Red Label Beer Concentrate January 2012
I’ve been looking forward to trying this one and, as a CAMRA member (that’s the Campaign for Real Ale organisation) I have an interest in the small independent breweries and their products – from “Mild”, “Golden Ale” (my favourite type), right up to complex and full-flavoured “Stout”. I don’t have a lot of time for mass-produced stuff and lager in general, although I realise that it has a market – and a rather huge one as well.
I even made an attempt, well, several really, back in the 80s and 90s in brewing my own – often with “mixed” (read “shocking”)
results, so I gave all that up, especially as supermarkets started to offer a good selection of, at the time, unusual beers with even stranger sounding names – and this practice continues as there is now a huge range available and it’s quite reasonably priced.
So, that’s me and my relationship with beer and upon opening the little bottle of concentrate the aroma instantly took me back to the smell of a 5 gallon tub of young brewing beer mix in my back bedroom – lovely aroma, a bit like what you experience in the cellar of a pub or, if you’ve ever had the pleasure of working at a beer festival and you’re pouring the waste stuff from drip buckets down the drains at the end of a session (I know, sniff,
what a waste indeed……..)
Anyway, enough of my waffling, how did the beer concentrate vape once it was mixed? Would it remind me of a pint of one of my favourite brews? Right !! Where’s Sally? Ah, there she is……
Equipment – Sally the Silver Screwdriver, fitted with a clean 901LR attyMix #1
15 drops DV PI VG
6 drops TW RL FC Beer
9 drops DV PEG400 dilutant
10 drops VG / Vodka mix (85:15)
20mg nic strength, 15% flavour, Shake the dropper bottle and leave to rest for 24 hours.
Three drops into the drip-tip, here goes…. Well, there’s certainly flavour alright but, it’s the taste of the “smell” of a certain beer, and not the “flavour” of an actual beer whilst it’s being consumed – if you get my meaning. It really does taste like the smell of the concentrate which, to me was a little disappointing initially – reminding me of home-brewed liquids in the past where I’ve been too impatient and not allowing the yeast to do its job by fully turning the sugar into alcohol – more fool me. Nope, I can’t say that I’m really – hand on heart – enjoying this. Quite sweet and bags of vapour but, then again, my mixes are always going to be predominately VG based – hence the vapour clouds. There’s definitely flavour of some sort, but not what I was expecting (or hoping for) so perhaps an increase in concentrate is needed to bring out “a missing ingredient”………Mix #2
10 drops DV PI VG
6 drops TW RL FC Beer
7 drops DV PEG400 dilutant
7 drops VG / Vodka mix (85:15)
18mg nic strength, 20% flavour, Shake the dropper bottle and, again, leave to rest for 24 hours.
Better, much better, but I wasn’t really getting away from that “brewing process” / “waste beer” taste which, again, smelt exactly the same as the beer vape mix which I suppose in hindsight, it was always going to do. As this taste test took place over a weekend, I allowed myself to open a couple of bottles from one of my favourite breweries – from a lovely little setup in Oxfordshire – and, blow me down, the aroma from that opened bottle of beer was almost identical to the smell of the vape mix – uncanny, really.
Sure, the taste of the beer was completely different to the taste of the vape but, by now, I was realising that the beer flavour concentrate was trying to replicate the “smell of beer” nothing more, nothing less and – for that part – doing a reasonable job in the process. Left for a further 24 hours, the vape mix improved even more and seemed to taste smoother. Hmm, there’s hope for this yet…..In conclusion:
For me, mix #2 definitely was more to my liking that #1 and, with beer tasting being totally subjective, this isn’t a bad all-rounder - sweetness on the inhale but this all but disappears on the exhale and aftertaste. A golden ale in the “real world” is not going to resemble anything like a proper chocolate and fruit infused stout, for example and, that said, I’ve tried certain stout vaping liquids in the past which have tasted more like toffee or caramel but still, quite nice.
Take the beer flavour concentrate for what it is – it smells like the stuff and, as for the taste, well, as I’ve stated it’s all rather subjective, isn’t it? Do, however, leave any concoction you make to steep for a couple of days and you’ll be pleasantly surprised as the TW RL Beer Flavour Concentrate has gone in the space of a couple of days, for me, from something “I’ll probably never try again” to “I’ll definitely enjoy once in a while”….
Happy mixing and cheers !!