Sunday, January 30, 2011

Beer Tasting 2

I held another get together for a few people this past Friday.  This is the second time I've done this with the first in October.  They each brought a couple bottles of beer they wanted to try and I supplied some pizza and banana brownies.  Some bought based on the labels (one bought his bottles because there were dogs on the label) and others (me) bought because there were some beers they wanted to try but never get around to picking up.  Either way, we ended up with another fun lineup.
From left to right, we have: Why I Oughta IPA (Pete G's Double Black IPA), Ballast Point Victory at Sea, Troegs Flying Mouflan, Uintas Labyrinth, Terrapin Big Daddy Vlady's, and Cigar City Bolita.

I started with the Ballast Point Victory at Sea.  This is something I provided as I've been wanting to try it since I had it at the Beer Geek BBQ at Hulmeville.  Victory at Sea is an Imperial Porter with coffee and vanilla.
Big coffee nose with not much else.  Some vanilla in the first sip, but mostly coffee.  It's pretty good given you like coffee beers.  The bottle sat around for a bit and I had a bit more now that it was warmer.  At the higher temperature, the vanilla showed through much more.

After that was the Troegs Flying Mouflan, an American Barleywine.  If you remember, I opened a bottle of this over Christmas and loved it.
This time it smelled of caramel with a sugary backing.  No hops in the nose.  Initially I got a lot of toffee and caramel.  Some hop flavor comes through to balance some of the sweetness but that edge is definitely fading.  Still liked this one a lot.

Next was Pete G's Why I Oughta IPA, his double black IPA.
Recently I had his Dark Sour Wheat and thought it was interesting, but he did point out on Friday that the "uniqueness" is probably a result of it being infected.  However, this one was just fine and tasted quite good.  Very huge hop nose.  Nice mouthfeel.  Initially got a lot of bitter hops up front, but as it's a double IPA, there was a very nice sweetness balancing the bitterness.  Good effort.  Looking forward to the 12oz bottle I have of it.

Following that was the Cigar City Bolita, an Imperial Brown Ale.
I'd say this was either my first or second favorite of the night.  Very impressive.  Sort of a roasty smell that I associate with brown ales.  Nice mouthfeel.  It had a little sweetness, an interested sourness and finished with a pleasant sugary note.  Very drinkable and tasty.  Definitely going to see if I can find this one in Philly again.

The next one was the Uintas Labyrinth, a black ale (listed as an Imperial Stout on BeerAdvocate.)
I was excited to try this as at the last Beer Tasting we opened another from their Crooked Line series, the Cockeyed Cooper.  This one is aged in regular oak barrels and it shows.  Smells of oak, caramel and toffee.  First sip had a little vanilla with an overpowering wood flavor.  Slightly odd end to each sip that I couldn't put my finger on.  Maybe licorice?  Pete G. thought it tasted like he was getting splinters in his tongue from all of the wood.  Interesting beer, but if 3 oz is hard to drink I can't imagine going through a whole bottle.

The final of the first batch was Terrapin Big Daddy Vlady's, a Russian Imperial Stout.
This is actually the second time I'm having a sample of this one.  Mostly roast in the nose.  Taste follows with roast up front followed by some bitterness.  For some reason the bitterness lingers after.  Definitely liked this one more the first time as the bitter notes this time really threw me.  Probably just a result of the other stuff I had before it but who knows.

We opened five more bottles in the next set plus an extra.
From left to right we have: Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence, Laughing Dog DogZilla Black IPA, Lagunitas Cappucchino Stout, Port Old Viscosity, Brooklyn Local 1, and Troegs Nugget Nectar.

Unfortunately my notes start to fall apart a bit here, but I'll do my best.  The first we opened was the Port Old Viscosity, an Imperial Stout.  This is similar to their Older Viscosity but only 20% of the beer is aged in bourbon barrels as opposed to all of it.
Got vanilla and a tiny bit of wood from the aroma.  No bourbon though.  Taste was roasty with some vanilla.  Decent stout and I liked the vanilla that came from the bourbon aged part of it.

Next up was the unfortunate disappointment of the night, Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence.
Starting with the aroma, it seemed like this would be good as it had a mild chocolate presence.  Unfortunately the taste didn't live up to it.  Just sort of flat and uneventful.  Eric thought it may have been a bad bottle, but it may just not have been great in the first place.  Going to have to try it again at some point I guess to find out for sure.

The beer following it definitely made up for the disappointment.  I've been meaning to try Brooklyn Local 1 for a while and was excited that someone brought a bottle.  It's a Belgian Strong Pale Ale.
Smelled sweet with a bit of farm house in it.  Sweet, peppery and a little citrus in the first sip.  Pleasant sugary base to it.  I really enjoyed this one possibly because it was so different from the others but maybe just because it was delicious.  Very tasty.

Next up was the Laughing Dog DogZilla Black IPA.
Some hops in the nose but overall pretty mild.  As a single IPA, there were a lot of hop notes in the first sip but without any backing sweetness.  Different than Pete's for sure but it wasn't bad.  More IPA than dark but honestly I have trouble distinguishing the style anyway from hoppy porters and regular IPAs.

Last but not least was the Lagunitas Cappucchino, an Imperial Stout made with coffee.
All coffee all the time.  Coffee in the nose and coffee in the taste.  Another one of those beers that is pretty tasty given you like coffee.  At this point I honestly couldn't distinguish a lot but I thought it was good enough.

Pretty great tasting.  Everyone brought something interesting and I got to try some beers (like Local 1) that I've wanted to pick up but never bother.  Everyone else seemed to enjoy themselves as well and I look forward to the next one.

No comments:

Post a Comment