amazing. The portion, priced at $8.99 was huge and great value considering Disney prices. I hardly made a dent despite the moreish quality of the dish.
I admitted defeat on the Nachos and full from the generous portion, settled up with Walter and headed for the exit. I never quite made it back to Trader Sam's, finding myself at the Polynesian Bus Stop awaiting a lift back to Disney Springs. After a short wait the Bus pulled in and I was homeward bound all set for an earlyish night. As I arrived back at Disney Springs the evening was in full swing and after a gentle walk back towards my hotel I found myself outside Raglan Road Irish Bar with a bit of a thirst.
I found a spot at the outside bar and ordered a draught pint of Magner's Irish Cider. I am a bit of a fan of the Clonmel Hard Cider and drink it regularly at home, so was excited to see it bearing the claim of being imported. Sadly the American market is being mislead, although palatable it was overly sweet and did not taste anything like the Magner's I know so well. It wasn't a bad stab at Hard Cider, but it wasn't as good as Angry Orchard Hard Cider.
Heading home after a tour across the World, I was already thinking about my move to the Universal Orlando Resort and a Margarita or two at Jimmy Buffett's place.
Thanks Disney World.