Thursday, May 19, 2011

Flying Fish at Monk's

I did a little work over the weekend and got in early to fix something, so I felt like I deserved a long lunch on Monday.  Lucky for me, Monk's was having a Mad Monday in the form of some rare Flying Fish sixtels.  They were also selling tickets for their Russian River beer week dinner and, amazingly enough, people were lining up for them by like 8am.  Apparently even beer dinner tickets are turning into rare commodities (although to be fair I'm not sure this is that rare for the more popular ones at Monks).

I started my lunch off with the Bourbon Barrel Abbey Dubbel although I meant to start with the Exit 13 and was misheard by the bartender.  Ah well.  You win some, you lose some.
While I convinced myself it was the Exit 13 at first since I didn't pay attention to the tap used, I quickly realized I wasn't drinking a chocolate export stout and adjusted my perceptions.  Slightly sweet nose with a little bourbon sweetness in it.  First sip had a tiny bit of bourbon, some vanilla and a slight caramel tang mixed with just a hint of coconut.  The caramel continued throughout with the bourbon notes being pretty subdued.  The most interesting thing I found is that the usual, very strong banana character of the normal Flying Fish Abbey Dubbel was nowhere to be found.  Either it was overpowered by everything else or it really fades with aging.  Regardless, this was pretty delicious and I'm sort of glad the bartender made the mistake.

Up next was the Bourbon Barrel Exit 13, originally a foreign / export stout brewed with chocolate.
Poured a little darker than the Abbey Dubbel with a thin brown head.  Smelled a little chocolatey with just a tiny hint of bourbon.  Flavors were lots of roasty chocolate with just a little tart aftertaste.  As I drank more, I started getting a little vanilla and bourbon both of which grew nicely.  This wasn't anything terribly special, but it was decent.

Finishing up I got a small glass of the 2006 Big Fish, originally an American Barleywine.  I try to stick to at most two beers when I have to go back to work, but it was a 5 year old barleywine.  How could I not try it!
First, let me say this is an awesome glass.  Little Cantillon guy all hanging around.  Really cool.  Surprisingly I still got hops in the aroma even after five years.  Similar nose to the Alesmith Decadence although lacking a little in the caramel and toffee.  Very smooth.  Vanilla, caramel, hint of hops but no bitterness.  It was just really good.  Too bad there's not much of it left according to Casey, the Flying Fish brewer.

So these Monk's Mad Mondays are pretty awesome.  It's really too bad I can't go more often but it's nice when I do manage to make it.  For this one, the Flying Fish stuff was great (and pretty rare) and I also got to meet the head brewer Casey Hughes who was a super nice guy.  The bourbon stuff was pretty understated for bourbon aged beers but the 2006 barleywine was pretty awesome.  The burger I had was super tasty too so all in all a great way to spend a work lunch hour.

1 comment:

  1. 3 beers during Monday lunch - not bad, Rich!
    Have you had any celebratory beers in your new home yet? What did you crack open first?