Archive for May, 2012

East Coast IPA Time

Heavy Seas Loose Cannon IPA: Not bad at all. It’s a pretty good IPA, but doesn’t hold up to the big guns that are the same style out here on the Best Coast. (thinking of Alpine Duet mostly)

A few brews with friends

I had a few friends over to hang out and help me drink some beer. We did a pretty decent job I think.

From left to right: Upright Seven, Stone Imperial Russian Stout, Garret’s Homebrew, Jolly Pumpkin Autumn Fire, Parabola, and Old Ringworm.

While all the beers were delicious, the winner of the night was Parabola, but that’s fairly predictable. The runner up was the Autumn Fire, really tasty. I should put some more effort towards trying all of Jolly Pumpkin’s offerings.

More lemonade than beer

Grapefruit Radler.

This beer comes in at a whopping 2.5%, so it’s basically water. However, it has tons of grapefruit flavors without being too sour, and the nice carbonation makes this beer feel like a sparkling lemonade. Perfect for the afternoon outside at Apex while I recover from the festivities from the night before!

More tastings!

The beer geeks assembled for another tasting earlier on Sunday. No theme was really going, so people just brought some stuff they wanted to try while we relaxed and watched the Timbers game at BeerMongers.

We weren’t in full force today, but still a pretty lineup!

Three Floyds Zombie Dust: Always a delicious beer. Low alcohol, nice hop presence, and super crisp and refreshing. Everything a person could want out of a session beer!

Weyerbacher Rapture: A sour beer that comes with absolutely no information on the bottle. All it says is “American Wild Ale”. Okay, but what the hell does that mean?! What style of beer was this before it was soured? What was it soured on or in? How long did it sit in said barrels? I’m just going to make it up. It was originally a hefeweizen that was back fermented on lacto in macaroni and cheese barrels for 2 months.

In all seriousness though, not a bad sour at all. I went to school in PA and really didn’t like anything the Pennsylvanian brewery had to offer. Now I come back to the west coast and I find something I like. Awesome.

Ithaca Brute: Really tasty sour, I understand where all the hype comes from now. Nice level of sourness, and you can tell that champagne yeast was used due to the mouthfeel and the fine level of carbonation.

Mystic Saison with Sauvignon Blanc: Really damn good. Nice and light like a saison, with huge white wine grape notes without being overly fruity. I don’t usually like white wine ingredients in beer, but this is the exception to the rule. One of the best beers of the day I think. A-

Mystic Saison (winter?): This beer wasn’t nearly as good, I don’t think we finished this bottle at the end of the day. Just paled in comparison to its brother. B-

New England Imperial Stout Trooper: Okay, this beer is really good, very similar to Cigar City’s Marshal Zhukov. A- beer. BUT. This label is amazing! I don’t buy beer according to label art, because that’s just asking to get screwed. However, this beer’s label is so amazing that I would probably buy 6 bombers purely based on how epic the label is. Oh yeah, it’s chocolatey and roasted with a bit of coffee on the finish. 🙂

Highwater Old & in the Way Buffalo Trace: This barleywine had some notes of caramel and malts typical of a barleywine, but the whole experience was dominated by the strength of the bourbon in this beer. Super boozy with tons of bourbon presence. This beer was an aspiring bourbon in high school, but dropped out and decided to try its hand at beer instead. B-

Bruery Black Tuesday: This beer is huge. 18.3% huge. It is a sweet, chocolatey, boozy mess, and it’s delicious. I think this is good for a 9% stout, but considering the strength of this beer, it’s absolutely ridiculous. A

Deschutes Dissident 2010: This beer was pretty good before, and now it’s really awesome. Tart and funky with a dry finish. Quite complex to boot with the little bits of cherry flavor that makes itself known towards the end. A-/A

Foothills Barrel-Aged Sexual Chocolate: Might be my favorite beer of the day, just the right amount of wood, smoke, and bourbon from the barrels to go along with the huge chocolate flavor in the beer. Not really complex, but the flavors here all hit the right note.

Once again, fantastic tasting. I love hanging out with the guys while simply enjoying a bunch of brews from across the country and just shooting the breeze. Can’t wait for the next tasting. Theme will be “maple beers”!.

Hmmm…

The light and dark side of the force. Which side will I tackle tonight?!

 

Can you guess which beers these are? I’ll give you a hint, they’re both from Upright!

Care Packages!

Shout out to my regular trading buddy, Nogidrew86 over on Beer Advocate! We don’t really organize trades as much as randomly send beer when we accumulate 6 beers that we think each other will like. His package arrived today, and he did awesome!

SOOO excited!

From left to right: Chocolate Rain, White Oak, Imperial Stout Trooper, Otoise, Beatification B5, and Blackberry Petite Sour. Can’t wait to try some of these out! Probably will bring a bottle to my tasting this weekend!

Bananas

The other day my friends and I grilled some snapper and teriyaki chicken at my new apartment. We mostly drank Gravity Mountain and gin and tonics, but we paired this beer to go specifically with the chicken that we had.

Logsdon Seizoen

The beer worked amazingly well with the teriyaki chicken. The beer itself had too much banana flavor to it, but that combine with the belgian yeast matched the sweetness of the chicken fantastically. I’d probably give it a B if it was by itself, but with the chicken it definitely earned itself a B+.

Snack of Champions

I dare you to do better!

Another Weekend Beer

Finally dragged my ass over to Breakside Brewing with a few friends simply because it was the closest brewery that I knew of too an ice cream place that we went to.

Long story short: This beer is okay, great for the weather, but there are better wits out there. Mainly the Maui Brewing Perose Wit that I saw on tap at Beermongers when I got my Tart Lychee. If I didn’t have Mother’s Day obligations I probably would have gone back to Beermongers. Such is the life of a beer geek!

Deschutes/Hair of the Dog Collaboration Dinner at Wildwood

Also known as, “eat tons of delicious food while getting smashed on really, really tasty beer”. Monday, May 14th was the night before the release of Collage, a multi-year effort made by Deschutes Brewing and Hair of the Dog Brewery to make a collaboration beer. Hair of the Dog and Deschutes each brewed 2 beers and put them into separate barrels for two years. After spending an eternity in barrels the beers were blended to form Collage.

 

Now that you have some background information, let’s get on to the dinner that was hosted at Wildwood to celebrate the product of all of their work!

 

I missed taking a picture of the appetizer course, which was made up of spring onion, The Dissident dried cherries, truffle tremor, late harvest sauvignon blanc vinaigrette, and duck cracklins. The cherries were tasty, but I just wanted more of the truffle goat cheese and duck cracklins. If this was was a sign of things to come, it would have justified the $85 ticket price!

 

It was also paired with a beer.

This one off of Dissident was the paired with the salad. Unlike normal batches of Dissident, this one was not aged on cherries, and it was put into a pinot noir barrels for two years. Best beer of the night, with huge complexity among its tart, barnyard, fruity, and vinous notes. It’s been a long time since I’ve had the regular version, but I remember it being not as good as this version. I need to crack open one of my bottles to find out.

Oak Plank Wild Salmon – green garlic gnocchi, morels, brown butter

The gnocchi was absolutely sublime, and I don’t even like gnocchi! I think the pairing with morel mushrooms really did it for me. I had no idea what morel mushrooms were, but I want to eat them every day now. As tasty as those things were, the salmon was the most impressive dish of the night. The piece of wood that it was baked on was once part of a pinot noir barrel. It was broken down and soaked in Deschute’s Chainbreaker White IPA before being used to cook the salmon. The salmon was bordering on rare, and had the perfect consistency. I may not have ever had salmon this delicious before, and being a PNW local, that says something.

Notice how the piece of wood has a slight curvature to it from the barrel

Stoic aged in rye whiskey (Heaven Hill) – This beer was delicious. Many people didn’t like the regular version of Stoic due to it’s weird fruity characteristics. This beer was nothing like the normal beer. The fruitiness is still there, but is cut perfectly by the wood and smoke that comes from the bourbon barrel. This was my third favorite beer of the night. Reminds me a lot of Jackie O’s Kentucky Monk.

Seared Pork Belly Confit – bourbon ribollita, rainbow chard

This meal made one of my friends giggle because it was so good. Seeing a fully grown man giggle hysterically from eating what is essentially a large piece of bacon was pretty hilarious. It was funny right up until I took a bite, and started giggling in turn. It was that good. Right up there with the salmon. If I were to die that night, I would have wanted to be buried in a slab of that pork belly. That way if I ever turned into a zombie, I would wake up inside of an amazing snack.

Fred aged in Bourbon Barrels (Heaven Hill) – Really tasty, but I don’t think it should have followed up the Stoic. Too much bourbon back to back, and maybe it was for that reason why I thought this beer was the 4th best beer of the night. Tastes very similar to Bourbon Fred From the Wood, but less sweet, and way more carbonated :).

Cocoa Braised Oxtail – morel mushroom flan, crispy asparagus

Of all the tasty dishes so far, this was the least impressive. I’m not going to bother commenting more than the fact it just didn’t fit in with the other courses.

Adam aged in Oregon virgin oak barrels

As my friend Kevin put it, “it smells like a tree”. Very few beers are this oaky, its ridiculous. Served way too cold, it tasted like I was chewing oak chips that were slightly burnt for most of the glass. By the time it warmed up, it was better, but still the least favorite of the beers I had that night.

Tandoor Roasted Reister Farms Lamb Chop – brewery cured lamb bacon and new potato hash, sauteed pea vines, roasted shallot glace, black truffle aioli

Not sure if this thing ever came close to a Tandoor, or any other kind of device that generates heat. I believe that it spent some time in the same city as a tandoor, but nothing more. You can tell that it’s simply raw. Fortunately for me, I like my steaks to still be twitching, so this is perfectly fine with me. Good thing too, but it was dynamite. Soo good! I would say this was tied for 3rd best dish with the salad after the salmon and pork belly.

Oh yes. Collage….

Collage was like the Dissident when it was drank cold. Since the Dissident was my favorite beer of the night, you can guess that this was a close second due to its similarities to Dissident. Some of the fruitiness and wood of the stoic came through as well, with the flavors of Fred playing a small fiddle in the back of the room that is this beer’s flavor profile. Thankfully, I couldn’t detect any Adam. I will say that I’ve never had a beer that is really close to this beer in terms of overall flavor and whatnot. As the beer warmed up, I got more Stoic, Fred, and maybe some Adam while the Dissident played a smaller role. It was cool to taste the transition.

Pistachio cake – white chocolate-whiskey mousse, sweet cherry meringue, tart rhubarb coulis

Really tasty, but I’m not really a dessert person. I’m very jealous of someone I know who got another piece of Salmon after eating his cake. WTF so JEALOUS!!!!

Everyone at our table agreed that the Dissident was the best, followed by Collage. We were surprised when the waiter agreed to bring us more Dissident! That night was just incredible. Look how full that glass is!!!!

Surpise! Batch #1 Fred. 18 years old and still awesome.

This beer was the surprise of the night, and no one really saw it coming. This was the very first batch of Fred that Hair of the Dog ever brewed, and goes for approximately $70 for a 12 oz bottle at Hair of the Dog. So my glass of beer was essentially worth $25 or so. Despite its age, it was still an amazing beer. I would say it would fit in between Stoic and the other Fred in the rankings. What a night. One of my most memorable beer experiences I’ve ever had.