Inspired to drink old de Garde

Have to hand it to my buddy Dale, it’s time to start drinking old de Garde. Without further ado, let’s get to it!

But not without a story first:

It’s 2013, and a bunch of us are driving out to our friend’s brand new brewery in Tillamook for one of their first bottle releases. Was there a line? No not really, maybe 10 people at most. Little did we know that we would be walking away with a berliner that still sings 3 years later.

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de Garde Imperial Blackberry Bu: One of the beers that really put de Garde on the map! 150 bottles, and released alongside Imperial Raspberry Bu and Imperial Boysenberry Bu. Bottle was looking extremely clear before opening, since it has been sitting around for 3 years, brooding. Using advice from my friend Dale, I agitated the bottle a bit before allowing the bottle to rest before opening. Result was a ruby, cloudy beer with a little bit of head before dissipating. Nose is big. Smells tart, but the smell is overwhelmingly blackberries. Taste is superb, but I can’t tell you if this beer is better now or back when it was fresh. Quite tart, with a huge hit of blackberry juice before finishing dry with notes of blackberry skins, sans bitterness. Sad to see my last bottle go, but it was a proper sendoff.

Since it was my last bottle….

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Might as well do a vertical! Batch 2 is a prettier beer, but lacks in almost every other category compared to batch 1. Nose is pretty weak by comparison, and the taste does not have as much blackberries, and the finish has a tannic, bitter aspect to it that batch 1 did not have. Great beer by itself, but I know what I’m going to do with my remaining bottles. Wait 3 years.

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