Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Beer Tasting 3

I didn't realize it had been quite so long since the last beer tasting with my friends, but apparently the previous one was all the way back in January. Ah well, I did move during that gap so I'll use that as my excuse. I'll just have to make up for it in the latter half of the year. Lots of great stuff this time and it definitely helped that I was hosting as it meant I didn't have to worry about how much I tried. Always a good thing with that much beer around.

We opened up quite a few bottles between the six of us. Here's the first set of bottles:
From left to right: Dogfish Head My Antonia, Elysian Loser, PBC Kilty Pleasure, Pete Giovinco's James Ensor Pale Ale, Pete Michel's Barleywine, Pete Giovinco's Mr. Bawk Ba Gawk Weizenbawk. The last is quite clever, isn't it?

Now, this isn't the order we opened them but since my bottle pictures don't line up with that order, we'll just have to deal. Means some of my later notes (aka the more drunk ones) are mixed into the bunch. See if you can figure out which they were!
The Dogfish Head My Antonia is an Imperial Pilsner I believe. It had a sort of piney nose and was pleasantly hoppy. Not bad.
Next is the Elysian Loser, a pale ale. Mild hop nose, mild hop flavor. Decently balanced but very uneventful. Probably something you could drink a lot of in one night although I don't know the ABV.

Next was the PBC Kilty Pleasure, a scotch ale.
Slight caramel in the nose, but very slight. Started a little watery with the caramel flavor growing a bit as I drank more. Maybe in a full glass it would have been better, but the sample didn't wow me and I think most of the guys agreed with me.

Up next were a couple of homebrews. First up was Pete's James Ensor Belgian Pale Ale. I think James Ensor is some sort of Belgian painter and that's the joke. Get it? Belgian painter for a Belgian Pale Ale?
Slightly belgian nose, hints of bananas. Pretty sweet for a pale ale with the sweetness coming from banana flavors. It worked pretty well and gave it a nice uniqueness from most of the style.

Next was Pete Michel's Barleywine.
Slight caramel nose, no real hint of the hops. Sort of tasted like it's in the middle of transitioning between hoppy and caramel. Seeing as how it was about 6 months old, I'm not too surprised. It was definitely drinkable and tasty, so I'm real glad I have three more bottles. I can't wait to see how it develops.

And last, but not least, was Pete Giovinco's cleverly named Mr. Bawk Ba Gawk Weizenbawk. Slightly spicy nose. Caramel, dark fruits, sweet but not cloying. A little sweeter than a lot of weizenbocks though it worked real well. Glad I have a second bottle of this as I thought it was real good.

And on to the last five!
Okay you may notice only three are pictured (if you ignore the My Antonia in the background.) I forgot one in the fridge and one of Pete's bottles when I took the picture. For the one in refrigerator, you'll just have to imagine a bright yellow label with a monkey smoking a pipe on it. No offense to East End, but you'll probably think of something that's better looking. In the picture we have Brewworks Devious Imperial Pumpkin, Jolly Pumpkin Madrugada Obscura, and a 2009 Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA. Not pictured are East End Monkey's Uncle and Pete Michel's Rye IPA as I said.

Based on my pictures, I've tried the Devious at some point but I couldn't remember until I looked it up here on the blog. Apparently it was during Pumpkin Fest at Devil's Den last year. Seems reasonable. It's an imperial pumpkin ale.
Smelled like pumpkin pie. Sweet, cloves, and a hint of cinnamon in the finish. If you like pumpkin beers, you'd like this one. Very enjoyable.

And now, the most polarizing of the beers, Jolly Pumpkin Madrugada Obscura, a sour stout.
Roasty nose, hints of the sourness to come. First sip is a clash of roast with sour. Doesn't make you want to go back for more, but if you persevere, the roast subsides into a nice vanilla flavor that blends really well. Got much better as I drank more. Others couldn't ever really get back the slightly harsh sourness though so be ready if you order it.

The 120 minute is an 18% "IPA" and this bottle was from mid 2009 or so.
Sweet and very strong smelling. Very sweet flavors, but somehow not cloying. Struck me as port-like but more apples and pears than plums. I actually really enjoyed this one although at 18%, drinking the full 12oz bottle would be a bit tough.

Next is East End Monkey's Uncle.
Very slight belgian in the nose. First flavors were banana and hints of the 10% ABV. Slightly sweet, some caramel, and finished with some alcohol burn. Pete's homebrew weizenbock actually stood well against this one and differentiated itself in the sweetness and lack of alcohol burn.

Last but possibly my favorite was Pete Michel's Rye IPA.
I don't know what it was about this one but I loved it. Slightly spicy nose from the rye. Starts with the rye spiciness and then finishes with a some nice clean hop flavors. I had like three or four samples of this, enjoyed all of them, and would have drank more if I hadn't finished it. Definitely something Pete should brew again.

And that's that. Lots of pictures with a bit of useful info. The night itself is always a lot of fun though and this time was no exception. Really nice of my friend Eric to bring the 2009 120 minute since I've been wanting to try that for a while, Pete G. and Pete M. for bringing their homebrew stuff, and everyone else for coming.

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