Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Night

Starting off with a Bear Republic Racer 5. Heading to Lucky Baldwin's Delirium Cafe in Sierra Madre for the night.

Pliny the Elder and an '06 Double Bastard in the background at Lucky B's

Blind Pig at Lucky B's

Loren and his Russian River Salvation

Lucky Baldwin's Delirium Cafe, Sierra Madre, CA

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Some Quick Tidbits on Celebration, Redemption, and Supplication

This is the newest release of Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale (2008). It's a little different than years past. For instance the color. Usually it is perfectly clear. This batch seems to have some haze in it, and seems more orangish brown than the orangish-red of the past. The taste still delivers a lot of that piney goodness, although I detected quite a bit of citrus coming from this, something I've never noticed in Celebration before. Really has that "juicy" feel to it this year.

I haven't tasted Russian River Redemption since the very first time I had it over a year ago at the brewery. I liked it quite a bit then and those feelings were reaffirmed again. This is a very light, tasty Belgian... nicely flavored with a light fruitiness, and only a very tiny amount of the Belgian yeast earthy characterstic coming through... it's actually a fairly clean beer.

Sour beers are good.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Lucky Balwins/Stone 12th Anniversary Party Menu

Here is the actual tap list, as of this last Sunday afternoon at least (10/26), at the Sierra Madre location. Click on it, as usual, for a larger, clearer picture.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Afternoon at Lucky Baldwin's 12th Anniversary

They had Sierra Nevada Chico Estate Harvest on tap which was excellent. Then decided to close it out with an old favorite- Blind Pig. My beer drinking brother ordered a Stone 10th Anniversary double IPA.

Russian River Blind Pig IPA

Stone 10th Anniversary IPA - strange beer after 2+ years of aging...

Lucky Baldiwns + Stone 12th Anniversary Celebration

Staring this past Saturday, Lucky Baldiwn's, located in Pasadena and Sierra Madre, CA will be holding a 2 week 12th anniversary celebration at both pub locations. Coincidentally, it's also Stone's 12th anniversary so how appropriate is it that Lucky B's is putting on a ton of Stone beers? For past anniversary weeks they've put on an abundance of their Pasadena hometown local brewery Craftsman beers to celebrate the ocassion. It appears they'll still have a handful of Craftman beers on, and a lot of other stuff too.

Here is a partial list (from the Lucky Baldwin's newsletter) of what will be on tap:
  • Stone 7th Anniversary
  • Stone 8th Anniversary
  • Stone 9th Anniversary
  • Stone 10th Anniversary
  • Stone 11th Anniversary
  • Stone 12th Anniversary
  • Stone Smoked Porter
  • Stone Arrogant Bastard
  • Stone Oak Arrogant Bastard
  • Stone Double Bastard 2006
  • Stone Russian Imperial Stout 2007
  • Stone Cali Belgique IPA
  • Stone India Pale Ale
  • Stone Vertical Epic 08-08-08
  • Stone Old Guardian
  • Russian River Salvation
  • Russian River Pliny the Elder
  • Russian River Blind Pig
  • Russian River IPA
  • Sierra Nevada Anniversary
  • Sierra Nevada Harvest
  • Sierra Nevada Big Foot
  • Alesmith Little Devil
  • Alesmith Old Numbskull
  • Lost Abbey Witches Wit
  • Craftsman Baldwin 10
  • Craftsman Edgar’s Ale
  • Craftsman Honesty Ale
  • Craftsman Cabernale
  • Craftsman El Prieto

Saturday, October 25, 2008

College Football Saturday at Home... A Long Day

11am: My game doesn't start until 7:15 pacific time tonight, so I have all day to kill and nothing to do. Just sitting around watching some of the early games this morning, went for something light- a Port Brewing Panzer Imperial Pilsner at only 9.5% ABV. Read about the story behind it here... My quick thoughts on it were that it was an OK beer, maybe I was expecting something more, or something that it wasn't suppose to be. Still, it's not like it was a drain pour or anything, and that 9.5% can kick your butt in the morning. I thought it would have a bit more of a snappy hoppiness to it like my favorite pilsners, but it was not to be.

Thinking about what my next choice will be...

4:30pm: Stone Veritcal Epic 08.08.08. I seem to be drinking this once a week. It's somewhat expensive at $6.99 so I don't know how much more my wallet can take. The interesting thing is, each bottle has tasted slightly different. The first one I tried had a really nice citrusy hop finish, the second one had a really big sweaty-like yeast presence, and this one seems to have a little more saison-like, and in addition has a unique bubblegum smell to it. I'm not sure this one will hold up nicely until 12.12.12 (although I think that can be predicted for a lot of the Vertical Epic beers). This ranks right up there with my favorite Stone beers... in fact, thinking about it, here would have to be my top 5 Stone choices-

  1. Ruination IPA (somewhat sentimental choice)
  2. Smoked Porter w/ vanilla bean
  3. 08.08.08
  4. IPA
  5. Imperial Russian Stout
6:00pm: For dinner we smoked a pork butt which I decided to pair with my 2006 Alaskan Smoked Porter. This exact beer won a GOLD medal at the GABF in the "aged beer" category. Compared to fresher Alaskan Smoked Porter I didn't think it was as good. I think the smokiness comes out a lot better in the newer bottles. It was still pretty good though, and especially when it warms up a lot, the smokiness comes out big time.

Friday, October 24, 2008

TAPS Pumpkin Ale

That's all you get. A blurry picture. And I'm going to bed now. The beer was not bad. Dogfish Head Punkin' Ale was better.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

More Holiday Beers - Troegs Mad Elf

This bottle was saved from their 2007 release. It looks like the 2008 Mad Elf is just hitting stores along the Mid-Atlantic. This robust 11% ABV ale brewed with honey and cherries can be classified as a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. It fits that mold pretty nicely. It actually reminded me quite a bit of Scaldis, another high octane Belgian dark.

It pours a reddish-brown color, kinda nice as it hits on that Christmas and/or cherry theme. This is a sweet smelling and sweet tasting beer. The cherries are pretty evident in the aroma after a couple minutes and there's a lot of sugar smell to this. The same kind of sugary smell I'll get in a Leffe Brown or a Scaldis. Belgian yeast earthiness and a sugary sweetness come through in the flavor along with its slick, but not syrup-like texture. It's actually pretty easy to drink overall. It doesn't get too cloying but it comes kinda close. The fruit characteristic give it enough of another dimension to keep it interesting, and drinkable.

I think it qualifies as a good seasonal/holiday brew. 4.2/5

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Still Celebrating 2007

I rarely every advocate cellaring or withstanding from drinking an IPA for 12 months after purchase, but that's what I did with my last bottle of 2007 Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale. As the 2008 batch has started to arrive on shelves I decided it's time to clean out the old stock, which was just one last bottle. This beer has been refrigerated constantly since I bought it last November.

The look never changes, it's a beautiful crystal clear orange with a red tint. I love that red tint. My picture doesn't do it full justice. Off white head builds up nicely into a finger's worth of froth and fades down leaving some good lacing. The smell- this doesn't smell like a year old beer. It smells bitter, which is a term I rarely use to describe a beer's aroma, but it also has this resinous pine smell. For a year-old refrigerated beer, it's got a good deal of freshness in it. The taste, pretty close to how I remember. A piny resin hits your tongue and coats it with a formidable bitterness. There's a substantial malt to this, but they keep the body it on the lighter side of medium, or maybe the heavier side of light. Where that malt comes though in the taste is hard to discern, because the pine overwhelms everything so much. There's a toastiness there though, mostly coming through in the finish.

Don't ask me how Sierra Nevada does it, but the fact that this thing holds up for a year almost perfectly, even in the fridge, is amazing to me. I've had other hoppy beers kept in a fridge that long that easily fade away. The 2008 stock should arrive around LA area stores within the next week.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Ommegang Ommegeddon With A Year Of Age On It

This bottle was from the first batch purchased in 2007. From Ommegang's website:

Ommegeddon is 8% ABV Belgian-style ale with a wild twist- a dose of Brettanomyces yeast and a blast of dry hopping. It’s a strong blonde ale with a sharp citrus flavor that, like the other Ommegang ales, has a dry finish. Its dryness and funkiness begat the name of Ommegeddon for the time when the forces of light and dark battle for world dominion. It’s time for you to pick your side.
Since this bottle is over a year old, aging may increase the Brettanomyces character but surely the dry hopping character will be gone. That makes for an interesting tug-of-war. It seems odd to add an ingredient (Brettanomyces) at bottling that takes quite a bit of time to develop and assert its character, while at the same time giving the beer a characteristic (dry hopping) that will fade relatively fast with cellaring.

Anyway, time to drink after a year I suppose. The aroma I get out of it at first is similar to a brut champagne. As far as funk expected from the Brett, not so much. There's a bit of a dirt character in there, probably accentuated by the dryness. Faint citric lemon-like in aroma too. In the taste the dryness is apparent right off the bat while flavors of faint lemon juice starts you off and finishes with a yeasty earthiness. Seems like there is a lingering tannic bitterness, similar to a beer that had spent some time on wood, though I don't think this one ever touched wood. Really dry overall.

Well, it started out as kind of a disappointment to me, I thought it'd be either more tart or more funky. It wasn't really either, in terms of my expectations. The beer did grow on me and I enjoyed the whole bottle, but would not enjoy it again at the price I obtained it at ($13 I think).

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Not Getting Too Stoopid

So today I had the pleasure of having a beer that has probably been referred to by the most puns in regards to its name among beer lovers than any beer ever created (hence the title of this post). A year ago I ignorantly passed up this beer on tap when I saw it at a local pub during a week long Lagunitas fest, instead opting for their Sirius Cream Ale and 12th Anniversary Undercover Shutdown Ale (two good brews though!). That was probably my best chance without driving really far to get super-fresh Hop Stoopid. Since then I have seen it at stores but just haven't had the motivation to buy it, until I started hearing rants and raves about it from my friend Brian, the Baltimore Beer Guy. So while out at a store the other day I picked up a bottle which was refrigerated and looked forward to trying it.

Popped it open today and the smell was fairly disappointing. Sure there was enough hoppiness to get the sense it was a double IPA, but it wasn't the sort of hop blasting I was expecting. There was quite a bit of sweetness observable as well. The taste followed suit. Did it taste really old? No. Did it just taste like a pretty good double IPA- yes. Floral hoppiness and a moderate bitterness were wiped away with a big caramely sweet ending. I finished the whole 22oz bottle, which goes to show that I liked it enough, but there wasn't the "wow" factor that I was looking for based on what I've read about this beer. When I see it on tap again I will definitely order it again to confirm I had a somewhat aged bottle.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

College Football Pairs Well With Stone

Starting it off this morning.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

TAPS Fishouse & Brewery Pumpkin Ale and Oktoberfest On Tap Now

TAPS Fishouse & Brewery of Brea, CA and more recently also Corona, CA has put their Pumpkin Ale and Oktoberfest beers on. This multi award winning brewery has received very good feedback of these beers, especially the pumpkin ale, on Internet beer geek forums. I personally have not tried these beers yet but judging by the other beers I've had from them, I can only assume the chatter is pretty accurate. If you find yourself in the northern Orange County area make it a point to stop in here and have a pint or two (The Corona location probably has them on tap too). Hopefully by the time I get down there they haven't ran out.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Couple'a New Beers - One Great (Dogfish Head), One BAD (Miller)

I just finished drinking this Dogfish Head Punkin Ale, and while I readily admit a lot of their beers don't overly impress me (except that Indian Brown Ale, damn is that a great beer), this Punkin Ale was THE best pumpkin ale I've had to this date. Granted, I still have sitting in my fridge what most people consider the top pumpkin beer available- Southern Tier's Pumpking, but I think that might have a hard time beating Dogfish Head's Punkin.

Punkin is labeled as "A full-bodied brown ale brewed with real pumpkin, brown sugar, allspice, cinnamon & nutmeg." It delivers, for sure. The aroma has an abundance of the spice, but it doesn't smell like a cheap candle, it actually smells good. Well props to them for finding the right combination to do that. Then the taste lives up just as much. The body is nice and semi-sweet, and masks the spices until the end where they come though nicely... I mean they are the reason anyone drinks a pumpkin ale so you need to have them in the taste right.

The other beer I had last night with my enchiladas and rice was the highly acclaimed (I kid, I kid) Miller Genuine Draft 64. Trust me, I didn't pay for it but it was in the fridge nonetheless. Don't mind that finger in the background either. It's coming from a guy who actually enjoys that beer that's in the background, but I'm not a beer snob, and I digress. Good lord this thing was the definition of tasteless. If I closed my eyes there was no doubt I was drinking soda water. But, the interesting thing was as tasteless as it was I still drank it pretty fast and had no complaints. It wasn't offensive or anything. Will I have another one? No. Did I completely hate this experience? No. Now that Bud Light Lime... that's another story... yikes.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

California's GABF Medals & Comments

AleSmith Brewing Co.Vintage Speedway StoutCASilver Aged Beer
AleSmith Brewing Co.AleSmith Old NumbskullCASilver Barley Wine-Style Ale
AleSmith Brewing Co.AleSmith Decadence Old AleCAGold Old Ale or Strong Ale
AleSmith Brewing Co.AleSmith Wee HeavyCAGold Strong Scotch Ale
Anderson Valley Brewing Co.Brother Davids DoubleCASilver Belgian-Style Strong Specialty Ale
Bear Republic Brewing Co.El OsoCABronze American-Style Amber Lager
Bear Republic Brewing Co.Double AughtCABronze Bohemian-Style Pilsener
BJ's Restaurant & Brewery - ChandlerBJ's OktoberfestCAGold American-Style Amber Lager
BJ's Restaurant & Brewery - ChandlerI'm Half the Beer I Used to BeCAGold German-Style Wheat Ale
Drake's Brewing Co.Drake's 1500 PaleCASilver American-Style Pale Ale
Elk Grove Brewery and RestaurantBad Dog Brown AleCABronze American-Style Brown Ale
Elk Grove Brewery and RestaurantBock LagerCASilver Bock
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.FiftyFifty Imperial StoutCABronze Other Strong Beer
FireHouse Grill & BreweryFireHouse PorterCASilver Brown Porter
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.Mission Street PaleCAGold American-Style Pale Ale
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.Velvet MerkinCASilver Oatmeal Stout
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.OaktoberfestCASilver Vienna-Style Lager
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.Nectar PaleCASilver American-Style Strong Pale Ale
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.Firestone Pale 31CABronze American-Style Pale Ale
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.Union Jack IPACAGold American-Style India Pale Ale
Hollister Brewing Co.Hip Hop Double IPACASilver Imperial or Double India Pale Ale
Mad River Brewing Co.Steelhead Extra Pale AleCAGold Golden or Blonde Ale
Main Street BreweryHop Daddy IPACABronze English-Style India Pale Ale
Main Street BreweryBishop's Tipple TrippelCAGoldBelgian-Style Abbey Ale
Pizza Port CarlsbadNight Rider Imperial StoutCASilver Imperial Stout
Pizza Port CarlsbadParty Pants PilsenerCASilver German-Style Pilsener
Pizza Port CarlsbadCow StoutCABronze Sweet Stout
Pizza Port CarlsbadPort Truck StoutCABronze Classic Irish-Style Dry Stout
Pizza Port CarlsbadState Beach BlondeCABronze Herb and Spice or Chocolate Beer
Pizza Port San ClementeWay HeavyCASilver Strong Scotch Ale
Pizza Port Solana BeachBig WednesdayCABronze American-Belgo Style Ale
Port Brewing and The Lost AbbeyHop 15CABronze Imperial or Double India Pale Ale
Rock Bottom Brewery - La JollaRagtop RedCASilver Irish-Style Red Ale
Russian River Brewing Co.Blind Pig IPACASilver American-Style India Pale Ale
Russian River Brewing Co.RedemptionCAGold Belgian- and French-Style Ale
San Diego Brewing Co.Hopnotic 2X IPACAGold Imperial or Double India Pale Ale
Schooner's Grille & BreweryOatmeal StoutCABronze Oatmeal Stout
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.Sierra Nevada Kolsch Style AleCASilver German-Style K├Âlsch
Third Street AleworksBlarney Sisters Dry Irish StoutCAGold Classic Irish-Style Dry Stout

Alesmith really took home some big prizes for big beers. As easy as they are for me to get, I've only previously had the Alesmith Old Numbskull barleywine which stood out over many of the other samples I had during a strong ale fest. I've had Speedway before but I wonder what they mean by Vintage? It's probably not one of their special release barrel aged Speedways, so it must just be a couple year old bottle of Speedway? I noticed that Alaskan won in that "Aged Beer" category for their 2006 Smoked Porter.

Big congrats to BJ's for bringing home yet more awards this year. Last year they won Gold with their Nit Wit witbier. That oktoberfest is surely tastey, I had a glass of this year's batch a couple weeks ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. It's kind of weird that they listed BJ's as a CA brewery since their Chandler location is in Arizona. Maybe it's because most BJ's are in CA? I know certain CA BJ's locations still brew (although I'm told they are brewing more at the Reno production facility and cutting down on the individual BJ's locations that actually brew, which sucks if true), and I think West Covina and Brea or Woodland Hills still brews their own beer.

Firestone cleaned up with 6 medals! Their two pales are absolutely fantastic when fresh. They are on the hoppier side of pale ales but the flavors come through so beautifully. Union Jack is one of the best IPA's in IPA-rich California. It probably gets overlooked a lot and sorta has a cult following of people who really back it.

Hollister, in Goleta next to the UCSB campus, is doing some great things. I just had the pleasure of stopping by there on a trip recently and they nailed quite a few beers of the 13 I sampled. I do remember the Hip Hop Double IPA which wasn't bad, but didn't stand out above a couple of their pale ales which were amazingly hopped.

Main Street Brewery??? Corona is about a 20 minute drive from me and I've never heard anyone say anything really great about this brewery. But TWO medals? Wow. Especially when one is in the Belgian-style category. Pretty impressive for what has to be a tiny brewery. That will definitely call for a stop next time I'm in that area.

Easily expected was the 8 medals from Pizza Port/Port Brewing. Those guys know how to make beer and what's great is they know how to make so many styles well.

Russian River I don't think really ever enters that many beers. I've seen Temptation win in the past, and maybe Blind Pig too, but Blind Pig getting a silver behind Union Jack isn't too surprising. Like I said, if you're not native to CA but happen to find yourself here- don't JUST go seeking the infamous Pig.... get some Union Jack too.

And how about Santa Rosa bringing home a Gold, but not by Russian River, by Third Street Aleworks which is literally about a 2 minute walk from the Russian River brewpub.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Tonight and Beer - or beer's cousin...

Ended up drinking beers best cousin tonight- Whiskey. In fact, Rye Whiskey. Old Fashioned with Rye Whiskey (see post a couple weeks ago). Of course I still hit the best malted beverage in the world quite a bit tonight. Started with a Saison Rue from The Brurey, followed by a Trade Winds Tripel, and then went to Hollingshead's Deli for a half liter of Blind Pig and Spaten Oktoberfest. Ended up walking out with a 6-pack of Pliny the Elder and the satisfaction of seeing the Dodgers go down 0-2 in the series. Pretty good night eh? Will be up around 5:30am tomorrow morning to head to the USC vs. Arizona State game at the Coliseum. I'll be starting the morning off with a Founders Breakfast Stout for... well... breakfast... then moving onto Pliny and then Ruination as ritual has it before game time. What happens in between all that is up in the air.

Port Brewing High Tide IPA.... is gooood

It's always nice to get an IPA that smacks you upside with some nice bitter hops. That's what High Tide does. It's got like a bitter fruit zest thing going on as well as a little earthiness in those hops. Finishes pretty aggressive, which we want in our IPA's.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Some San Diego Cask Updates

Great news! Stone has changed their Handpump Humpday, which occurs on every Wednesday of course, to Handpump Fridays. What does this mean? It means people who don't live within a short drive of San Diego (me) might finally be able to get down there on the cask day for once! This week their Friday cask is Stone IPA wet hopped with estate grown hops. Sounds nice huh?

Also, O'Brien's "Ze Thursday Cask" this week, or casks to be more specific, will be an Alpine all-star/hop lineup. Pure Hoppiness, Duet IPA, and I think my favorite IPA they make now- O'Brien's IPA.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Love Me A Good Pilsner - Sly Fox Pikeland Pils

With the 2008 Great American Beer Festival starting at the end of this week I was lucky to have a new beer sitting in my fridge which won gold last year in the category of German Style Pilsener. That beer is brewed in Pennsylvania by Sly Fox Brewing Company and is called Pikeland Pils. As I think is the case with most craft beer fanatics, the various lagers get overlooked as there are so many types of ales out there. I was guilty of this for a while, the only lager I would really ever have would be a Marzen in the fall. However, on a trip to San Francisco this summer I was able to try for the first time Moonlight's Reality Czech Pilsner, which I absolutely loved. I had to get my hands on a Pikeland Pils to compare. And in honor of Pennsylvania I decided to eat a Philly cheesesteak sandwich for lunch with this, and also maybe in the hopes that the Phillies will beat the Dodgers in the NLCS.

This pilsner starts off great before it's even opened. Why? Because it's in a can! Cans are awesome and you know at least this wasn't subjected to any light that could cause degredation of the alpha acids. It pours a very nice pale yellow, with an easily forming white head that leaves great lacing. The aroma has that nice dose of hops I am looking for. They come through as mostly leafy, like dried leaves off a tree. The taste has some light malt which comes through sweet, but is much overridden by the hops which give off a nice spicy bitterness and an aftertaste of forage (I imagine). It's just really crisp, refreshing, and easy drinking. This is what I love about these pilsners that have a nice distinct hoppiness to them as the Reality Czech and Pikeland Pils do. Pikeland Pils earns a well deserved 4.7/5 from me.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Heading to Lucky Baldwin's Delirium Cafe - Oktoberfest Week

Lucky Baldwin's is currently in the midst of their Oktoberfest celebration, which basically is 2 weeks worth of a handful of Oktoberfests on tap. I normally hang out at the Sierra Madre location which they call "Delirium Cafe," so that's where I'll be tonight. Hopefully they'll still have a good amount on tap. Usually they have all the imported Oktoberfests, and the domestics I've noticed in the past were Craftsman (Pasadena), Lost Coast, and Sam Adams. I'm pretty sure there are at least a couple more domestics to choose from but I forget. The sad thing is there really aren't that many oktoberfest beers made locally and distributed to bars in Southern California. It would blow me away if they even had Firestone Oaktoberfest, which is current on tap at Beachwood BBQ.

Anyway, tonight I started it off with a Weihenstephaner Hefe with my store bought frozen pizza. Good stuff.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Parallel Blog Tasting #4 - The Bruery Trade Winds Tripel

This is parallel tasting #4 between myself and my good buddy and fellow USC Alum (well, I'm almost there) The Baltimore Beer Guy. The idea is, on lame nights we go ahead and taste the same beer while we talk about it over AOL Instant Messanger. Tonight we try The Bruery's Trade Winds Tripel.

A little introduction about this beer: It is a Belgian style tripel brewed with rice to increase the alcohol content while keeping it light in body, and Thai Basil to give it a little spice. ABV 8.1%. The Bruery is a new brewery located in Orange County, CA -- Placentia to be specific. I have had this beer a few different times in the past so there's a reason why I wanted The Baltimore Beer guy to try it right away, since he only gets out here to CA so often.

Starting it off.. Appearance

BBG (6:17:03 PM): recommended glassware?
SOB (6:17:10 PM): I'm going to use my Bruery tulip
BBG (6:17:14 PM): Nice
BBG (6:17:31 PM): I'll go with Tulip as well, but I'll keep a backup Brewers Art chalice
BBG (6:18:08 PM): BA says snifter or goblet
BBG (6:24:12 PM): I poured Dad a tiny taster and it was frothy
SOB (6:24:37 PM): i'm pouring this sucker now so I can get my picture
BBG (6:24:56 PM): Tripels are sorta aromatic, like Saisons ... I'm leaning towards the wide mouth BA glass
BBG (6:25:07 PM): Get my nose in there each sip
BBG (6:27:27 PM): Oh man
BBG (6:27:35 PM): there's huge pockets of carbonation
BBG (6:27:37 PM): at the top
BBG (6:27:40 PM): most of the head is gone
BBG (6:27:45 PM): but just bubbly areas
SOB (6:27:55 PM): my head is still huge
SOB (6:28:00 PM): the bubbles broke up really easily
SOB (6:28:07 PM): still sitting there 2 fingers
BBG (6:28:18 PM): At most mine was like 1/4 finger
BBG (6:28:21 PM): maybe too safe a pour
SOB (6:28:24 PM): i get like a dark gold, orangish even, in my not-well lit room.
BBG (6:28:37 PM): darker at bottom
BBG (6:28:40 PM): this is clouuuuuuuuudy
BBG (6:28:51 PM): Hef-like
SOB (6:28:58 PM): fairly cloudy


BBG (6:29:08 PM): smells good
SOB (6:29:10 PM): yeah my head is about down now, breaks up real fast
BBG (6:29:10 PM): spicy
BBG (6:29:28 PM): Nothing driving me wild, but its nice, really enjoying the nose
BBG (6:30:05 PM): I keep dipping my nose in
SOB (6:30:07 PM): I'm getting a lot of that belgian yeast must, love that stuff
BBG (6:30:12 PM): I wish more beers carried good aromas
BBG (6:30:15 PM): YES
BBG (6:30:17 PM): exactly
SOB (6:30:25 PM): but there's a fair amount of candy sweetness behind it
BBG (6:30:29 PM): Perhaps
BBG (6:30:48 PM): Seems that yeast must is isolated to tripels and particularly BPA's/BSPA's sadly
SOB (6:31:03 PM): well, more concentrated yeah
SOB (6:31:07 PM): i get it in every belgian beer tho
BBG (6:31:10 PM): a bit floral


BBG (6:31:44 PM): Ok first taste YES I get that basil
BBG (6:31:49 PM): wow is that unusual
SOB (6:31:54 PM): really? i dont know if i even know what basil really tastes like alone
BBG (6:32:17 PM): The Thai basil is pretty unique in aroma and taste
SOB (6:32:47 PM): if anything I think I can get it in the aroma, without actually knowing exactly what it smells like
BBG (6:32:56 PM): Theres the slightest bit of it in the aroma
BBG (6:33:20 PM): I can taste the rice too, score. Sometimes I cant taste the extras, but this time I do
SOB (6:33:41 PM): this starts out sweet for me, ends with that earthiness and peppery... but with a "juicy" type of aspect to it
BBG (6:33:46 PM): Famille Rue, you're on the clock ...
SOB (6:33:58 PM): you better be joking about the rice
BBG (6:33:59 PM): Mild sweetness here
BBG (6:34:07 PM): I taste the rice
SOB (6:34:14 PM): rice dont give any (or barely any) flavor to beer
BBG (6:34:20 PM): I get it
SOB (6:34:21 PM): unless it's maybe spanish rice haha
SOB (6:34:37 PM): is it jasmine rice or sticky rice?
BBG (6:34:38 PM): I feel it in my nose
BBG (6:34:53 PM): Im thinking sticky
BBG (6:35:06 PM): Jasmine has a beautiful aroma
BBG (6:35:10 PM): This is more mundane
BBG (6:35:28 PM): Jasmine and Basmati smell great

Final Impressions

BBG (6:35:48 PM): So the tripel aspect ...
SOB (6:36:36 PM): ok back to the tripel
BBG (6:36:43 PM): Yes
BBG (6:36:49 PM): The alcohol is present here, in smaller sips
BBG (6:37:02 PM): We've got the golden color: check
BBG (6:37:04 PM): aromatics: check
BBG (6:37:09 PM): floral notes: check
BBG (6:37:18 PM): Now is this a great tripel?
SOB (6:37:25 PM): the main thing I'm trying to ask myself is, how does this differ than traditional tripels, ie st bernardus, something of which I haven't had in a while.
BBG (6:37:35 PM): Great question
SOB (6:37:37 PM): cause it definitely does, i'm just trying to see how much... in what way
SOB (6:37:56 PM): i know tripels have a sweetness to them, this seems to have a bit more
BBG (6:38:07 PM): To me it's not as maybe um ... clear?
BBG (6:38:27 PM): There's like this hit, this whoosh of air and aroma in the back of the mouth with some tripels I try
BBG (6:38:38 PM): sweet sometimes, most of the time in fact
BBG (6:38:44 PM): but floral too
BBG (6:38:47 PM): this is a bit less floral
BBG (6:39:06 PM): but it doesn't avoid the floral notes in the nose or taste, they're just pushed aside mostly by the basil (in my interpretation)
SOB (6:39:14 PM): i think just the fact they used some rice in place of the barley to create alcohol without adding more body/flavor.... it changes the dynamics/balance up a bit
BBG (6:39:16 PM): That basil is strong here
BBG (6:39:19 PM): the force is with it lol
BBG (6:39:28 PM): Its very distinctive
BBG (6:40:06 PM): I love thai basil taste, and this is fun right now ...
SOB (6:40:15 PM): really peppery to me, i guess you can call that "spicy".... wonder if that's the basil at all, or just yeast by products
BBG (6:40:24 PM): but there's a limit to everything, can it still be enjoyable 750ml in, or is that too much volume?
SOB (6:40:27 PM): and to think there's still more than 1/2 a bottle left
BBG (6:40:31 PM): Heh
BBG (6:40:40 PM): There's a certain bite
BBG (6:40:50 PM): I assume thats more alcohol than basil
SOB (6:40:57 PM): probably
BBG (6:41:42 PM): Back for a few more sniffs, yeast funk ahhhhh mmmmmmmm
BBG (6:42:14 PM): I think this is a remarkably unique beer
BBG (6:48:07 PM): Its a bit bitey, not the smoothest thing ever which fights with the flavor a bit
BBG (6:52:45 PM): Im impressed, this is a really unique beer for Orange County
BBG(6:53:08 PM): Really well crafted
BBG (6:53:15 PM): This guys no 2nd rate brewer