There was a time when I'd have put on a clean shirt, sorted the lighting out, and cooked something to go with the beer (in this case, some robust seafood might to it - monkfish with lemon and caper butter, for example). As much as I respect Stuart Howe's endeavours, the added involvement of Jean-Marie Rock (brewer of Orval) should have at least made me wear a shirt with a collar, rather than a BrewDog T-shirt. But this was a hastily taken video, and with good reason.
You see, Leeanne only drinks a couple of nights a week. She doesn't like to drink on a work night, so getting this beer on a Wednesday happily coincided with an evening before a day off. The beer was delivered to the shop, and cheeky snifters were shared with Will and Tom - they both liked it, to varying degrees. I thought it was extraordinary - a 5%abv beer that drank like a session beer, and with a depth of sweetly herbal complexity that made it ruinously drinkable.
And I use the word ruinous with good reason - I couldn't stop drinking this damn beer. We killed the minikeg it came in - happily, I think it was a partly-filled minikeg, so maybe we only had a few pints each.
The incredible thing is, this beer was so compellingly drinkable without being overstated. Its soft, lemony character (hello Saaz) and light body meant that its aroma whetted the appetite, its flavour skipped lightly across the palate, and then after briefly lingering, disappeared in a faint puff of lemon, honey, ginger and fennel. And it did so in a manner that made you think 'hang on, did that really happen?'. And so you have another drink, and another. And then your glass is empty. And then the minikeg is empty.
I don't think that Monsieur Rock will be released for a couple of months yet, so that gives you plenty of time to pester the brewery and find out where it will be distributed. You really want to try this - it's classic British ale, filtered through the minds of a couple of great brewers, and making a virtue of such old-fashioned values as elegance and understatedness.
Just show some respect, and wear a shirt and cufflinks when you drink it.