Thursday, 17 March 2016

It looks good, it tastes good...

After all the heavy work I've been doing in the garden recently, it's time I took a well earned break. And it's time for a glass of Mackeson's Milk Stout. You can still find tins of this if you search for it (I use it in a rather tasty recipe for spiced Hot Cross buns), but Mackeson from a tin somehow seems all wrong. It should be served in a bottle, in a dark Snug Bar, in an old back street pub. Like the Rovers' Return perhaps? With Ena and Minnie in the corner enjoying a glass of the black stuff.
In the words of Bernard Miles in the old adverts: "It looks good, it tastes good, and by golly it does you good".  I suppose such adverts these days would have to be accompanied by a statutory public health warning and some medical research to substantiate the claims of benefit.

For those unfamiliar with this type of beverage, "Milk Stout" is brewed with the addition of lactose (a sugar derived from milk) which is not converted into alcohol during the fermentation process, making the resulting brew both relatively weak and very sweet. It was the brew supposedly favoured by elderly ladies and nursing mothers. It was far too sweet for my palate but made for a passable tipple when mixed with a half of a decent bitter: a sort of Black and Tan. For some years now, apparently, Mackeson has been a 'ghost brand' in the UK: still produced and sold but without advertising or promotion. I'm not sure what the logic behind this is: perhaps the major markets are overseas?

Footnote: I could have called this post "Thoughts occasioned by the finding of an old Mackeson tin in the garden". Little did I know then that, in a split second, my mind would wander from the tin to Ena Sharples and Minnie Caldwell via Bernard Miles. I wonder how many other people remember them?

 

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