Archive for January, 2016

At least you there’s beer when you lose

Three and a half hours, that’s how long it took me to lose at Catan. THREE AND A HALF HOURS.

God god dammit dammit. At least there was beer.

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Trillium Double Dry Hopped Scaled: I’m really digging these fresh New England IPAs. Maybe breweries around here should think about dialing back the resin a little bit.

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Trillium Scaled: Not nearly as tasty as the double dry hopped version, I’m pretty sure I also had not drawn a resource yet at this point in the game.

More beer, because it was a long week

Been pretty busy over the last week, so it was nice to unwind with a bunch of friends over some beer.

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Upright 6th Anniversary Saison: Delicious as always, but maybe eating a bunch of fried chicken beforehand ruined my palate.

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Council Brewing Beatitude: This beer has a very similar acid profile to de Garde and had some nice fruit to back it up. I don’t know much about Council, but what I have had from them so far has been tasty. Look forward to trying more of their things.

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Hill Farmstead Fear and Trembling: So…..this is probably the best baltic porter I’ve ever had. Maybe Hill Farmstead should give up their IPAs and just do porters full time. Incredible beer.

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Hill Farmstead Everett: And now the best regular porter I’ve ever had. This beer is perfect in every way.

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Hill Farmstead Flora BBR: This is Hill Farmstead’s Beaucoup Berry Bu. All of the berries! Not as jammy or fruity as de Garde’s Beaucoup Berry Bu, but has a much more complex base. Both are fantastic, and I don’t think I could pick between the two.

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Ale Apothecary Fresh Hop Sahalie: Best bottle of Sahalie I’ve had in a long time. I usually avoid Ale Apothecary because I believe their beer simply isn’t worth the price tag, but this one is very good, worth the $30 or whatever it costs.

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Hill Farmstead Leaves of Grass: This beer was pretty boring compared to the beers leading up to this, didn’t taste like much. Gotta love palate fatigue.

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John Wakefield Brewing Harbinger: As much flack as this brewery gets, they know how to make great beer. This beer is what Grey Monday can only dream of being. Fantastic hazelnut flavor here, without being overbearing. Best stout I’ve had in a long time.

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Hill Farmstead Civil Disobedience 15: MANGOES.

Abyss Palate Cleansers

While the Abyss vertical was really cool, the palate cleansers deserve their own post, and I was also just fucking lazy.

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See how lazy I was? Don’t even care that the creepy Asian guy is carrying me.

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When the beer you drink is older than the relationships you have with everyone present

Not weird, but I did discover that one of us has 3 times the number of ticks than the days I have been alive…..really impressive, and absolutely terrifying.

Anyways, my friend Kevin had finally completed his 10-year vertical of Abyss thanks to the recent release, so he wasted no time in trying to kill us all.

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Deschutes The Abyss 2006, 2007, and 2008: Remarkably different beers, with 2007 being the sweetest in my opinion. However, I was surprised to see that I actually preferred 2006 to be the best of the three, seeing as how stouts usually don’t aged well at the decade mark.

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Ah, the infected one. This particular bottle only had slight infection, even after 6 years of sitting around in someone’s cellar. I would say that it is about 1/5 of the infection that is currently found in Goose Island’s Bourbon County Coffee. Oh shit, I’m not supposed to say it’s infected, because Goose Island says it just has off flavors and isn’t actually infected, but it totally is.

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Deschutes The Abyss 2010, 2011, 2012: I’ve made it pretty clear in the past that 2010 is my favorite vintage of Abyss, and I’m going to say it again, 2010 is the best. I preferred it out of these three, then 2011, then 2012.

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Okay, here I preferred 2015 over the others, with 2014 and 2013 following.

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Oh we’re not done yet, since Deschutes released a cognac barrel aged version as well as a rye whiskey version. Rye is better in my opinion, it’s a little boozy up front, but that rye spice really pairs well with the base beer.

OKAY! Best beers of the lineup were 2010, 2006, and Rye!

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Smashing Beer

A bunch of people were out of town, so the few of us remaining had a nice quiet night playing super smash brothers and watching Top Gear. It was a good time.

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Barley Brown’s Don Vanuchi: I wish they were better at telling us which versions are barrel aged and which ones are not. This one however, is not barrel aged, but I’ll be damned. I CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S NOT BACON BARREL AGED! So much chocolate and roasty malts in this. What a delicious monster.

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Elk Valley Brewing Le Ferme Farmhouse: I had never had anything from this brewery before, and was very pleasantly surprised. Very nice and soft brett profile, not unlike Common’s Urban Farmhouse! Perhaps this beer is not quite as crisp as the Common’s beer, but it is very tasty. Would definitely drink again.

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de Garde Blackberry Bu: This beer hearkens back to 2014, and begged to be opened when I saw it kicking around in the cellar. It’s a bit of a refresher, since this beer was released before de Garde dialed back the acidity and bumped up the juiciness. This beer is very tart, but not Mother Funker tart, and that tartness persists throughout the whole taste, but does not overwhelm the very strong blackberry notes either. One of us had to pause the game because he had lost the ability to talk. “Oh, mmmm, MMMMMM!” was all he could manage. Better now than it was fresh, for sure.

The Abyss

So, I think everyone that is a beer geek knows that Deschutes’ The Abyss has been on a bit of a downward spiral for the last 4-5 years. More and more beer was being produced with less of it going into barrels while simultaneously raising the price. That’s not a good recipe for anyone except for the bean counters. However, Deschutes threw us a bone this year, two Abyss variants that are 100% aged in barrels! One variant was aged in cognac barrels and the other went into rye whiskey barrels.

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At $25 a pop, that’s a lot of money….

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From left to right: Regular Abyss, Rye Abyss, and Cognac Abyss.

Regular Abyss was certainly better this year than in years past, but it really fell flat on its face when compared to the barrel treatments. Rye is boozy up front, but has great rye character with enough chocolate and roasty flavors to counteract the spice imparted by the rye. Cognac, on the other hand, is the most cognac-forward beer I’ve ever tried, it was fascinating. I really enjoyed both beers, but I’m more curious to see where the cognac variant goes over the next 12 months or so. Guess I have to drink some other beer while I wait.

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The most complicated version of Catan. Ever.

Seriously, wtf mate?

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