Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Tonight's meeting is marked by a momentous occasion- tomorrow night is the Wild Turkey Beer Club's 1 year anniversary. We have the most spectacular selection of beers seen in a beer club and one that would rival even the most prestigious beer event. We have several of the toughest-to-get and most highly regarded beers of their style. The meeting includes everyone to have participated in beer club- all 11 of us- which is a record.
We're going in a slightly different order tonight. We want to keep similar styles together, so we're starting off with sours and lighter beers and ending with the imperial stouts.
First up, Tom B brought Deschutes The Dissident. This Flanders Oud Bruin is 10.5% alcohol. There are cherries and a certain sour kick at the end, but it won't make you pucker. You can taste the alcohol in this one as well, which is unusual for the style. Tasty for sure, although it's not my favorite sour. It is a little too much for a style that is known for subtlety.
Batting second is Joe's beer, Westmalle Tripel. This one is #58 on BA and comes in at 9.5%. This might be one of the lighter beers of the evening. It pours a cloudy golden color and smells of candi sugars and black pepper. There is definitely a bite to this one. Not the smoothest tripel but a solid beer.
Next, Tom J brings us Chimay Blue, which is a delicious Belgian Strong Dark Ale. This one is brewed at a monastery in Belgium by religious guys. 9%! This one is the lightest yet. It's a dark maroon color and smells of gingerbread and plums. Gingerbread salad. Joe says "Mark me down for an A." Too bad he's rating out of turn! Hehe : ) Mmmmmboy, that's refreshment.
Mike obtained the next beer in a trade. Ballast Point Victory at Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter is its full name and it comes in at 10.5%. I was probably most excited for this and Parabola when I saw the beer list for tonight. it pours a jet black with a brown head. Coffee smell (TOM J F!!! TOM J F!!!). It tastes like a coffee... vanilla... porter. Boy, that's a taster, alright. I'm not normally a big porter guy but that's the tops.
Turnbull brings us Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout. I remember drinking this with my fake ID at Old Chicago in Uptown a smooth decade ago. This comes in at a standard English Stout level of 5%. It's jet black but relatively light on the tongue. It's slightly sweet and easy to drink.
Derek procured a Surly 4, their 4th anniversary ale. Obviously this has been aged for about a year because their 5th anniversary is going on right now. It's known as a Milk Stout which is 10% booze. Derek seems to be having trouble with the wax. It pours another dark black color and smells a little coffee-y. Woodpond thinks it tastes like a good cup o Joe. What say you?
Wild card Woodpond was a last minute addition to the meeting. He brings to us New Holland Night Tripper Imperial Stout, which I may or may not think is a nod to Girl Talk. This one is a 10.8% Imperial Stout that I nary have seen before. This is a hoppy stout, that's for sure. Not dissimilar to Victory Storm King. It's not quite as smooth so the booze is evident. Let's get this meeting moving...
Belfry brings us Firestone Walker. This one comes in a box, yo. It's packaged similar to a scotch and approaches its ABV. 13% boyeeeee. I've been waiting to try this one forever. Mike thinks this one is a pair 'o' bolas. Oh boy, this one smells delicious. Smells of molasses, chocolate, and burnt hot dog salad sandwiches. A pretty serious Imperial Stout experience. You're a serious goofball if you ain't think this an A.
Colin was kind enough to donate to us a Surly Darkness. This is one delicious stout that comes in at 10.3%. I think there is some serious beer degrading going on here. We have so many delicious beers tonight that it's hard for "some people" to give all A's, although if we brought the worst beer of the night to Mexican night it would be an easy A. Well, this Darkness has more noticeable chocolate and hops than the last, but I don't like it quite as much.
Next in the ultimate Imperial Stout showdown is The Abyss, by Deschutes. This one is 11%. Brent brought us this delicious treat and I think he just slammed his glass. I'm pretty sure everyone is feeling the healthy buzz provided by all these beers. Obviously side topics are reigning.
Lastly, we have Lampe's Mirror Mirror Barleywine. Always a good option, this one comes in at 11%. This is a solid barleywine- spicy and... barleyish? I always find it difficult to describe a barleywine, like a strong ale. Either way, it's tasty. We're now talking about shirt matches and the boo box.
SUPPLIES BEER!! Colin's taking a page from Lampe's book and bringing an extra surprise beer. We have Deschutes Black Butte XXI, which is an American Porter at 11%. A dark black, but this one is much roastier than the Ballast Point one. It has a thinner mouth and tastes much more like a standard porter.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Tonight we are here to celebrate the baptism of Lampe into official brotherhood. He's on top of hosting duties for the first time and the theme is canned beers. Tonight, Lampe will be joined by Derek, Mike, Colin, Brent, and I.
First up, Lampe brings to us Tallgrass Oasis. A beer I've never tried from a brewery I've never tried. This guy is a double IPA coming in at 7.2% ABV. This pours a darker amber color than most double IPAs and there is a definitely sea monkey presence. It smells bitter and citrusy, but it has a pretty thin mouthfeel. There are some bitter hops in the beginning, but they kind of dissipate.
Next up is an old familiar face- Surly Coffee Bender. We've all had this several times and its a taste festival. It's classified as an American Brown Ale, but there's an obvious coffee kick. The beer we just tried was a bit cold, so it dulled the flavor a bit, but we all know what this tastes like. Let's rate...
Derek brings us Oskar Blues Dale's Pale Ale. This one comes from Denver by way of Hudson, Wisconsin. Wow, new record for noob slur! Mike just misconjugated a really easy verb. Let's not Dale's Pale Ale with Casey's roommate Dale. This beer does not DVR the O'Reilly Factor and watch it, standing up, with the volume turned all the way up. This stuff is just a standard, tasty pale ale. Standard hazy orange color, nice medium mouthfeel, and a good balance.
Next we have Surly CynicAle. This is sort of a cross between a Belgian Golden Ale and a Saison. It pours a relatively clear golden color and smells of candi sugar. It's just a perfect blend of candi sugar and smoooooooth aaaaale flavorrrrr. Hide your kids, hide yo wife, it's time to rate.
Up next, we have HOLY CRAP DEREK JUST BROKE ONE OF KELLY LAMPE'S CHAIRS! BAAAAHAHAHAHA! On to da next... Mike brings us Young's Double Chocolate Stout. It's a tallboy can, much like Guinness. It also tastes similar to Guinness... quite roasty and smooth, but not boozy or too flavorful. I definitely think the chocolate goes a long way.
See Derek, this is why we can't have nice things
Lastly we have 21st Amendment Back in Black IPA. Black IPAs are the trendy new thing amongst brewers- even newer and trendier than sours. If you want to impress your beer geek friends at the Bryant Lake Bowl, make sure you say you went to an underground beer festival in Williamsburg, Brooklyn that featured strictly East coast Black IPAs. This beer pours... SUPPLIES!.. a dark, almost black color. It smells and tastes hoppy, even fruity. Let's end this session.
Surprise last beer! We have Panil Barriquee Riserva which is a Flanders Red Ale from Italy. How bizaaa! It looks and smells like a standard Flanders Red, but there is a definite Brett kick on the tongue. A delicious surprise, it is.
We're approaching our 1 year anniversary, although we're not sure what we're doing for it. Stay tuned, all 6 non-member readers!