After getting off work at a convenient 3pm in Pacific Beach I tweeted my thoughts about stopping at O'Brien's before meeting the SD Booze Crew (otherwise known loosely as the J's) for a garage session later that night. JTH was able to meet up and we got to O'Brien's to find part of the Russian River beers on tap. This was a hush-hush event. Posted in the bathroom was a plead to not tweet or tell anyone that the beers would be going on Friday instead of the promised Saturday that was mentioned in the newsletter. This is awesome because it means no Pliny-the-Younger-2009 type crowd. The first beer I had was Dead Leaf Green, which I never got around to trying in my two trips to Santa Rosa. It was an excellent English Pale Ale, a style which I doesn't excite me and I don't find myself drinking much. JTH enjoyed the Aud Blonde. The next beer I had was Benediction. This is a dubbel, 6.7% ABV. It was very good, not the best I've had (that would probably have to go to Brewer's Art Resurrection) but nothing I would ever complain about either. After these couple rounds we moved on.
Next stop was Hoffer's Cigar Bar in La Mesa. Very good taplist which you can't see because of the glare. I gave the Anderson Valley Oatmeal Stout a second chance (it's first chance was a few years ago when I found it remarkably thin and bland). It was solid yet still not my favorite oatmeal stout (Velvet Merkin anyone??). I loved the vibe of Hoffer's. A real cozy place with a classy put together bar. Also has a cool patio with lights and jazz bands- looking forward to going back when they have one playing.
Back to JRhode's pad for the garage session, which would not be possible without the pink britta filter.
JTH pouring the first beer, Temptation batch 003. As seen in the 2nd pic, you can have this beer one of two ways. Filtered and unfiltered. While I like my Double Barrel Ale unfiltered, I like my Temptation filtered. This beer was MUCH less sour than I remember it. Not that it's ever quench-gum-mouth-puckering, but it seemed much less tart than usual. Not a whole lot of funk here either. Lots of chardonnay character of course, but much more wine-like this time without the tartness (although I think I was the only one who thought it was less tart than normal). Personally I like Temptation FRESH.
Next beer, The Bruery's Oude Tart, a Flanders style red. Without tasting notes, all I can say is it was GOOD, and I wonder if they use cherries in it like Tomme does with Red Poppy? Compared to Red Poppy I believe there were a little bit less tannins in Oude Tart, but then again this is off foggy memory, I haven't had Red Poppy in a while.
Next up- Captain Lawrence Smoke From the Oak aged in apple brandy barrels. Sounds pretty cool right? Well, yeah, if it weren't infected. I still want to try the regular Captain Lawrence Smoked Porter despite this horrible joke.
This is the Brewer's Art Coup De Boule Belgian strong pale ale. Spiced with Saffron and some other stuff. It was pretty good. The smell was pungently spiced, taste was similar. We all enjoyed this. I don't think Brewer's Art makes a bad beer.
This is one of Alpine's newest releases, GREAT, a barrel-aged barleywine. It's a sweet beer, literally. In some ways it tasted like Black Tuesday to me. At least with the huge caramelized sugar part of it. Like a sweet roasted marshmallow. It was very smooth for being such a big beer (14%) and aged in Jack Daniel's barrels (a whiskey I'm not too fond of).
This certainly contributed to the stout-mouth I had the next morning. '04 I believe? Very smooth, but a little bit past it's peak probably.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Posted by Steve at 9:37 AM