13/04/20 – Boulevard Plaid Habit Canadian Whiskey BA Imperial Brown Ale

Quarantine Diaries XVI

Monday April 13th 2020

Easter Monday is usually (how many posts have I started with that word?! I miss ‘usually’ so much) a day when JB and I skip around making the most of everyone else over here being back at work while we have the run of Austin (or whichever city we are in) on the end of our UK-tastic 4 day Bank Holiday, so today felt very discombobulating, wasting such a precious day away sitting at home. We spent hours ploughing through essential admin (not something we would ever usually do on a bank holiday!) until cross-eyed exhaustion propelled us out of the house on our now-daily distanced constitutional.

img_6245Although we have lived in our beautiful home for over a year and have considered ourselves to be full of local knowledge (we know walking and driving times and routes to all the nearby breweries), we have never explored our neighbourhood thoroughly on foot the way we’re doing now, taking in the houses, the gardens, the cats, dogs, cars and trucks, thinking about what would look good on our house and what wouldn’t, admiring porch swings and palm trees, and trying to guestimate how much everyone’s solar panels cost! Now we give landmark houses a nickname, each road its own description. Now we pay attention rather than looking without seeing. I remember how, as a child, I noticed every detail of everything, from the artwork on the side of a cereal packet to the shape of the rails on our neighbour’s fence, I would examine everything, noting its aesthetics, its colours and curves and tactile qualities. Nothing was taken for granted. Everything was part of the fascinating landscape of a world whose parameters I was still navigating, a piece of information, a clue as to something’s use or beauty. It feels strange to almost be re-learning to observe the everyday so intensely, not in a mindful-self-conscious way but out of pure curiosity. I wonder, when this is all over, if this need to take everything in will persist or fade?


Boulevard Plaid Habit Canadian Whiskey BA Imperial Brown Ale

img_6247Justin said he wanted something dark and interesting, and I knew the mighty Boulevard would not let me down. I’m not particularly into Canadian whiskey, but based on how awesome-tasty this beer was, I may well give it a try. The flavour was so rich and warm and, unlike a lot of BA beers, the boozy whiskey flavour was full and prevalent but never overwhelming, just gorgeously rich and decadent. I’m also becoming such a fan of Imperial Brown Ales, they are, for me at least, the beer equivalent of Port. When wine is too light and whisky is too heavy but you want something flavoursome, substantial and a bit boozy they hit that sweet spot perfectly, especially when they are as well-crafted as this one. We enjoyed this beer so much that we kept tight tabs as to who had how many sips, both insistent on not getting short-changed, and it also proved an excellent accompaniment to the latest series of the inimitable Grace & Frankie – if there is one modern show with the capacity to make even me laugh during these dark days, this is it. Please God, let me be Jane Fonda when I grow up!