Sunday, April 13, 2008

Lucky Baldwin's Strong Beer Fest

I crammed in a bunch of studying today so that I could take the night off and man was that the best decision ever. Let's get to the beer.

We first went out a few miles past our normal hangout of Lucky Baldwin's Delirium Cafe in Sierra Madre to the original Lucky Baldwin's in Pasadena since they have more taps and I figured that'd be the only place that would have Pliny the Younger on tap. We got out there and ordered a couple 12oz glasses of the Younger right off the bat. Now I remember liking this beer much more when I had it a couple months ago at Hollingshead's Deli when it was first released, but that's not to say it wasn't still pretty good tonight. For our next round we went with some tasters. One of the main attractions of this Strong beer/Barleywine fest is that they have 9 years of Sierra Nevada Bigfoot on tap ('00-'08). We ordered up tasters of the 2000 and 2004 Bigfoot. We were impressed by each. The '00 was amazingly malty with a really smooth feel to it, while the '04 still had some of it's bite left though still really malty. Compared to a fresh current sample both had lost a lot of their alcohol heat and big hop character but still had a ton of flavor to them. The last thing we I got here at the Pasadena location was the Anchor Old Foghorn which I have not had before. All I can say is, WOW, what a different barleywine. Old Foghorn has a berry sweetness and fruitiness to it that sets it apart from other malt or hop accentuated barleywines I've had in the past. It was very good I thought.

After that we started the trek back home, but decided to stop after a few miles at our normal hangout, Lucky Baldwin's Delirium Cafe which was also having the same "fest" although they have about 10-15 fewer taps. When we got there our favorite bartender Chris poured us a nice huge glass of Stone IRS '08 to have, which took me a long time to work my way through. In the meantime my buddy's girlfriend and her friend worked through a couple samples of Marin White Knuckle IPA which I got a little taste of and seemed very nice. I was still trying to work though this huge glass of Stone IRS though. In the meantime my buddy Loren got a taster of the new Avery Collaboration Not Litigation batch 2 which I hadn't had yet (although I did have a bottle of batch 01) and this new batch came out a lot lighter than that first batch. They must've added a bigger proportion of Avery's Salvation which is a lighter Belgian strong pale ale compared to Russian River's Salvation which is a Belgian style dark ale. Batch 1 is pictured to the right. Anyway, the consensus on this was that it was "ok." To finish things off we went with a Full Sail Imperial Porter which contained a nice amount of roastiness and coffee without too thick of a feel to it.

Lucky Baldwin's Strong Beer Fest continues through April 20th.

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