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Interesting places you'd like to go when you can

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PDR
1377826.  Fri Mar 26, 2021 7:47 am Reply with quote

Went to iceland several times on business a few (all right, a lot of) years ago. Someone once said to me that iceland was like the corner of a builder's yard where they pile all the left over materials from other jobs. SHe was suggesting that it was the corner of the world which god tidied the left-over bits into at the end of the 7th day. If you ever do get to understand Iceland's drinking laws then you're a better <non-specific gender person> than me, gunga din.

If you want a general review there was a BBC spy drama series called "Running Blind" (based on the novel of the same name by Desmond Bagley) which was pretty well entirely shot on location in Iceland, both in the town and out in the boonies. It is a fascinating place.

PDR

 
AlmondFacialBar
1377828.  Fri Mar 26, 2021 7:50 am Reply with quote

Come to think of it, my uncle used to go there on business, too, so I might ask him for some restaurant recommendations.

:-)

AlmondFacialBar

 
PDR
1377829.  Fri Mar 26, 2021 9:09 am Reply with quote

Forgot to add - that series "Running Blind" is available on youtube here

PDR

 
suze
1377839.  Fri Mar 26, 2021 12:39 pm Reply with quote

PDR wrote:
If you ever do get to understand Iceland's drinking laws then you're a better <non-specific gender person> than me, gunga din.


Not any more, fortunately.

I imagine you're talking about the bizarre Icelandic take on prohibition. Wine never counted as alcohol, because Spain informed Iceland that it wouldn't buy Icelandic fish unless Iceland allowed Spanish wine in.

Hard liquor ceased to count as alcohol in 1935, but for reasons that no one ever really understood alcoholic beer still wasn't allowed. Every bar in the land got around that by serving glasses of non-alcoholic beer premixed with a small amount of vodka or whisky. This was technically illegal, but the authorities made not the slightest attempt to prevent it happening.

But Iceland came to its senses in 1989 and allowed proper beer. Carlsberg is by now as ubiquitous in Iceland as it is in England, but considerably more expensive. Icelandic beer is (a bit) cheaper, and shares with Baileys the worrying property of not tasting like an alcoholic beverage.

 
AlmondFacialBar
1377840.  Fri Mar 26, 2021 12:52 pm Reply with quote

Is it nice, though?

:-)

AlmondFacialBar

 
PDR
1377841.  Fri Mar 26, 2021 12:55 pm Reply with quote

I'm thinking more of the licensed hours, which varied from hotel to hotel and pub to pub. Indeed I can remember there were times when it was only legal to drink alcohol in the right-hand side of the bar until 10:00, after which it switched to the left hand side (or something similar).

I also seem to remember it was illegal to drink beer with a meal in a restaurant, but if you got a beer in the bar before the meal you could take it in with you AND have the glass refilled. But only if you hadn't eaten anything in the bar. If you'd had so much a solitary peanut in the bar then you couldn't take your drink from the bar to the restaurant; you had to eat your meal in the bar.

And those were just the *sensible* laws...

PDR

 
suze
1377843.  Fri Mar 26, 2021 1:06 pm Reply with quote

There are a lot of micro-breweries in Iceland, and as you'd expect the style and the quality varies. There's IPA (that's Icelandic Pale Ale), there's Icelandic Black Stout (I don't think I need to tell you what that one was based on), there are weird fruit and herb flavoured beers that should never have been allowed outside Belgium, you name it.

But when it comes down to it, mass market Icelandic lager is much like mass market lager everywhere else in Northern Europe. That it doesn't taste so much like an alcoholic beverage may be down to having the world's cleanest water.

 
AlmondFacialBar
1377851.  Fri Mar 26, 2021 1:58 pm Reply with quote

One reason why I miss living in Belgium is their weird beers, so the fruit and herby ones will definitely be on my menu.

:-)

AlmondFacialBar

 
cornixt
1378075.  Mon Mar 29, 2021 10:23 am Reply with quote

Hmm. I bought lunch and a bottled beer in an Icelandic cafe (almost finished paying the mortgage on it) and was allowed to consume both in there.

Iceland also has a rather nice malt drink. You can drink it as it is, but since it was essentially wort, the liquid you add yeast to in order to brew beer, people would add yeast to it in order to make it into beer back when alcohol was illegal. I'm not sure if the manufacturers aknowledged that this was intentional.

 
Jenny
1378079.  Mon Mar 29, 2021 11:27 am Reply with quote

I wonder if there is some genetic thing, rather like the one that makes ciilantro/coriander taste 'soapy' to some people (I have that one) that makes beer taste bitter?

I have tried many, many beers in my life, most of which people assure me are sweet, and I have never found one that doesn't taste unacceptably bitter.

 
cornixt
1378090.  Mon Mar 29, 2021 12:40 pm Reply with quote

Beer can be both sweet and bitter at the same time. It's mostly hops that make beer taste bitter, and they are barely present in most of the mass beers (Miller, Coors, Bud) so it must be something in the grain that you are tasting or you are very sensitive to the alpha acids.

 
crissdee
1378101.  Mon Mar 29, 2021 2:57 pm Reply with quote

I am not a beer/ale drinker, I prefer cider, but there was one ale that I tried many years ago that I did actually like. It was sold under the name of a now closed down chain of off-licences, and was called "Celebration Ale" which suggests to me that it was a limited run, so my chances of finding it again seem vanishingly small.

 
Jenny
1378161.  Tue Mar 30, 2021 10:08 am Reply with quote

I'll go with sensitive. Really I have never been able to taste sweetness in beers, only unpleasant bitterness. I don't like other bitter flavours either - I remember tasting bitter melons once at a Chinese restaurant in Soho (yes, it was Lee Ho Fook!) and finding them inedible. About the only bitter thing I've liked is bitter lemon mixed with gin, and that really isn't bitter, or if it is it has so much sugar in it that it outweighs the bitterness.

 

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