Friday, August 15, 2008

Tasting Wrap Up

Last night's tasting seemed to be a success, all the beer was drank, and everyone seemed happy.

Some beer horizons were expanded, including my own. There were some happy surprises, and some disappointments, but it turned out good. We had about 20 people there, and went through quite a few beers.

The first beer was Ballast Point Calico Amber, which was slightly more bitter than I had expected it to be. I had hoped it to be a maltier, brown-ish, but it was definitely an ESB. It was pretty good for a bitter.

We next had the Weihenstephaner Kristall Weissbier. This one had some strong banana flavors that were coupled with what some people described as cinnamon, others found some clove in the taste. Some people claimed this was their favorite of the night.

Weyerbacher Blithering Idiot made it's appearance at some point (there was no planned order, we poured based on people reactions to the previous beer). This one became the evening favorite of Shayna, who seemed disappointed when I told her it's not available in Illinois.

The least favorite beer for the evening was Cantillon Kriek. This was definitely not a koolaid beer, like Lindeman's. This was a big boy beer. This beer was a lot tarter than anyone had really thought was possible with beer. One of the ladies who works with Kriddy mentioned that the tartness did dissipate as the beer warmed, but it was still very present. One person claimed it was her favorite beer of the evening (danielle).

I was going to follow that up with Bells Hopslam, but thought that would be too mean, to give a DIPA after the tart, so instead I ordered up some bottles of Westmalle Tripel from the bar. This beer went over very will with everyone in attendance. That it's available at several places around town seemed to please them. That it's $7.50 a bottle at those places wasn't published... (it's cheaper at Friar Tucks)

Bells Hopslam did make it's appearance, and Danielle said it reminded her of Great Divide Hercules, which is an apt comparison. As Bells hasn't made it south of Chicago yet, Hercules would made a good substitution for a DIPA.

Boulder Mojo came around in two pint glasses on draft, to compare the IPA styles. Some liked Mojo better, others liked the Hopslam. The thinner mouthfeel was noted by more than one person.

Not on the schedule was Stone Arrogant Bastard, but I brought a couple bottles anyway, in case we ran low on beer. This one went well.

One of the favorites on the night was the Southern Tier Creme Brulee Stout. People were picking up the vanilla smell almost instantly, they also got maple syrup and other flavors. I was not as pleased with it, it was a lot thinner than I expected (I was hoping for a syrup, but instead got soda). It did have good flavor, but the thinness was upsetting. Several thought it their favorite on the night.

The final beer was pulled up from my cellar, and it was Great Lakes Blackout Stout, which was the Day of the Beer, for yesterday. This one was well received as well.

When we finished up, eating, drinking and paying our bills, the other couples went home, and Kriddy and I along with D & D and Bryan went to Bentley's for a beer and some darts.

It was a good night, there was a decent variety of beers and everyone seemed to have a good time.

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