Boozelog XIV – Nabidh Abaraka/’Vin de Messe’

Long overdue: the fabled ‘black wine’ of the Nile valley.

Tonic wine, synonymous for centuries with Coptic celebrations and Saidi tradition, but also with riotous excess from the time of the Pharaohs right down to the present day, is truly Egyptian, yet familiar to us northerners in the form of the much-loved Buckfast. Mentuhotep IV said ‘iirp'; your average Mina Botros says ‘nabiz’ – I say ‘let’s get stoated’. I also say ‘I hate the SNP for their restrictions on civil liberties’.

It’s a nice bottle. There’s a drawing of a cherub supine on a wine cask holding up a glass of the good stuff. Gianaclis. 47g – not bad considering a bottle of Bucky costs about double that these days… and 16% ABV, here we go!

It pours thick, viscous, a deep reddy-black colour. The smell is very full, cinnamony, sickly sweet, cola-y, fruity, strongly alcoholic. Pretty much like Buckfast.

Long story short, it tastes like Buckfast. Extremely sweet. Full-bodied. A bit spicy. Distinctly reminiscent of cola, but violently alcoholic – dynamite.

It’s nice to know that the Buckfast of our hearts has such a venerable progenitor. I love this stuff. 9/10.

Boozelog XIII – Sakara Weizen

Wheat beer. 12g, 5% ABV.

It pours like other wheat beer, but it’s not the same head explosion as an Erdinger. A healthy yellowy-brown colour. Slightly transparent. The head disappears quite quickly though.

The taste is quite mild. There’s a bit of banana. Not terribly complex. Not much body, and certainly a bit of spice in the aftertaste. Moderate carbonation, quite refreshing.

This is decent. Luxor Weizen is better, but I certainly wouldn’t turn this stuff down. 7/10.

Boozelog XII – Bolanachi ‘Vieille Recolte’

Another brandy by Bolanachi. 22g, 32% ABV.

The colour at first sight does look better than Vat 20, it’s a richer, darker brown. Doesn’t smell like anything much.

Doesn’t taste like anything either really except alcohol.

This doesn’t seem to be too popular. I can see why. Best avoided when you could have Vat 20 for cheaper or, better yet, lager. 2/10.