Sunday, April 11, 2010

Epic Beer Weekend!

Okay, wow. What a weekend. A testament to the strength of my liver. I'm still not sure I survived.

Friday night was relatively mellow, with the only brewski consumed being the Great Divide's Espresso Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout. This one is ranks up there. The beer, in retrospect may not have been as good as the other Yeti offerings that Great Divide offers, but it was damn close. The aroma was roasty, with heavy notes of coffee (espresso beans) and certainly a good dose of chocolate. Alcohol presence was not too overpowering, but it was certainly there. The flavor was equally rich, with chocolates, coffee, and a touch of vanilla. The beer warmed quite well as it was consumed. After consuming this I went promptly to sleep and woke up to find it was morning already.

Saturday night was a different matter. A test of wills, you might say.

It all started off with Rogue's Dead Guy Ale. As always, a fantastic beer. Nice label on the front of the bottle. Taste of hops, but more malty than hoppy.

Boulevard Double Wide IPA vsmr in a 750ml bottle. The beer poured a hazy orange color with a big, fluffy just-barely off-white head. Aroma is citrus, with notes of pine, floral bouquet. Flavor is citrus with a touch of caramel malts, slight citrus, but not overpowering in the hops department.

Next up was Dogfish's Wrath of Pecant. This beer came in a 750 ml bottle. A very interesting and unique beer, still not sure exactly how I'd describe it. Touch of unidentifiable aromas (probably the plantains, other fruits). Flavor is certainly a bit smokey. Until reading the bottle I had just naturally expected this beer to be 10% or more, so I was pleasantly surprised that this clocked in at just over 6%. Drinkable, but I probably wouldn’t go out of my way to have it unless it happened to be at one of the alehouses.

Chris' home brew was fantastic. Good notes of vanilla, creamy. Good! After this, we got into the Zywiec which was a pretty by-the-numbers European lager. Aroma is grassy, flavor has a grassy, almost bready taste. Immediately after the Polish beer the Stella was passed along. I passed on it as well.

Bear Republic's Big Bear Stout 22 oz bottle. Pours black with a good tan head. Aroma is heavy on rich, creamy sweet malt notes, with a nice touch of chocolates. Flavor is a nice, rich malty one with an almost toffee character with heavy notes of coffee and chocolate. A pretty decent stout, and a good one to break from the beers that we had been consuming prior to this one. Our first stout of the night.

Following Bear Republic's offering was Rogue's Chipotle ale. Aroma was a bit, well unremarkable, but with a certain malty character, so it wasn't too displeasing. I had this beer before, and it was a lot more smokey than I remembered it. As discussed, the beer would probably be good pared off with a meal instead of just consuming it on it's own.

And we finally got to Seth's beer of the night (or life?), Red Oak Amber Lager. I had previously had this on tap almost two years ago, so I was happy to try this again in bottles. I'm not that big of a fan of Amber ales either, so it's a surprise that I enjoy this one so much. This beer is a quite nice, refreshing beer and a good one to follow up a stout and the chipotle ale.

This one was followed up with Ryan's Dunkel homebrew, which was pretty fantastic. After that it was Anderson Valley 20th Anniversary Imperial IPA, which I'm still surprised is called the "20th Anniversary" since I think I had this about a year ago. This came in a 22oz bottle. A hoppy beer, but is pretty heavy on the malts. It was time to pass on the Delerium Tremens, a good beer, but I needed a break by this time.

Up next was the Heavy Seas Siren Noire which came in a 22 oz bottle. It poured a dark, opaque black with a small tan head. Aroma was chocolate malts, with touches of bitter dark chocolate. Flavor was bitter, with dark chocolates, touches of heavy malts, touch of coffee. Alcohol wasn’t too noticeable, which was nice for this imperial stout.

And on to the Rogue John John Ale, Dead Guy Ale aged in Dead Guy whiskey barrels. This one was sampled from a 22oz bottle. It poured a dark amber color with a white head. Aroma was pale malts and caramel, with a good deal of vanilla. The flavor was pretty smooth, not too alcoholic, which was a nice surprise considering the "whiskey aging" which usually correlates with very high alcohol content.

Ah, the night was moving on at this point, beer #14 for me, the next up to bat was Flying Fish Exit 4, a Abbey Tripel. This beer poured a clear amber color, with a fluffy white head. Aroma was pretty strong on the citrus hops, pretty clean, floral. Flavor was very hoppy for a tripel, quite a nice beer!

Unfortunately Seth didn't get the memo as the beers kept pouring faster than we could drink them. The Shipyard Summer Ale was next as the night began to slow down for most of us. The beer poured an light orange color and had a sweet aroma of fruits. This beer was relatively inoffensive, and cleansed the palate pretty well.

We were finally approaching the final inning. K├Ânig Ludwig Weissbier was FANTASTIC. A great, smooth, creamy hefeweizen which was refreshing and had a fantastic balance of wheat, bananas, and a mild amount of spices. Great lacing on the glass. At this point I was able to avoid any Goose Island Bourbon County Stout, which may be a crime against humanity, but I just had to do it because what was coming next needed to be savored as the last of the three beers I brought to the party was up next.

Lost Abbey Lost and Found was up next. This beer poured a rich brown color with a thick, dark tan. This beer contained a lot of lacing. Aroma was malty, with raisins and other dried fruits, and a pretty yeasty character. Flavor was heavy on the raisins as well as the sweet, almost candy like sugars. Probably not my most favorite beers, but decent none-the-less.

And with that beer, I was done.

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