Lórien is a bar in Palma de Mallorca. An unasssuming building from the outside, in a street shielded from the sun, it nevertheless glows with an inviting atmosphere inside.
A dimly lit bar of dark wood, the walls are lined with bottles and decorated with celtic patterns, and a large picture of Tolkienesque elves and dwarves hangs from one wall.
About 100 different bottled beers from around the world are available (England is represented by Samuel Smiths Imperial Stout and Newcastle Brown Ale). Most interesting to us were several from Catalunya that we’d not seen before.
Zulogaarden Norai is a 7% porter brewed just north of Barcelona. Deep brown in appearance, it’s a very dry and bitter beer. The oats and chocolate malt are evident but the beer is balanced with plenty of cascasde hops.
Brewed on the mainland in Blanes, about 40 miles up the coast from Barcelona, Cervesa Marina Summer Ale is a 6% IPA with the appearance of a wheat beer, pouring straw coloured and cloudy with a fine oily head. Its a very fruity beer with an orange citrus hop flavour and a spicy, gingerbread finish.
Another from Marina, ‘Mas Cremat’ is a dry stout with a rich flavour of roasted malts and coffee, with some hops coming through in the finish but very little bitterness. This was the best of the beers from Catalunya that we tried and a really wonderful stout. I’m keen to try their black IPA, ‘The Grim North’.
Cervesera Tramuntana Illa is Menorca’s first beer and was first brewed in 2010. It’s a pilsner-style lager, very light and lively, with some citrus flavour but a bit lacking in taste for it’s 5.5% abv. It’s an unfiltered, unpasteurised beer that’s supposed to be an alternative to the mass produced Spanish lagers, but I have to say i’d choose an Estrella Damm or Cruzcampo over this.
Actually, I developed quite a taste for Estrella Damm. Brewed in Barcelona, at 5.4% it’s a stronger beer with a fuller flavour than the 4.6% version available in the UK (Damm Classic?). It has a good body with a sweet balance of hops and malts, a very refreshing drink in the afternoon sun, and there is plenty of afternoon sun in the Balearics…