Yup, we plod on. The journey continues, down the beautiful path of beerdom, through the expansive pages of Timperial’s beer journal.
Introduction: Just in case you are new to the blotter, here is the link to follow if you need an explanation of what in the hell this column is all about. In a nutshell, the archive is a time machine that takes us back a few years to the initial days of my beer journaling. I’ve drank a lot of good beers through the years, and I’d like to share my thoughts on how they tasted. Hopefully I’ll whet your appetite and you will give these beers a try for yourself. If I’m lucky enough to make that happen for you, please tell us about your experience and how it tasted in your words.
The last installment left us in the waning days of 2007. Let’s pick up with a beer that was enjoyed on the day after Christmas.
Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales (Milton, DE) – Golden Era Imperial Pilsner
9%. The label says that it uses all continental pilsner malt and noble hops in a Czech brewing tradition, or in the Reinheitsgebot tradition? Translucent yellow color and minimal head consistent with the style. Nice carbonation though, when coupled with the alcohol and hop spicy, citrusy bitterness tingles the back of the tongue. Hops are also present in the nose, as well as a cereal smell. Malt is also present. This is a really, really good beer. I didn’t really expect greatness from a pilsner, though I should have known from the brewer. It’s amazing what one of the best American brewers can do with classic ingredients.
Timperial Commentary: I remember this experience quite well actually, because it made a serious impression on me. I was truly taken aback that I liked a pilsner. From that moment on, I have tried each and every imperial pilsner that I have found, and have enjoyed almost all of them. Who knows, had I not taken a crack at Golden Era back in ’07, maybe I would have never given the rest a chance and missed out on a lot of excellent beers.
Unibroue (Chambly, Quebec, Canada) – Terrible
10% abv limited dark ale. Very dark indeed. Black, tan head, light barely makes it through on the edges. It smells fantastic…Belgian yeast, raspberries, nuts, candy. It’s pretty cold and the flavors are still glorious. No one thing is standing out, glorious like all Unibroue treats. Candied or dried fruits most notable. As it warms, a more defined date or fig flavor emerges. The alcohol really comes out and burns in a wine-like way. Very sweet, very, very good.
Timperial Commentary: This is another one of those situations where I am so thankful that I write this column, that I periodically sift through my archives. This is precisely why I write notes about beers that I drink. There is no doubt that I have a profound respect for what Unibroue does. In fact, just this past Monday I celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving with three bottles of Quebec’s finest. The thing is, I have totally glossed over Terrible lately, mostly because I couldn’t remember if it was good. Next time I’m in the bottle shop, I’ll be sure to pick one up.
Deschutes Brewery (Bend, OR) – The Abyss
11%. 22oz wax dipped bottle. 2007 reserve. A stout brewed with licorice and molasses with 33% aged in oak and oak bourbon barrels. This is one of the blackest beers I have ever seen. No light passed through. The color of the head is amazing. Burnt, bronzy, red color…dissipates fairly quickly leaving wispy in the center and bubbly near the glass. It smells very meaty, coffee and licorice. I see the reason for all of the hype. This is the best stout I have ever had. Slightly warming but no evident alcohol despite the abv. Very smooth, coating aftertaste. Perfect in every way.
Timperial Commentary: Wow! This was, apparently, a very big moment for me. “This is the best stout I have ever had.” That line is impossibly loaded with ways to be interpreted. Nearly 3 years later, I can admit that I don’t remember writing that, so I can only make assumptions like anyone would. Over the past year of Beer Blotter’s existence, I have always been known as Timperial Stout. Why? Because imperial stout is my favorite beer style, and it just works so well in conjunction with my real name. I do know that that has not always been true (that impy stout was my favorite), and that it was actually a fairly recent realization for me, but now it seems that I can directly trace the ascension of my love for the style in my history to this experience with The Abyss in early ’08. I still have a bottle of the ’07 in my cellar. I always knew that it would have to be a very special occasion for me to crack that bottle open, but now…an occasion may not exist that it worthy enough.
Written by Jess R.
A low key weekend began with a Dogfish Head Punkin Ale at Whisk(e)y Bar (my new favorite, local watering hole), several Firestone Walker Union Jack IPAs, a New Belgium/Elysian Trip III and several Fresh Hop beers (it was a rough week at work, ok). Other beer highlights include Port Brewing’s Old Viscosity, an imperial stout worth a moment of silence and a couple of tall boys of Rainier. And now for your week in beer.
Monday, October 11, 2010
” I Love New York” Beer Week Begins: New York, New York
All week @ the Spring Lounge
Start spreading the news, its All New York, all week, with beer from Brooklyn, Ommegang, Captain Lawrence, Ithaca Brewing Co., Greenport Harbor, Coney Island, Sixpoint, Southern Tier, and more. Check out www.beermenus.com for details on the special events this week.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Green Flash Night: Whittier, California
7:00PM-9:00PM @ The Bottle Room
Not only will all patrons receive discounts on beer, the first 36 guests will receive a complimentary Green Flash Brewing Co. pint glass with the purchase of a regularly priced draft (minus $1 for LA Beer Week). From there, bring your pint glass in and receive a $1 off Green Flash drafts until the kegs are kicked. Green Flash flights will be available–4-4 ounce pours for $11. Expect some special Green Flash beers not available elsewhere to the public.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Avery Rumpkin Release: Boulder, Colorado
6:00PM-9:00PM @ Avery Brewing Co.
AN IMPERIAL PUMPKIN ALE AGED IN RUM BARRELS. Stop by Avery Brewing Co. (where the magic happens) and experience the release of what sounds like am amazing, seasonal brew. Imperial Pumpkin Ale brewed with pumpkin puree and a blend of five spices. Aged in extremely fresh Gosling’s Rum barrels for six months. Consume fresh and often, preferably with a pumpkin pie and/or s’mores.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Unibroue Beer Tasting: Cincinnati, Ohio
6:00PM-8:00PM @ Catskeller
Just $10.00 and you get beer from Unibroue paired with small plates. What a deal! The menu reads as follows:
Maudite: with bruchetta
La Fin Du Monde: with bacon scallops
Ephemere: with brie and apricot phylo
Don de Dieu: with smoked turkey club with feta cut in fourths
Terrible: with sharp cheddar quiche
Trois Pistoles: with rich chocolate brownies
Friday, October 15, 2010
Cleveland Beer Week Begins: Cleveland, Ohio
From the website:
The second annual CLEVELAND BEER WEEK will take place from October 15-23, 2010. A celebration of craft and import beers, CLEVELAND BEER WEEK features plenty of tastings, dinners, activities and more at more than 100 venues throughout Cuyahoga County and beyond. We hope you will join us as we celebrate the world of craft and imported brews at CLEVELAND BEER WEEK.
This beer week will not disapoint with participating breweries such as Hoppin’ Frog, Thirsty Dog, Great Lakes Brewing Co. and more. As if you weren’t excited enough, 12 breweries who participated in the largest known collaboration of its kind in the world, creating six brews. Family members have already agreed to mail us a six pack. Oh man! For more information, visit the event site.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Great Pumpkin Beer Fest: Seattle, Washington
(Saturday and Sunday) 12:00PM – the beers get tapped and the place shuts down @ Elysian Brewing Co., Capital Hill Location
I know we already did a write up about this event, but I am so damn excited, I had to mention it here- click here for details about the event from bb.com. Expect a crowd, a well-deserved crowd of people thirsty for pumpkin beers from Elysian, Russian River, Jolly Pumpkin and so many more. Sour pumpkin beers, pumpkin stouts, spiced ales and possibly beer brewed in a pumpkin. Also, get there early and you might get a sweet little taster glass (at least we did last year).
Sunday, October, 17, 2010
Farmhouse Ale Dinner: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
5:00PM-9:00PM @ The South Philadelphia Taproom
If you go to an event, want to talk about an event or a beer you had at an event, leave a comment or email us at email@example.com. Cheers!
Fourth installment already? My oh my how time flies. Just in case you are new to the blotter, here is the link to follow if you need an explanation of what in the hell this column is all about. In a nutshell, the archive is a time machine that takes us back a few years to the initial days of my beer journaling. I’ve drank a lot of good beers through the years, and I’d like to share my thoughts on how they tasted. Hopefully I’ll whet your appetite and you will give these beers a try for yourself. If I’m lucky enough to make that happen for you, please tell us about your experience and how it tasted in your words.
The last installment found us nearing the middle of December, 2007. Let’s pick up where we left off.
Unibroue (Chambly, Quebec, Canada) – Ephemere
5.5% ale brewed with granny smith apple juice, coriander, and curacoa. Golden color, decent head – telling of its potent bubbly. Apple sour and sweetness relevant in smell and taste. Yeast also pronounced in the nose. Spices come out on the back of the tongue. Very pleasant aftertaste lingers for a while after each sip. I probably should be drinking this outside in the sun, but it’s December and we are in Seattle. A little bit too fruity, but for a fruit beer it’s classy and sophisticated.
Timperial Commentary: I must admit, I’m a huge fan of Unibroue’s work, Ephemere notwithstanding. This beer is very unique and refreshing. I buy a bottle of this on a pretty regular basis. I do agree with my 2007 self that it is a great summer, outdoor kind of beer, but the apples and spice also have a holiday season feel to them. About as many happy feelings rush into my mind when I drink this beer as flavors I find on the palate. If you like the saisons, fruit or spiced beers, and Belgian beers with high effervescence, this beer is for you.
Stone Brewing Co. (San Diego, CA) – Double Bastard
10%. Seasonal release to much acclaim that honestly, I don’t fully understand. Very dark brown, not much sustaining head at all. The nose is, in my opinion, by far the best quality of this brew. It has a hoppiness, sweetness, smokiness… Hops come out in the flavor, a dryness and…barley…something. Hard to explain. I have had this before and didn’t like it very much, and with the flood of excitement and positive press, I felt I must be mistaken. I even let it age a few months. I couldn’t drink too much of this.
Timperial Commentary: Yeah, I’m dead serious when I tell you that I don’t like Double Bastard. I find it to be so odd that a large percentage of the beer nerds out there go ga-ga for it. This type of stark polarity is incredibly rare for me when it comes to highly respected beers. I do have a very high respect for Stone. I like almost all of their beers, and love a decent amount of them. DB just doesn’t do it for me. Oh well.
Avery Brewing Co. (Boulder, CO) – Collaboration not Litigation
8.99%. Avery and Russian River both have a beer called Salvation, and to get around potential legal action they collaborated. This is the mix of the two, both of which are Belgian golden ales. Dark brown color, smells of yeast and caramel. Doesn’t leave much lace on the glass but the head sustains throughout. Alcohol present in smell and taste. Maybe if I didn’t know it was a blend… but I feel like I can tell. There is a contrast on the tongue.
Timperial Commentary: I must admit that I didn’t read this review before I stated typing it. This beer is so damn good that I figured my review would express more elation. That is a piss poor review 2007 self. You’ll just have to take the word of 2010 self when I say, this beer is awesome! The blend works really well. For a long time this was the only way that most people could taste Russian River in any way. As always, their work does not disappoint. And Avery…well, theirs never does either. Without a doubt, two of the country’s best breweries. Drink this beer!
If this is your first time reading the Archives, take a look at the story behind it all here. The last time we left off, we completed the epic day of drinking that was 10/4/07, and then moved on to a day about a month later. The following entries were very brief, but the brews stand quite notable, so I’ve chosen to include them here. Happy reading.
I hope that, if nothing else, my words whet your appetite to get out and acquire these special treats yourself and expand on our thoughts via comments or emails to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The “Twelve” stands for the ABV. “Liquid Luxury” indeed. Copper, almost red rusty color. The head dissipates fairly quickly, surprisingly, due to the corked, Belgian style bottle conditioning. Smells kind of yeasty. Dried fruits barely make it through. Surprisingly drinkable for the strength. A tad of an alcohol bite… a little warmth but by no means overpowering. Amazing balance! Very rich and sweet. The alcohol becomes more and more relevant as it warms.
Timperial Commentary: This beer is huge! As you may know, my Eastern PA roots and Victory’s penchant for making exciting beers made for quite an amiable match in the early days of my beer drinking coming-of-age. This was, most likely, the highest ABV beer I’d ever had up until senior year of college when I forced down the extremely brandy-like Triple Bock from Sam Adams (17.5%). I haven’t had this beer since the date above and if this doesn’t make you want some, well it has done the trick on me.
Brewed with coriander and orange peel with pinot noir juice concentrate added with 11% aged in pinot noir barrels and 89% aged in oak barrel staves. Brown and reddish color, glows around the edges when put to the light. Nice, pleasant thin head. Clean and crisp with a pleasurable carbonation. 10% ABV… and you can taste it, though not overpowering. It is not very obvious that this beer was oaked, but the wine is present. There is a sweet grape juiciness present for sure. Very unique and very good!
Timperial Commentary: This is half of the Red and White / Black and Blue series. The only real similarity between the two is the naming convention and the yeast strain… oh and the fact that they are both amazing… but you probably knew that when you read the name of the brewery.
9% Belgian ale made with wheat. Golden color with a thin head that remains. Amazing nose of wheat and yeast. Not overly carbonated. Very sweet with some slight notes of nuttiness. Alcohol is present as it warms. I love this beer! I have a new-found respect for wheat!
Timperial Commentary: I’m so glad that this came up in the archive because I was just talking about this beer with a friend. I don’t remember exactly how it came up in conversation… it may have had something to do with the fact that wheat beers are on my mind this time of year. It also could have stemmed out of conversations about breweries that have been bought out my big money corporations but have continued to make stellar beers in the same fashion that they did prior to the buy out. This concept was mentioned in my most recent Notes of a Beer Nerd. Amidst the conversation, I came to the conclusion that Don De Dieu is one of my favorite wheat based beers, at least from North American brewers. I want this beer in my mouth right now! It is such a brilliant take on Belgian beers, with a bit of a twist that yields fantastic results. If you have never had this beer before, you must get it ASAP!
A week in the life of a beer drinker:
Monday, March 1, 2010
7th Annual Barleywine Bacchanal: Seattle, Washington
3:00PM- 2:00AM @ Beveridge Place Pub
The madness continues all week with events almost every day. Many of these barleywines were aged by Beveridge Place. Check out Beer Blotter’s guide to the Bacchanal by clicking HERE!
Monk’s Mad Monday: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
11:30AM-11:30PM @ Monk’s Cafe
A special Russian River event featuring six of their beers on tap. There will be three IPAs and three ‘Tions on tap. Check it– Pliny The Younger, Pliny The Elder, Blind Pig, Damnation, Consecration and (sweet, sweet) Supplication.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Unibroue Tasting: Hooksett, New Hampshire
5:00PM-7:30PM @ Bert’s Better Beers
Join Richard Delmonico as he pours Canadian brewery, Unibroue beers-Quelque Chose (enjoy warm and/or on ice), Maudite, Terrible, Don de Dieu, La Fin du Monde, Blanche de Chambly, Chambly Noire, Trois Pistoles and Ephemere. Cheese and chocolate will be paired.
Sour Beer Night: New York, New York
7:30PM-9:30PM @ Jimmy’s No. 43
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Meet the Brewers: Escondido, California
6:00PM-8:00PM @ Stone Brewing Co.
Brewers from the East head West- Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head and Victory Brewing Co.’s Bill Covaleski. Join them at the Bistro’s outside bar with Stone’s own Greg Koch to celebrate their collective achievement. Have a pint with Sam, Bill, and Greg and congratulate them on a job well done! Special taps of Dogfish Head and Victory rarities, including World Wide Stout, will be poured outside.
Ninkasi Beer Dinner: San Francisco, California
5:45 PM- 9:45 PM @The Monk’s Kettle
Ninkasi brews such as Total Domination IPA, Tricerahops Double IPA, Believer Double Red Ale and OATIS Oatmeal Stout will be paired with a delicious 5 course meal. Menu items include a Portobello mushroom soup, a coconut curry shrimp dish, pork tenderloin, a special pallet cleanser and a dessert that will make you feel right at home.
New Belgium Tasting: Portland, Oregon
4:00PM-6:00PM @ The Beermongers
New Belgium Brewery will in the store providing samples of several of their more unique beers including two from their Lips of Faith series Biere de Mars and Transatlantique Kriek, Ranger IPA, certified organic Mothership Wit and Trip IV on draft a collaboration between Elysian Brewing Co. (Seattle) and New Belgium. This event is free.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Great Lakes Happy Hour: Akron, Ohio
7:00PM-9:00PM @ Johnny Malloys
Come and sample 6 differtent Great Lakes Brewing Co. beers on tap/bottles available to everyone. For those interested, there will also be a limited beer and cheese tasting featuring a couple brewery exclusives that are only available for the tasting. The tasting fee is $10 and includes 5 samples of beer and 5 cheese samples. A few people from the brewery will be there giving out glassware and other Great Lakes memorabilia.
Friday, March 5, 2010
Beer without Hops: The Illegal Brews: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
7:30PM- 9:30PM @ The Beer School of Philadelphia
This is an appropriate venue for this event. Not only do you get to sample fine beers, you get to learn a bit about beer history. These beers do not contain hops, therefore at one point in beer past, they were not considered beer. Due to this concept, they have become rather rare. Well, these “illegal” beers (gruits) are making a comeback, so stop by, taste and learn all about these amazing brews.
Jolly Pumpkin Beer Tasting: Ann Arbor, Michigan
5:00PM-7:00PM @ Whole Foods Market
Join Vice President of Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales Michael Turriff at the Fine Wine and Craft Beer Bar. Michael is there to enjoy the JP brews, discuss beer and answer all of your questions.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Let’s try some Belgiums!: Naperville, Illinois
3:00PM-5:00PM @ Malloy’s Fine Wines and Spirits
This tasting is FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. So you have no excuse to head out on the town in Naperville and try some amazing Belgium brews. What will you be sampling? Triple Karmeliet, Maredsous 10 Triple, Gouden Carolus, and Pauwel Kwak- among others. Get out, get cultured.
Lucky Lab’s Barleywine & Big Beer Fest: Portland, Oregon
12:00PM- 10:00PM @ Lucky Labrador Brewing Co. (NW Quimby Beer Hall)
More than 35 barleywines and big beers (stouts, warmers, old ales and more) on tap! Some are recent releases but many are aged vintages. Just to name a few, as the list is very very long (check it here): ’07 Great Divide’s Old Ruffian; ’08 Speakeasy’s Old Godfather; ’09 Fish Tail’s Leviathan and ’09 Lucky Lab’s BBL-Aged Son of Old Yeller.
Sunday, March 7, 2010
11th Split the Brooklyn Skull Festival: Brooklyn, New York
11:00 AM-11:00PM @ Mugs Ale House
Interesting name, but what does it entail? Tis the time for barleywines and strong ales, so you guessed it! Come to Mugs and enjoy beers, most of which are over 8%. For the full list click here, but for a sample, you came to the right place: Speakeasy Old Godfather Reserve 10%; Left hand Widdershins 10%; Nogne O #100 Barleywine 10.0%; Goose Island Brown Goose 9% and Weyerbacher Old Heathen Imperial Stout 2008 8.0%.
Nikki’s Second Annual Beer Dinner: Providence, Rhode Island
6:00 PM-10:00 PM @ Julians
We will leave the food a mystery, but check out the featured beers, mainly all Trappist. We like their style! La Trappe Isid’or; Achel Blond; Westmalle Trappist Dubbel; Orval Trappist Ale; Chimay Grande Reserve (blue); Westmalle Trappist Tripel and with the dessert course, you get all three Rochefort beer (6, 8, 10)!!
Oh man…that is it. But of course, there is so much more. So if you have an event you want us to add, have a comment about an event you went to, or just want to tell us how much you love beer, leave a comment or email us at email@example.com. Thanks for reading! Cheers to another week!
A quick somethin’ something on Thanksgiving Day from Beer Blotter. Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. We hope your tummy is full, your palate has been challenged and that the beers were plentiful.
A taste of things to come….
Goose Island Christmas Ale
Unibroue Don De Dieu
Corsendonk Christmas Ale
We are skipping over so many beers. The weight of the turkey is effecting the ability to think, type, review……..blog…….
Beer Blotter will be back in full force tomorrow with the completed list of beers.