Sunday, September 14, 2008

Friday Night Beer-A-Thon With Jolly Pumpkin, Southampton, Lost Abbey, and Russian River

My beer fridge has been way too full for a long time due to the fact that I like to buy beer faster than I can drink it. So with my friend The Baltimore Beer Guy visiting from Maryland as we prepared to go to the USC/Ohio State game the next day I gave him full run on my fridge.

His first selection was a Biere de Garde from Jolly Pumpkin called Fuego del Otono, Autumn Fire. It is an ale brewed with spices and chesnuts. Sounds pretty interesting and I've been really waiting to open this for a while now. It had a real white wine-like presence in the aroma with that acidity and tartness you get from their wild fermenting processes. This beer was very light, a bit fruity, a tad funky, very mildly tart, and an all around easy sipper. It was a very nice choice to start off with late in the afternoon. Where the chesnuts show up, I don't know.

The second bere was again from Jolly Pumpkin, called Biere de Mars. This was a bit darker though still fairly light in body. It had a lot of "Rodenbach" action going for it. Pretty sour with a slight sweetness trying to peak through with it. If I hadn't seen the bottle I might have guessed this beer came out of Flanders maybe.

Next up was the Southampton Saison Deluxe. I've really been into saisons in the last few months and have really come to appreciate how great Saison Dupont is, after not being too impressed with it my first time. Southampton's saison was pretty solid, a real good beer with lots of yeast phenols giving it a pungent sweaty and earthy aroma. Nice light flavor finishing a spicy. Maybe not my choice for an every day saison due to its price, but a good to try once.

It was back to the sours for beer #4. This was Lost Abbey Isabelle Proximus. Overall it seems as sour as many of the guezes I've had from Belgium, if not more so. I don't really get as much of a wild smell to it though, even though I picked a little bit of that up when I tasted it originally at the brewery during the release a couple months ago.

Lastly, he had to finish it off with a simple choice. Russian River Blind Pig IPA. Blind Pig is always a good choice but it's so interesting how intense the hoppiness and awesome flavor is after you've just had 4 pretty non-hoppy beers. It was a good choice to finish the night off with, though didn't do me any favors in the morning when I woke up at 5:30 to get ready to head to the Coliseum.

At the game we consumed some Blind Pig and Pliny the Elder, and I had also taken a couple growlers of Ruination which turned out to be extremely flat (the beer upon pouring also looked kinda off). I had these growlers in my fridge waiting for gameday for 2 weeks so I don't see any way this could be a problem with my storage or the growler containers themselves. I've kept many growler fills (including Stone) in my fridge for 2-3, even 4 weeks and have had absolutely no problems with loss of carbonation or freshness like this, ever. I have plenty reason to believe I got two bum fills which was disappointing because we always look forward to our Ruination growlers for tailgating.

Anyway, USC beat Ohio State 35-3 and we were very happy and extermely tired from the last 24 hours of alcohol exposure.

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