Posts Tagged ‘ Armand ‘ 4 Winter ’

Geuze and Oysters – 4 years running

The gang gets together every year to do a big lambic tasting paired with an absurd amount of oysters. This year, 12 dozen oysters sacrificed themselves for our gluttony. If this was American Gods we would all be all-powerful right now.

Our basket game is pretty fucking strong right now.

Was not good.

This beer has aged really nicely, but I’m a little sad it doesn’t look hot pink anymore.

Barrel aged baltic porters are fantastic, breweries should do this more often.

Don’t put stupid fucking raspberries in beer….unless you’re Goose Island, then go ahead.

This was pretty good, but not nearly as epic as the name 🙂

Been a couple years since I’ve had Vera Mae, but it’s definitely one of the better Hill Farmstead’s saisons.

de Garde The Broken Truck No. 2: Very, very good, but lacks a little bit of complexity compared to the lambics that we had that day.

Cantillon Grand Cru Brucscella 2006: 2010 cork date? God damn Cantillon is weird with its naming schemes. It was the best Grand Cru bottle I’ve had, but I still don’t understand why some people rave about this beer when it is older.

A vertical of Cantillon Lou Pepe Kriek. The beers were surprisingly different year to year. I would rank the best ones as 2009, 2004, and 2011. 2009 was funky, tons of cherries, and a cherry pie character that the other bottles lacked. 2004 was incredibly funking but still had some fruit going on and had the best mouthfeel of the bunch. Then 2011 was delicious as always, but I’m not sure it’s worth aging at this point, it’s already so good!

Whew, seafood boil as a food break. My stomach greatly appreciated this.

Sooooo, all of these beers are absolutely absurd. In terms of rarer lambic, the Armand Seasons are some of the best, and are not actually that hard to trade for! I was the outlier in our group, but I ranked these four beers from best to least best: Lente, Herfst, Winter, and Zomer. It was all extremely close though, closer than the ranking has been in the past.


What a treat. Also, my friend’s face in the background is simply perfect.

Geuze and Oysters, V3.0

Looks like we do this big, ridiculous tasting once a year. A bunch of bearded guys run into a basement, shuck a ton of oysters, and drink really fancy beer. Yeah, sounds like a terrible way to pass as Saturday to me too. But……someone has to do it.

I volunteered.


New Belgium Prickly Pear: WTF is this?! I was expecting a light sour, and I get a stout instead. I’m going to get my pitchfork and burn this sum’bitch to the ground.


Upright Fatali Four: Ahhhhhhh, this spicy, funky, and tart beer was exactly what I was looking for. Anger gone.

Okie dokie, now that I’ve gone and stretched my hammies, let’s get this party started.


Hello there, delicious rocks.


Torkes, really nice and briny. Please excuse my shitty shucking job.


Also buttery Kumamotos, but these also had a nice briny kick to them too, probably the best kumos I’ve had.


HORAL’s Oude Geuze Mega Blend 2009-2015: Oh dear, I guess we might as well start with a complete vertical of Mega Blend. These beers got better with age, with 2009 being the clear winner, and 2015 as the loser, with 2013 and 2011 somewhere in the middle. 2013 had a nice citrus note to it, while 2011 was a little less carbonated and muted, but more complex. Then you have 2009 dropping notes of perfection everywhere, with that mushroomy funk that you can only find with old sour beers.




and of course, when you have lots of bottles opened, you have to make a coovie….FOR SCIENCE. Seriously though, this coovie was better than any of the other beers by itself. A+ for science.


Drie Fonteinen Framboos: If only this beer had some god damn bubbles. Honestly, I thought this beer was too fruity, with not enough lambic qualities. The previous batch of Framboos was very much the same, but that beer became a delicious funky monster during its later years. I hope this beer goes in the same direction. B+


Okay, play time is over. Time to hit the big leagues.


Drie Fonteinen Armand ‘4 Lente, Zomer, Herfst, Winter: My personal ranking was Lente, Winter, Zomer, and Herfst. Normally I would rank Winter last and Herfst second, but this bottle of Winter was absolutely out of this world, with a much fuller mouthfeel than the other beers of the set. On the other hand, Herfst’s cork had slipped, so it had partially oxidized and had zero carbonation. That being said, that bottle of Herfst would have still dominated most tastings, but it just took a back seat this time. Lente was softer than the other Seasons, but it had a great lingering finish, and had was refreshing despite being a thoroughly funky beer. God, I wish I could do this all the time. This is how I would die, drinking these.


Of course, a coovie of these beers as well. Really, really good, but I wouldn’t say it was better than they beers by themselves. No synergies here.


Uhhhhhh, yeah. That happened. Armand & Tommy was good, but not up to the level of the Seasons. Sorry BeerAdvocate beer traders inflating the value of this beer.


Hill Farmstead Society and Solitude #5: I forgot what hops tasted like!


That is a sexy photo. Batch 1 and 2 of Cantillon’s 50N4E


Cantillon 50N4E batch 1 and 2: So, batch 1 is one of the best things I’ve ever put into my mouth, while batch 2 is merely fantastic. The main thing about these beers is that they are all about the finish. Most lambic goes the funky bitter route, while these dive right into the cognac savory territory. It’s like they start out as a nice lambic, and then change their minds and decide that they want to be a spirit. I’m really happy I got a chance to try batch 1, as I seriously doubt I’ll ever try that beer again, or even see another bottle.


Drie Fonteinen Oude Geuze Golden Blend: Sorry folks, people who say that this is another Armand & Tommy, it’s not. Go back onto Reddit and complain about rent prices or something.


Cantillon Lou Pepe Gueuze 2008 (2011 cork): This beer is in a terrible situation, as it would have crushed any tasting except this one. Here, it is merely tasty, and not approaching god-like just yet. On the bright side, this beer shows lots of potential, and can probably age another 10 years and be fine.

More De Garde….they release too many bottles.

First world problems are abundant here in Portland.



De Garde Lee Kriek: Surprisingly better than Vin Lee, and much less explosive. Tart and funky with a really prominent cherry flavor. You get a huge hit of that cinnamon flavor that you find in beers such as Montmorency vs. Balaton and Lou Pepe Kriek. This one is a winner. A


Enginehouse #9 De Garde Anniversary Blend: I think this one had raspberries and rhubarb in it. Whatever is in it, it was very drinkable, more like a light lemonade than a beer. B+/A-


Sante Adarius Appreciation batch 2: Not nearly as good as batch 1, mainly due to less boysenberry flavor. I prefer boysenberry bu to this one, but I would trade for this and drink it all day long. A-

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Well fuck. Herfst > Winter > Everything else drank that day.

The following are almost all irrelevant:


Block 15 Abracadabra: Pretty sure this is the batch of infected imagine blended with cherries. It’s really good. A+


We lost a good man that day…

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Some other turds, like Imperial Vin Bu Tempranillo and Alpine Nelson. Stupid stuff all around.

Crooked Stave Rainbow

My tasting group got together at “haveuseenmybasement” to taste the rainbow. For a little background information, Crooked Stave started a series of experimental beers a couple years ago called the “Wild Wild Brett” series. This series of beers were made with various fruits or herbs and fermented with brett. The series was completed a couple of months ago and we finally rounded up the whole set.

But first, a little warm up.


Burnside Brewing Kristal Weisse: Quite good, really haven’t had many beers of this style before. This would have been great during the summer. B+

And now, some New Glarus beers to wrap up our warm up session!

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Time to get serious.


Crooked Stave Wild Wild Brett Rouge: First nose is straight nail polish remover, but that dissipates almost instantly. What’s left is a huge brett bomb with some fruit-rollup characteristics. Not that great. C+


Crooked Stave Wild Wild Brett Orange: Much better, but still a brett bomb. I like the orange peel flavor that this beer gets from the tangelos used in the brewing process. B


Crooked Stave Wild Wild Brett Yellow: Oh wow, this beer is really incredible. The lemony tartness in this beer is really fantastic. A/A+


Crooked Stave Wild Wild Brett Green: Tastes like an IPA, kind of boring. B


Crooked Stave Wild Wild Brett Blue: Spruce beer, which tasted very strongly of Christmas tree when I had it when the beer first came out. The spruce flavor has faded a little bit, for the better. B/B+


Crooked Stave Wild Wild Brett Indigo: Mmmmm blueberries. I really like this beer, but Yellow just crushes it. I do think that this beer is better than Cascade Blueberry though. B+/A-


Crooked Stave Wild Wild Brett Violet: Oh hell yes. This beer edges out Yellow by a nose. I really love this beer, and will have to greedily trade for more. A+

Now that that’s over, let’s get back to regular drinking.


De Garde Vin Rougie: A little bit of sulfur on the nose, but it tastes really great. I love the extra bit of punch that this beer has over the regular Rougie. I ended up sending a couple bottles of this beer to friends to spread the love, but I’m grateful I kept a few to myself. A


Drie Fonteinen Armand ‘4 Winter: Superfunk wut. A+

Well, that escalated quickly.

My friend dropped in from New York for the weekend. I was only able to hang out with him on Saturday, but we made the best of it with tons of beer and a full season of Top Gear!


De Garde Bu Weisse to get things started.


De Garde Rougie: Tons better than the draft version. A little bit more tartness and a lot more red wine barrel in comparison to the draft version. I’m sad I didn’t buy more of this one. A-


De Garde Cornelio Nunez: I didn’t have my coffee that day. This proved a worthy substitute.




Block 15 Turbulent Consequence – Premiere Annee: So damn good, right up there with Golden Canary and Beatification. A


Upright Barrel Aged Flora Rustica: I love this beer, LOVE LOVE LOVE. A/A+


Commons Maybelle: Still aging gracefully, but this bottle has a bit of sulfur to it that I haven’t experienced in previous bottles. A-


Logsdon Fresh Hop Seizoen: This beer is amazing, much better than last year’s version. Might be up there with Seizoen Bretta in terms of flavor. A-


Defiant Tripel: Pretty simple beer, nothing crazy about it. B


Firestone Walker Sucaba: I forgot how much I enjoy this beer, I need to get my hands on more of the caramely goodness. A-


Firestone Walker XV: Really good, the year and a half of cellaring really helped mellow it out. Too bad it was my only one. A


Surly Darkness: Best non-barrel aged stout imo. DARKNESS!! A-


Upright Special Herbs: My favorite Upright beer resurfaces! A+


Drie Fonteinen Armand ‘4 Winter: Need I say more?! Best beer of the night. ALL THE A+’s!


De Garde Loak Bean: Really tasty, but I’m pretty wrecked at this point. A+


Firestone Walker XVI: Forgot to open this one earlier, whoops. A/A+


Hair of the Dog Bourbon Fred 2012: Bubbles are amazing, and this beer is too. A+


Hill Farmstead Birth of Tragedy: Probably shouldn’t have opened this one…..I couldn’t even finish it. A+

Gueuze and Oysters

Yeah, weird pairing right? But this pairing is absolutely genius! I’m going to have to do this on my own in the future. Oysters…good….gueuze…good…..add them together and you could break the space-time continuum.


It was from this moment that I knew I wasn’t going to leave that house sober….


Cantillon Lou Pepe Gueuze 2008: First time having LP Gueuze, and it’s really, really good. Turns out it’d be one of the best beers of the night! A+


Armand ‘4 Herfst: Looks like this beer gets to make another appearance, and it’s still just as good as I remember. Might be the best beer of the night. A+


Block 15 Golden Canary 2011: Really tasty, but doesn’t quite hold up against the competition so far. It’s sweeter than I remember, but I don’t think I’ve had the 2011 batch before. A-


Commons Maybelle: Solid, but this time it just tasted like water. The other beers were far to aggressively sour and funky.


Lost Abbey Duck Duck Gooze: One of my biggest wants, and I finally got to try it. This beer is SOUR. Just smelling it makes me involuntarily pucker up. Not so much funk, but I can’t really tell because I’m still crying from the sourness. Awesome beer. A+



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Palette cleansers




and after.


Drie Fonteinen Golden Blend: Really, really good. I guess the last bottle I had was kind of off? A+


Breakside Postmodern Lambic: Don’t remember much about this one…


Whales….very few bottles made of this beer. Apparently it came from France and was made with Cantillon yeast?


Block 15 Super Nebula: Stupid good. A+




Don’t remember this one in detail either! Woooo!


Hill Farmstead Florence: Good, but HF can do soo  much better. B+


We also did a blind tasting between 2 boons, beatification, oude gueze, classic gueuze, and tilquin. My ranking was in order of best to worst: Beatification, oude gueze, tilquin, classic gueuze, and then the two boons.

Total rankings were: Beatification, tilquin, oude gueze, classic gueuze, and then the two boons.


Alpine Pure Hoppiness: Stupid good. The hoppiness was a fantastic break from the sour onslaught. A-


Armand 4′ Winter: Another repeat, and just as delicious. Another top beer emerges! A+


Cantillon Cuvee des Champions: Haven’t gotten to tick this one before, and it’s good! A


Cantillon Iris: It’s been two years since I last had this beer, and it’s really different than I remember. Still good though. A


Bleh bleh blehgh blend!