Monday, July 18, 2011

Second Annual Beer Geek BBQ at the Hulmeville

With Natalie DeChico winning the Philly Beer Geek contest representing the Hulmeville Inn, it meant there was going to be a second BBQ party being held this year. If you remember, the last one had a barrel of bourbon Plead the Fifth (I had forgotten I got a full pint, awesome) so I had high hopes for this year. Luckily, Jeff delivered and then some. The US women's quarterfinal game was on, too, which was great.

I started with a glass of Central Water Bourbon Barrel Barleywine. (Shocking that I started with a barleywine, I know.)
Sweet bourbon nose. Not too strong on the bourbon but present. Caramel, plums, and finishing with a little alcohol burn. I thought it would be a little sweeter, honestly, and the alcohol presence was a little off-putting. It was still tasty but not as impressive as say Abacus or the Weyerbacher Insanity I had later.

Up next was something I'd never seen before, Dark Horse Shake Maple, a porter.
Slight roast nose. Sweeter than I expected with caramel and a hint of maple. Pretty interesting for a porter. There were still some roasty notes to it but it was sweet. I'm assuming it was brewed with maple based on the name but I honestly don't know. Lets say I'm right for now unless you know better.

After that was something with age on it, a 2009 Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, an imperial stout.
This was more interesting than I expected. The age on it changed the flavors quite a bit although the aroma faded to basically nothingness. Tasted of chocolate to start but it finished with a lot of dark fruit flavors, almost sour cherry. It was tasty enough but the underlying sour cherry notes were pretty unique.

At this point, my drink decisions became more difficult. I had tried most of the other choices already so instead I went with the glass of Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin on cask that had vanilla sticks, cinammon sticks, and a bunch of other stuff I can't remember.
I didn't find out about the additions until after drinking it and it's been a while since I've had it so I thought it just tasted like a super flavored pumpkin beer. Tons of spices, cloves and cinnamon in the nose, followed by similar notes in the flavors. Really enjoyable after the previous dark beers as it was completely different. I feel like this cask version was just more strongly spiced than normal. Pretty delicious.

Last but not least was Weyerbacher Insanity, their bourbon barrel barleywine.
So good and honestly better than I remember. Mild bourbon in the nose with a little sweetness. Started with slight bourbon, some caramel, some sweetness and a few sweet fruit notes. The bourbon was absolutely perfect with no heat at all. I actually enjoyed this one more than the Central Waters I ordered first as the flavors seemed way more balanced. This really is one of my favorite beers. And, as I showed earlier, it ages incredibly well.

What a great afternoon. While nothing stood out as strongly as the bourbon Plead the Fifth, the beers I had were all consistently great so on the whole it was still awesome. Jeff really knows how to throw a party and knows how to choose beers. Plus, I got to hang out with some friends and see the US defeat Brazil in the quarterfinals. Really great day.

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