Two remarkable subjects to start off 2019: One of the most desirable post-war typewriters in the 21st Century, and a brand new, incredible bourbon barrel-aged stout! Let’s jump right in…
There aren’t many specific typewriter models that have their own wikipedia pages – but the Hermes 3000 is one of them. Larry McMurtry is a famous advocate of this machine, and Tom Hanks mentions Hermes typewriters in the movie California Typewriter (although I believe his first good typewriter was a 2000). My introduction to Hermes typewriters was with the Baby, a typewriter I was very attracted to. But I was honestly not all that interested in the much heavier, much uglier (if you don’t like green) 3000 model.
To be honest, this typewriter is so well known, and so well documented, I don’t feel that there’s much I need to add beyond some basic background, before I delve into my personal experience with this typewriter.
The Hermes 3000 is a segment-shifting typewriter, with perhaps the most interesting margin-setting technology I have encountered. It was introduced in the late 1950s, with the model I have coming out at the end of the 1960s (the Typewriter Database puts my machine in 1969). A further revision was produced in the 1970s. Machines of Loving Grace indicate the later model is less desirable, and often it has been said to be of a poorer build quality as manufacturing had been moved to Hungary – however, I have read a number of positive reviews from owners on the performance on these machines, too. I look forward to the opportunity to try a late-model Hermes 3000.
As I have mentioned in previous entries, I am primarily interested in typewriters as devices to write with, as opposed to collectibles. As a result, this is a real contender to stay in my collection! It is such a nice experience to type on, despite my reservations with its appearance, which are purely the result of my personal taste. This is one of the nicest typers I own, for certain.
Left Field’s Blackburne Imperial Stout (Bourbon Barrel-Aged)
I have lived in my current home for more than a decade, and in that time a number of breweries have sprung up within walking distance of my home. They are all very good, but certainly Left Field Brewery is among the best of them. Starting in 2013, they have grown very gradually, and have developed a really interesting stable of beers with really bold and fascinating styles and flavours. Their brewery is tucked away down an inconspicuous, one-way, dead-end side street, behind a railway bridge. Their product is distributed well around Toronto,
Blackburne is one of Left Field’s stouts. This particular version was aged in bourbon barrels before being canned. Barrel-aged beer has become a fairly common way to make a beer “premium.” My favourite way to apply the technique is this one – a dark beer (a stout) in barrels which previously had been used for bourbon. This is a very good version of a barrel-aged stout, featuring a good body and mouth-feel, lots of chocolate and coffee notes. This is a big beer, though, at almost 10% alcohol. The bourbon is readily apparent, too, both in the nose in the aftertaste. The residual flavour of the bourbon meshes very well with the stout, and the combination is truly stunning.
A non-barrel aged version of this beer is also available, and it is excellent and highly recommend as well.
Thank you for reading, and I look forward to delving deeper into my search for the perfect typewriter in 2019. Happy typing and safe drinking!