Archive for June, 2012

Drowning in the Darkness

A friend of mine was generous enough to share this beer with me the other day. I was blown away.

Beware of zombies

Beer: Darkness

Brewery: Surly

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

ABV: 10.3%

Location: Brooklyn Center, MN

Appearance: Black with minimal head

Aroma: Sweet, with a touch of chocolate and a punch of vanilla

Taste: Vanilla sweetness, followed by some caramel, and milk chocolate. Reminds me of Black Tuesday, but not nearly as much of a sweet, boozy mess.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with low/moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: I need to trade for this beer. And then promptly drink it without sharing with anyone

Beer Advocate Grade: A+ (97)

My Grade: A+

Note: Might be one of the best non barrel aged stouts I’ve ever encountered.

Firestone Walker Dinner at Wildwood

Went to this right before going to China, so it’s a little old, but it was such a good event. I’m just going to post the photos and shots of the menu for your enjoyment.

10 Barrel Tap Takeover

This happened a while ago, right after the fruit beer fest actually. I should try to be more punctual in the future/review things in order. Oh well, it’s beer. Anyways, we went over to Apex for the 10 Barrel Tap Takeover to see what the deal was. I walked away from that even swept off of my feet due to one of the beers they had on tap.

You want to focus on the glass on the right. The other ones don’t matter. In fact, nothing else matters. The beer is question is 10 Barrel’s Maple Bourbon CDA, and it is fucking incredible. Coming off of a maple beer tasting I had a lot of good maple beers in recent memory. This beer was better than everything else I had at that tasting except for the Lawson’s Maple Tripple. It was unbelievable. You could smell the maple syrup and bourbon from across a table, it was that strong. It smelled like breakfast, and now I want to dip some waffles in it. God damn. So good.

Deschutes 24th Anniversary

I went to Deschutes brew pub in downtown Portland to celebrate their 24th anniversary. The beer was pretty good, but nothing out of the ordinary to be honest. I was hoping that they were going to pour some of their reserve beers like the Dissident or Abyss.


Oh well.

Sour Raz: Slightly tart with some raspberry flavor. Good and suitable for the nice weather that day, but it’s not what I would really call a “sour” beer

A free sample of “streaking the quad”: this beer was one of the precursor experimental beers leading up to the Stoic. I liked this one, it was slightly tart and didn’t have the cloying sweetness of the Stoic. I will say though, the Stoic is aging well at this point imo.

Spent grain that I saw on my way to the bathroom. I wonder how many gallons of beer these two wheelbarrows made…

Somehow I got dragged over to Bridgeport and had this beer. It was terrible.

Oh Brett, how tasty you are

By Brett, I mean brettanomyces of course, the strain of yeast that causes infections in normal beer and wine. However, it can be used to great effect. This beer is one such example.

Description: Who’s afraid of the “Big Bad BRETT”? We’ll tell you who: winemakers! Because of our close proximity to several hundred wineries, we often get winemakers visiting our brewery. (After all, it takes a lot of great beer to make great wine!) Because we use 100% Brettanomyces (rather than the traditional Saccharomyces) yeast to ferment Sanctification, most winemakers will only smell the glass, and only a very few will venture to taste the beer. They think the Brettanomyces will attach to their clothing and end up in their winery. A simple solution was offered: keep a smudge pot burning at the door of our brewery so they can burn their clothes when exiting, but even that was not enough. After giving it more thought, we concluded that winemakers think Brettanomyces might scar their taste buds and possibly even permeate their skin.

Beer: Sanctification

Brewery: Russian River

Style: Wild Ale

ABV: 6.75%

Location: Santa Rosa, CA

Appearance: Hazy, golden/straw color with a little bit of frothy white head. Very fine carbonation here

Aroma: Cold – Barnyard funk, with tart apples, grapes, and some orange.

Taste: Hmm, this one is interesting. Not initially as tart as I would expect. I get lemon, brett, and apple, but finish with the taste of grapes and general tartness at the end. I guess this is what a 100% brett beer taste like.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with high carbonation, it fits the personality of the beer. Pretty smooth and refreshing as well. I kind of wish I waited to open this on a hot day instead of a cool night. Meh, I’m over it.

Drinkability: Really, really drinkable. Glad I have another one waiting in the wings somewhere.

Beer Advocate Grade: A (95)

My Grade: A-/A

Session beers

Session beers aren’t meant to be poured into a glass and enjoyed. They’re meant to be pounded. 🙂

Hoppin’ in the Dark

One of my favorite CDAs is back!!! Hop in the Dark is sooo good, but I’m pretty sure I’ve reviewed it already. I recall giving it an A-. I really do hope that they have the Imperial version of this beer at the pub. Imperial Hop in the Dark is my favorite CDA so far.

I may have drank another one of these after finishing the first bomber.

Sorry about being AWOL for a while. I was on a business trip in Shanghai, and the Chinese government isn’t so keen on blogs. Therefore, blockage.

Portland Fruit Beer Fest

Went to the Portland Fruit beef fest with some friends on the 9th. It was a blast and I got to try a ton of beers I wouldn’t have been able to try elsewhere.

Logsdon Fruit Melange: Aged in French oak with pear and cherry. This is a tart beer due to extensive aging on Brett in a French oak barrel. The addition of cherries and pear give an added depth of character and color, while helping balance out the funk of increased Brett. This is a once only batch created just for the fest!

It was stunning, one of the few fruit beers that not only tastes good, but smells great as well. That pear really gave it a punch in the nose in the aroma department. Great start so far!

Not a bad crowd considering I got there shortly after opening

10 Barrel Raspberry Sour: Raspberry Sour will slap you in the face with raspberry tartness then slaps you again with an undeniable sourness. It ends refreshing and dry daring you to take another drink.

It’s a one dimensional beer, but man that one dimension is good. Take a light beer and raspberry lemonade. Think of all the good things about those two drinks and you’ve arrived at the flavor profile of Raspberry Sour.

Deschutes Extinction Stout: Raspberry Stout. Deep velvet chocolate malt decadence folded with delicate raspberries. This stout combines two of life’s finer flavors into drinkable glory.

Really, really good. It’s like obsidian with more chocolate and a nice raspberry finish. It’s also markedly different from all the other, lighter fruit beers that were being offered.

Bend Brewing Ching Ching: Ching Ching is a whimsical take on a German Berliner Weisse. It is effervescent with a Swee Tart tanginess. Pomegranate and hibiscus make this a perfect summer thirst quencher that just might push the boundaries of what you consider beer. Bronze medal winner at the Great American Beer Fest 2011.

One of the favorites of the day. I couldn’t pick out the different fruits that went into this, but it was just really damn tasty. Also, being asian, I may have been yelling “Ching Ching!” in a Chinese accent for about 20 seconds….just maybe.

Boneyard Femme Fatale: Raspberry Tart Ale. Red to brown in color, 12.5lbs per barrel raspberry pitched into the fermentation. Influenced by Belgium sour brown and Flanders red.

God I’m on a roll, this beer is like a fruit version of Rodenbach’s Grand Cru. I really hope the rest of the beers can keep up with the ones I’ve had so far.

Burnside Red Light District: An Imperial stout (?) brewed with 44 pounds of Belgian chocolate and 400 pounds of strawberries aged in Pacific Rum barrels

Actually fantastic. Don’t think it’s a stout. It was super good though, and like Sam (works at Burnside) says, “it tastes like strawberry cordial”

Upright Bushwacker: A one-off caramel cider and Gose blend

Blew my socks off. I really have nothing else to say here.

Laurelwood Camera Obscura: Belgian Style Dark ale/dubbel. 18 Plato, Fruit is Hawaiian Cascara, i.e., the cherry off of the coffee bean.

This beer was weird, strong coffee taste without any roastiness if that’s at all possible.

Preparing for the Fruit Beer Fest

I had a few friends over Friday night in order to prepare our livers for the PDX Fruit Beer Fest the next day. I have to say that it was a resounding success!

Bruery Fruet: This is the latest of the Bruery’s anniversary beers, and we opened one in order to decide if it was worth buying to age/trade/drink immediately. It was extremely good, reminds me very strongly of 100% Barrel Aged Cuir, which was their last anniversary beer. Lots of vanilla, caramel, dates, raisins, and all the yummy goodness that you could expect from a barrel aged old ale. A

Blackberry Petite Sour: Crooked Stave’s little 800 bottle experiment with their normal sour. They basically put the beer with a bunch of blackberries into barrels for 9 months before bottling this beer. I smelled blackberries when I was pouring the sucker, but didn’t get any blackberry aroma out of the glass. However, upon tasting the beer, the blackberry flavor is nice and prominent along with some barnyard funk and oak. A-

New Glarus Raspberry Tart: This is hardly a beer, but it is so god damn tasty. Slightly tart, with huge raspberry notes. I could drink this every day during the summer despite the fact that this is probably the most girly beer I’ve ever experienced. oh well, I have no shame. A

Upright Blend Love: This beer is dearly loved by all. So delicious with cherries and raspberries. A

Bruery Melange 3: This beer is amazing. I love how it’s basically a version of Black Tuesday with the super sweetness and booziness toned down a bit. The belgian/saisony beer that is white oak really helped this beer out. A

More Homebrew!

My friend Mark and I brewed our 2nd batch of our RIS/Double CDA last month and it has now been sitting in bottles for a week. This time we went full CDA and added a lot more hops to the boil and dry hop processes. At the moment it’s still a little on the flat side, but it will be nice and carbonated in another week or two!

It’s also delicious!