Monday, October 11, 2010

It's a Bourbon (Beer) Afternoon

Hulmeville Inn hosted their second annual Beer Geek BBQ on Sunday and had a really great tap list to go along with it.  While I had quite a few awesome beers, the stand outs for me were the three bourbon barrel aged beers: Dark Horse Bourbon Aged Plead the Fifth, Allagash Bourbon Black, and Port Older Viscosity.  The first is a barrel aged Russian Imperial Stout, the Allagash is a barrel aged Belgian Strong Ale and the Older Viscosity is a barrel aged Imperial Stout.  Hulmeville had them all in different sizes and availability which was pretty nice considering their strength.

I started off with the Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead the Fifth.  (Remember recently I had the normal Plead the Fifth at Capone's.)
Yes, Hulmeville was actually serving a 14% beer in a pint glass and well I wasn't going to complain.  Huge bourbon nose is the first thing I noticed.  It smelled sweet and alcoholic all at the same time.  The first sip was smooth and really, deliciously sweet.  I couldn't believe how subdued it was considering the alcohol.  I mean, I should have expected it considering the normal Plead the Fifth is delicious and already 12% but man this was so good.  As it warmed up, it just became smoother and the mouth feel got thicker and thicker.  Great way to start off the day.  I don't know if it's available anywhere else but maybe it'll show up at some other bars.

After that I took a quick break from the bourbon and went with Ballast Point's Victory at Sea.
The Victory at Sea is a Vanilla American Porter.  It poured a thick black with just a little bit of head on it.  Not much of a smell to it, but there were some hints of vanilla.  With the first sip though all you get is a huge vanilla flavor.  This reminded me of the firkin of Java Head that Troegs added vanilla to from my crazy trip.  There was a little smokiness to it from the roasted malts but the flavor was totally balanced with the vanilla.  On top of that, it was a nice break from the bourbon beers.

After that I had the Allagash Bourbon Black.  Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of it but it was a nice black color served in a chalice.  Not a big smell to it, but like the others the first sip totally makes up for it.  Hints of bananas, some chocolate, and some mild fruit flavors.  The bourbon is much more subdued in this one and it made for a nice change of pace from the two bourbon stouts.

Finally, I had the Port Older Viscosity.
Not to sound like a broken record, but this was also dark black and had a big bourbon smell to it.  Very similar to the Plead the Fifth and just as good.  The bourbon makes it very sweet, but if you couldn't tell by now it really appealed to me.  It took me a while to work my way through this one and as it warmed up it just got better.  As a bonus, unlike the Bourbon Plead the Fifth, this is available in bottles at times so if you're looking for something to try, look for this.  (Although it will cost you if you find it.  I know Capone's had bottles recently but they may not be around anymore.)

There were a few more beers that I got to try plus I got to meet Lew Bryson but this is long enough now.  Look for those posts in the next few days.

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