Archive for July, 2012

Soo good and cheap

10 Barrel’s Apocalypse IPA is pretty much my go-to delicious-but-cheap beer at the moment. Shawn Kelso really nailed this one.

Today is a good day!

Thanks to BeerAdvocate Jbuddle for the trade! From left to right is Cantillon Rose de Gambrinus, Captain Lawrence Hops N’ Roses, and Drie Fonteinen Armand 4′ Zomer. Zomer is one of my most sought after beers. Thanks again! Time to find a nice cozy place in the wine cellar for these guys

Hair of the Dog at Wildwood

Well, another month another beer dinner it seems. These things are happening too fast for me to keep up! First world problems aside, The dinner was fantastic. Maybe not quite on the same level as the Collage dinner in terms of the food, but I feel like the pairings here were superior.

I basically felt like this at the end of the dinner. I think people that were there will agree with me.

And now, time for food porn!

Blue Dot with Chicharrones and green curry aioli: This was a fantastic appetizer course! It was just sitting at a side table along with glasses of blue dot for people to munch on as they walked in and waiting for the real dinner to start. The batch of blue dot served was the same resiny batch that I had at the pub a while ago. It’s great and the hops stand up to the aioli superbly.

Bourbon Fred from the Wood: I’ve sung enough praises for this beer already. But it was paired with….

Frikeh Risotto: Chile, sungold tomatoes, and beecher’s flagship reserve. It was a great pairing. The spice and smokiness from the risotto matched the vanilla, caramel, and maple bourbon awesome of the Bourbon Fred. The texture of the risotto was amazing as well. I am not really educated on risotto, but after this dish I’m pretty eager to go on a risotto eating rampage.

Michael: I have not had this beer before, and was pretty anxious to try it. It’s Hair of the Dog’s take on a flanders red. It was tasty, and paired well with the dish that was served. However, the dish that this beer was paired with stole the spotlight.

Country pate pigs in a blanket: Grain mustard aioli and microgreens. HOOOOOLLY crap. The pate was amazing, and then Paul Kasten, the chef (crazy crazy guy, in all the best ways) decided to wrap the pate with bacon. Juuuust cause he can. But no, he won’t stop there because that’s not nearly enough, and decides to dip the whole sucker in tempura batter and fry it. The tartness of the beer played well with the metallic elements in the pate, but all I really want to do is get a huge roll of this and eat it while watching futurama. I would need at least 1 meter or the equivalent of 1kg to be satisfied.

Lila: Alan’s first take at a lager, and I have to say this is a fantastic first iteration. It was also delicate enough to not drown out the next paired dish

Grilled Oregon Albacore Tuna: cherry tomatoe agrodolce, new potato pierogi. This fish was amazing, and for some reason made me think about the food documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”. The pierogi was delicious, if kind of on the conventional side, but the tuna was stellar. Fantastic texture, and subtle in its flavor as only tuna can manage.

Fred: we all know about fred, and it was probably the most pedestrian beer offered despite having an ABV of 11%

Roasted Pork Loin: Succotash, pan fried padron peppers. I really like pork, I really really do. Everytime I eat pork at Wildwood I always tell myself that I need to stop overcooking my pork the way most people do. Medium rare/rare pork is so damn good. I think the fava beans that the pork was sitting on were the best though.

Otto: The beer that everyone was curious about. I swear to god it was Fred aged in Pinot barrels, but naturally I was wrong. So was everyone else. Turns out that Otto is Fred Eckhart’s original name (Fred is named after him). Fred is a bit of an older guy, and was born into a non-german friendly era, so being named Otto instantly meant that none of the guys on the playground were going to want to play with him. Therefore he went for Fred. Otto is a 50/50 blend of peach fred and cherry fred that was aged in bourbon barrels for some period of time. It was really good, with nice cherry/vinous qualities without beating you over the head with bourbon flavor. Bourbon Fred is tasked with that job. I tasted absolutely no peach, but whatever. I’ll take it.

Pan Roasted Duck Breast: carrot puree, crushed potatoes, spinach, and glace. This dish was awesome, partially because I think duck is the tastiest thing that flies. Being of Chinese descent, and privileged with lots of trips to China, I think I’m in a good position to say that I’ve had tons of things that are capable of flight. Duck is the best one. Apparently, near raw duck is amazing, and now I just want to find a duck and bite it. The cherry of the beer matched really well with the slight gamey-ness(?) of the duck breast, and the richness of both fit perfectly with the carrot puree.

Adam from the Wood: this is probably Hair of the Dog’s most famous beer aside from Dave. It is fantastic in its oak, bourbon, vanilla, and smoke character. Speaking of smoke…

Tobacco-adam Ice Cream: smoked salt, shortbread praline, and a roasted plum. Okay what?! This thing has nicotine in it. I think Paul is trying to turn all of us into junkies with this crazy dessert. The ice cream completely changed the flavor profile of the beer. This dessert/beer pairing was the most genius food-drink pairing I’ve ever experienced. I pretty much forgot about the plum, but that thing was also incredible.

I’m tired of typing now, but just to let you guys know, I went back to my apartment after this dinner and opened a couple more bottles. Such is the life of a beer geek.

It is done!

Not all of my beer fits in here yet, but it’s damn close. I need to swap out some of the weird wine shelves for conventional ones. That way I can put in a ton of bottles upright for more efficiency!

I can’t believe I’m doing this on a weeknight.

Deschutes release their Black Butte XXIV the other day to celebrate their 24th anniversary. It’s an amped up version of their Black Butte Porter with figs and dates added.

Looks good don’t it? It is, but could use some time to age. It’s a pretty boozy at the moment.

I have a big bottle share to go to later! I needed to load up on calories!

I arrived to BeerMongers to find this waiting for me. Time to get started!

Full Disclosure: I had to drive home, and we had to finish the tasting in 3 hours. That’s why I have tiny sample sizes

Dogfish Head Positive Contact: Cool label, wish that carried on to the beer though. It just tasted like belgian yeast and cloves. C

Didn’t like this one from Kuhnhenn. C+

Lost Abbey Cuvee de Tomme: Tasty, but in true Lost Abbey tradtion, it’s completely flat. B

Cigar City Cucumber Saison: Smells and tastes really strongly of cucumber. I like cucumber, but I hated this beer. Worst beer of the night by far. D-

Lost Abbey Red Poppy: Carbonated, sour, and god damn delicious. A

Three Floyds Gumballhead: Might be my favorite pale ale next to Zombie Dust. A

Southampton Abbot 12: Meh. B

Hill Farmstead Art: It’s really damn good. One of the best saisons I can think of. A

Cigar City Cognac Barrel Aged Church on a Hill: It’s awesome. God damn awesome barrel character. A+

The bottles! They are growing!!!

Kuhnhenn Fourth Dementia 2008: I love this beer, but this was way too oxidized for me. C+

Three Floyds Alpha King: God these guys can do pale ales well! A-

Surly Five: Always good. A-

Allagash Four: It wasn’t bad, but compared to the other beers it paled a bit. B

Roots Epic 2008 Magnum: Rob and Kevin discovered I was sneaking only small samples of beer. They filled my glass this time. Those assholes. Quite good though, and now I have a huge bottle for homebrew! A-

Cantillon Lou Pepe Kriek 2008: This beer is astonishing. So much cherry and cinnamon. A+

Didn’t drink this one. At this stage I had to be careful with what I drank. There were probably 8 beers that I didn’t even get around to.

Marble Brewing Reserve Ale in Woodford Barrels: Interesting, but not really my thing. B

Block 15 Super Nebula: HOLY CRAP SUPER NEBULA!!!!!!!!! One of my favorite stouts and probably the best beer label I’ve ever come across. A+

Marble Brewing Imperial Stout in Woodford Barrels: This one is much better than the other beer I had. Not sure if the spice from the Woodford helps though. B+

Logsdon Far West Vlaming: I didn’t even know this beer existed, but it was really good. A

Founders Frangelic Mountain Brown: I don’t like browns.

Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout: Really good, but probably my least favorite of the BCBS variants. B+

Didn’t have this one, just wanted a photo!

Oh Founders KBS: How do you always sneak in to all of these tastings?!

Bruery Fruet: Whoever though opening a 14.5% beer at the end of the day was a good idea, I’m not sure. Damn good beer though. A

Evil Twin Imperial Biscotti Break: Not really my kind of beer, but I could smell this guy all day. B

Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout 2009: Sooo good, but this also wasn’t opened until the very end. WTF.

And we all had work the next day….

Gawd, moving beer sucks

Ditching my old set of shelves for a big 110 bottle wine cooler tomorrow. That means all the beer has to come out to make space!


I don’t dare load my dinner table more than this

Stragglers. God.

It does exist…..

A single barrel of Maple Bourbon Fred was made at Hair of the Dog. I ran over there as soon as I knew it was on tap. The keg kicked in about 2 days after word got out.


But just to warm up, I went and had Cherry Bourbonic Plague at the Barrel House. It was a fantastic start!

Beer: Maple Bourbon Fred from the Wood

Brewery: Hair of the Dog

Style: American Strong Ale

ABV: 12%

Location: Portland, OR

Appearance: Honey brownish color. Slightly lighter shade than the normal Bourbon Fred from the Wood. Very low carbonation as well, which I can’t say I’m surprised about.

Aroma: Wow this beer smells sweet. Vanilla, oak, caramel, with a maple bourbon background. I’m getting pretty psyched!

Taste: Yep, this beer is super sweet. Vanilla and caramel hit me first, followed by bourbon, with maple at the rear. Maple flavor is about as prominent as the maple I get in the regular Bourbon Fred from the Wood, but this beer is just a ton sweeter. I like the other one better, but this beer is still a masterpiece.

Mouthfeel: Thick, minimally carbonated, but that suits the beer’s flavor profile. Very creamy, and it just seems to coat all the surfaces inside of your mouth. This would be perfect for dessert

Drinkability: A glass was the perfect amount, I couldn’t handle more than one glass because it’s such a big, sweet beer.

Beer Advocate Grade: A+

My Grade: A+

My Favorite HotD Beer

Last year I got a case of Bourbon Fred from the Wood. It was really good, and already vying for the top spot of HotD beers for me. However, it had a few flaws. It was slightly too sweet and was not carbonated in the slightest.

Things have been fixed this time around. (not my first bottle, but I was too busy enjoying the beer and forgot to write a review)

Carbonation bitches!

Beer: Bourbon Fred from the Wood

Brewery: Hair of the Dog

Style: American Strong Ale

ABV: 12%

Location: Portland, OR

Appearance: Orange brownish, with about one and a half fingers of head. Fantastic retention, it’s almost as if this year’s beer wants to prove to all the haters that this beer can be carbonated.

Aroma: Jeeezus. Caramel, bourbon, vanilla, and some oak. Tiny bits of citrus hops on the back end, but it’s entirely possible that I’m just making that part up.

Taste: Flavor echoes the nose of this beer. Huge bourbon presence when cold but I get a ton of maple flavor once the beer hits room temperature. It’s freaking awesome. Hides the 12% really, really well.

Mouthfeel: Big, full-bodied, with moderate carbonation. Kind of oily, by that I mean this beer simply coats your entire mouth in bourbony goodness.

Drinkability: Don’t drink more than 1 of these at a time. It’s too big of a beer to session. That and you’d be dead from blood alcohol poisoning.

Beer Advocate Grade: B+ (86) This score is for last year’s batch.

My Grade: A+

I got some Rare.

I finally got to try Rare for the first time. Easily one of the best stouts that I’ve ever tried. I guess the hype train is actually correct this time around. Thanks to the beer geeks from LA that brought this up to Portland!

Man it was delicious

I also got some Logsdon Oak-Aged Seizon Bretta. It was really good, but god damn that Rare…..going to haunt my dreams!

When Drunk…Open Nice Bottles

My old roommate had a little get together at my place a little while ago to celebrate his birthday. We got a little drunk, so in standard beer geek fashion, I opened a few tasty bottles that may not have been necessary. But hey, that’s how we roll.

Deschutes Black Butte XXIII: Drinking really well right now. Time is treating this guy really nicely. Can’t wait for Black Butte XXIV to come out soon!

Hops have faded making Southern Tier’s Pumking even tastier. God I should have gotten more bottles to age back in November. It is hands down my favorite pumpkin beer, and half a year’s time has only made it better