Hiatus on the Horizon

December 22, 2008

I promised updates, but things happen and I am a liar this time.

Little did I know that my hard work would eventually pay off and I would get a promotion to some form of managarial business instead of the normal peon work that I was doing.  As an end result I am getting massively more hours and training.  During this time I am drinking beers, but don’t have near the time to blog about them as I usually do.

Then we have yesterday.  I was actually going to buckle down and post and the good old lappy crashed something fierce.  Now it has a hardware issue and will have to go somewhere to be fixed so the ETA on that coming back is who knows just yet.

Anyway… This week Barley’s had the Christmas ale on the firkin downtown and I’ve had the beer both ways.  Let me say this, the firkin is the way to go there.

Coming up in January, Studio 35 will be having a Big Lebowski beer tasting that is said to rival all others.  I’m not sure if I’ll have a computer to update on by then.  Also in late January, I’ll be having a South Beach beer excursion, so I’ll see what another area has in the way of craft beer.

Here’s to hoping that I come back to blog again soon, but who knows how soon that will be.

Adios.

It took forever, but finally I am healthy enough to drink beer again.

It looks as if Barley’s downtown location will be closed tomorrow as there is no firkin, but for the Smokehouse, we do have the Oaked Christmas Ale available.  I will try to make it out there after work this Friday.  Perhaps I’ll get a growler.

I’ll have to keep this short and sweet as it is a Holiday and I’m needed downstairs, but I did visit an old IPA that I hadn’t had for quite some time that was hiding out in my cellar.  The large bottle version of Weyerbacher’s Double Simcoe IPA.  It hasn’t been hurt by the years being hidden back so I figure a review is in order.

Weyerbacher Double Simcoe IPA

Poured from the 22oz bottle into a standard pint glass. This may be the last large bottle ever since they switched (wisely) to the 4 pack bottles. Aged roughly one year, probably more.

Appearance- Beer pours a brown amber with nearly no clarity and a hefty two finger thick head of tan foam. Very hazy for an IPA but this beer looks great to me.

Smell- Time has not detracted from the power of the Simcoe hops present in this glass. A light citrus pine with a bit of musky funk for good measure. A bit of a vegetal grassiness but not a bad aroma by any means. No alcoholic but some yeasty esters.

Taste- A lightly buttery hoppy flavor, coughing fit. Went down the wrong pipe apparently. That won’t be held against the beer. Malt is evenly balanced and really fleshes out the beer. The alcohol isn’t warming and goes down smoothly. Hops are still lightly grassy and vegetal, but not bad.

Mouthfeel- Creamy, smooth, lightly bitter, medium bodied, and moderately highly carbonated.

Drinkability- For as alcoholic as the beer is, it goes down very smooth making it very drinkable and a wise decision from Weyerbacher to change it from these big bottles into four packs.

Now Weyerbacher is available from Premium beverage which would imply that I could find it here in Columbus.  Strangely enough, that’s not so much so.. The Imperial Pumpkin can be found here, but it seems like all other Weyerbacher’s are hard to come by.

I know it never came to the state but I would love to see their thirteenth anniversary beer.  Maybe I should just hope for a Riserva or the fourteenth anniversary.

sickness = lack of updates.

November 21, 2008

I said I would update more frequently and I only got worse.  For that I apologise.  I am massively sick and everything I taste and smell is like Doral cigarettes.  Just about the worst tasting flavor in the world.

Even now I have to keep this short because I can’t really drink any of these beers I’m mentioning and it’s just sad, but these next beers were most definitely post worthy as I would love to get out and try them in any other condition than my current one.

It’s Friday so Barley’s Smokehouse has a Double IPA dry hopped with Sterling hops on the firkin and the downtown location has Ivan Porter dry hopped with Summit in the cask.  I would make it out to both of these just to give them a try and I hope I get better in time this weekend.  Before I got sick I tried the Weizenbock at the downtown location and it was phenomonal.  There are reasons to get growlers at both locations, and the Smokehouse currently has Founders Backwoods Bastard on tap.

Hopefully I’ll have some more content up before Thanksgiving, but I can’t gaurentee anything.  This sickness has gone on for a week and I really need it to go away soon.  I can’t even drink beer!  It’s my one way of staying hydrated!  No wonder I’m sick!

This election is no big surprise to me so I have very little to say about it except that while I’m happy about the guy that won.  We should wait and see what happens before getting all dancing in the streets about it.

Moving on.  Beer wise we haven’t had much happen in this Columbus area.  Elevator has released their pumpkin beer and it is actually good!  It is standardly a pumpkin beer, nothing fancy schmancy and imperial about it, but it is well made and is a solid pumpkin beer.  I’ll have my review on that later in the weekend.  Right now I need to keep everyone informed about today activities before I miss them and go to work.

For this rainy firkin friday, we have the *yawn* centennial IPA at the Smokehouse, which by the way had an awesome oyster and stout pairing.  I had never tried the two together even though I have made an oyster stout in my past.  Fat Dog Imperial Oatmeal stout and oysters.. NOM! as the cats would say.

Also, they have the new raspberry saison.  Which isn’t really correct for the season, but hey, neither is the season itself if you haven’t been paying attention to the weather, so we’ll let that pass.  The raspberry saison is awesome if you love fruit beers and very good if you just like them like myself.  It is one I would get a growler of just to try it next to my own raspberry strawberry saison, that I still have one 22oz bottle of here in the Columbus area.  Anyone feeling adventureous and want to crack that thing with me?

Smokehouse also has Bear Republic Crazy Ivan Belgian IPA which could be the best Belgian IPA I have ever had from this new beer style.  Southern Tier Unearthy, a very powerful and delicious Imperial IPA, and it looks like they still have last weeks stouts which are all a home run in my book (my book not written or published at this time or likely in the future).

On to downtown where it’s easy to get around to other places such as the Rhumba room on Summit where Chicago Afrobeat Project is playing tonight…

Downtown we have MacLenny’s Scottish ale.  I’ll be brutally honest, neither of these firkins really persuade me to come out to these places, but given the choices of other taps they have on, I would come out here or to the smokehouse.  They also claim to have Barley’s Weizenbock on tap, which I would be very keen to give a try.  Weizenbock isn’t a style we see a lot of and they are delicious.  Their guest taps are nothing to write home about and I would just go with the local brews if I were drinking over there downtown.

Of course downtown we do also have Bodega which has a stunning 50 beer lineup right now including Crazy Ivan, Founders Breakfast Stout, Founders Old Curmudgeon (review forthcoming), and Brooklyn Winter which was one of the best suprise good beers I’ve come across for a while.

I’ve got to keep this post short because I have some work to do.  I’ll update further on the weekend, I promise.  Thank you for reading, hopefully my Columbus updates are worthwhile to someone out there.

Come on beer tastings.. Where are you out here?

The season of the witch.

October 31, 2008

Aaah, Halloween.  And I believe this is the first one that I was not prepared enough to have a costume.. Kind of depressing as I had one planned and just got too busy with work.

There’s better things to focus on in this holiday though.. Such as great beer!  It is firkin Friday after all, and there’s a little something special at Barley’s Smokehouse..

Oysters & Stout night, featuring, you guessed it, oysters and stout.

I would love to make it out to this one but I’m working late.. and this kills me.. but for those of you that aren’t.  Here’s how it’s going down.

The firkin at the smokehouse is their Russian Imperial Stout first and foremost.  I’ve had it downtown, but not at the Smokehouse and as they are different breweries, I’ll not comment on it just yet.

I’m assuming they are also serving oysters, but they have other greatness on tap as well, today only.  Bell’s Hell Hath No Fury.  That is a very strange beer that one has to try to believe.  Southern Tier Oat, which is quite possibly the best oatmeal stout in the world, and if it’s not, Stoudt’s Fat Dog Imperial Oatmeal Stout.  I’m going to try to make it out early Saturday on the slim event that they didn’t bleed these kegs dry and possibly have some oysters left over.  This sounds just great to me.

So where did Scott get this great idea?  Well likely, he was thinking about Oyster Stout.  An all but extinct style that I only know of one brewery still doing in the United States.  Yard’s brewing in Michigan still brews oyster stout with oysters added in the mash.  I have heard it adds a certain salty pleasant character to the stouts.  I have made an oyster stout before as well but without oysters added in.. Mine was something of a complete and total failure.  I still have plenty if anyone wants to try the three year aged version.

Still, I’m not the man to be telling you about oyster stout as I haven’t perfected it, and perhaps I’m a little less qualified than the man, Michael Jackson.  So here’s an article he had on the stuff from his local newspaper clearly stolen from his site:

Bushy’s Oyster Stout revives a tasty tradition

Being a stickler for ritual, I have been looking for a beer with which to greet the return of an “r” to the month. After some thought, the answer is obvious: an oyster stout. It might be thought that such a powerful beer would drown the shellfish, but it is a marriage made in heaven. I believe such a brew should actually contain oysters. This is true of the oyster stout just introduced on the Isle of Man, a traditional home of such brews.

The earthy intensity of stout is a perfect foil for the gamey brineyness of oysters. Disraeli once wrote of an election celebration: “I dined at the Carkon, on oysters, Guinness and boiled bone…” In the early Victorian period, porters and stouts were everyday beers, and oysters a bar snack as commonplace as peanuts today. Porter dates from the early to mid-1700s, and is characterised by the use of highly kilned malts. Its name is said to have derived from its popularity as a restorative among porters in the markets of London, though I am not so sure. Until the industrial revolution. a brewery typically served a single pub. With the canal era, breweries began to deliver their beers farther afield. Perhaps porter had something to do with its being carried. In the early to mid-1800s, some of the bigger-bodied porters gained the epithet “stout”.


Stout seems happy with all shellfish and crustaceans. I once downed pints of Guinness with a I bucket of boiled softshell crabs, as sandy as they were peppery piled high on brown paper, in a pub called Brady’s in Baltimore, Maryland.


The black beers gradually lost popularity to pale ales in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and oysters were over-dredged, but the marriage never ended. Around the turn of the century the Colchester Brewing Company made a special stout to mark the oyster harvest. Guinness once used the slogan, “Makes the oysters come out of their shells”. Between the wars, the company rendered a pastiche of Carroll and Tenniel, with an illustration of an oyster conducting a lobster at the piano.Stout seems happy with all shellfish and crustaceans. I once downed pints of Guinness with a I bucket of boiled softshell crabs, as sandy as they were peppery piled high on brown paper, in a pub called Brady’s in Baltimore, Maryland.

In 1929, a New Zealand brewery added oysters to their stout. In 1938, the London brewery Hammerton followed suit (the brewery later closed, but not as a result of its oyster stout). At least three British breweries tried the same idea in the undernourished post-War period when “nutritious” beers were in vogue. On the Isle of Man, the Castletown Brewery made an oyster stout until the Sixties.

In the mid-Eighties, Martin Brunnschweiler, who is of Swiss origin but grew up in the northwest of England. left his job with Whitbread to start a new brewery on the Isle of Man, initially in a pub decorated with stuffed foxes – hence the name of his new enterprise, Bushy’s. In exploring the brewing history of the island, Brunnschweiler came across old labels showing that Manx oyster stout had been exported to the United States and even the Middle East.

“I felt such a beer must surely be worth reviving, but I first had to establish my brewery with something more conventional,” he says. As the revival of interest in traditional beers has spread, oyster stout’s time has come, and Bushy’s have just launched their own.

Brunnschweiler uses oysters imported from England by a fishmonger on the island. He adds them whole, at the rate of a mere five or six per barrel, to the kettle in which the barley-malt and hops are brewed. The oysters melt away during the boiling stage, leaving just a touch of their gamey flavours to enhance the brew.


Bushy’s Oyster Stout, at just over four per cent alcohol, is on the light side in body and intensity for this style of beer, with just the subtlest hint of the magical bi-valves. Unfortunately the only way to taste this wonderful combination of flavours is — for the moment, at least – to visit the Isle of Man. The beer is available only on draught, at about £1.45 a pint, at seven or eight pubs on the island, though there is talk of its being served in the northwest of England, perhaps in the Matthew Brown pubs.

Those of us who live elsewhere may have to be content with Marston’s Oyster Stout, made to a strength of 4.5 per cent in the less maritime setting of Burton-on-Trent and available by the 500ml bottle at about £1.40, from national chains such as Oddbins. This beer was introduced a year or so ago, as part of a series of traditional specialities from Marston’s.

It contains no oysters, which seems a bit of a swizz, and is intended merely to accompany oysters, which it does very well. It is a very creamy brew with just the right balance of toasted grain flavours and acidic hoppiness.

A stout must lean to the dry side if it’s to accompany oysters. Despite its fullness of body, Guinness‘s Dublin-brewed, strong (7.5 per cent) and quaintly named Foreign Extra Stout does the trick. especially if it is lightly chilled. The regular bottled or canned stuff is arguably too sweet and the jury is out on the draught version.

Murphy’s and Beamish are barely dry enough, but there is a case for the peppery, spicy Cain’s Superior Stout, from Liverpool. I have long loved the toasty, faintly anise-like porter from Harvey’s of Lewes, East Sussex. A more recent example of that variation is a smoky, bottle-conditioned Old Porter from King and Barnes of Horsharn, in the west of that county.

Back on the Isle of Man and fired by the success of his stout, Martin Brunnschweiler is wondering whether the island’s oyster beds might be revived. He’ll have us flying there yet.

Firkin Friday continues downtown as well.  But it’s the pale again.  Balanced, wonderful, and not new.  But I’d get a growler from the cask if they offered it that way.

I’ll keep my eyes and ears open this weekend for more beer goings on.  This is all I know for now outside of that Evil Dead 2 showing at Studio 35 tonight.  I’m missing that too, but if you want that and 14 tap handles, it’s $5 tonight and at 11PM.

Here we are at another firkin friday.  And it looks like I missed out on the firkin barleywine last week.  There will be another chance I hope as it’s one I was really looking forward to.

Today we have at the downtown location, the Barley’s Pale dry hopped with Summit hops.  I have a feeling I’ll make it out just to have a bit more of the pale the best way that it’s available.

At the Smokehouse we have the Centennial IPA also dry hopped with Simcoe, which is nothing new for them really, but worth a swill if you end up in that area, and of course the food is to die for as well.

Also on tap at the Smokehouse we have a Belgian Dark from Bear Republic that I’ve never heard of, Crazy Ivan.  If I make it out, I’ll be trying that one for sure.  We also have the amazing double IPA from Southern Tier, Unearthy.  If you haven’t tried that and love IPA’s, this is one for you to try now.  Take off work early for it.  They also have Lagunitas Imperial Red which is one of my favorite red ales and is worth a pint or three.

Also for the horror movie fans, Studio 35 (with 16 beers on tap) is airing Evil Dead 2 tonight at 11PM, and an encore showing on Halloween, October 31, at 11PM as well.

Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin and Great Lakes Nosferatu are still on tap there and that’s just a fraction of the good beers they have on hand.  For $5 movies, you really can’t go wrong with our friends in Clintonville, Studio 35.

So there is today’s beer news for Columbus.  I’ll keep my eyes open for more better beers and keep the world posted.

Perhaps I spoke too soon.

October 24, 2008

Well, the movie marathon was excellent and I was sitting right next to the organizers.  Apparently my smuggling wasn’t overly frowned upon.  I suppose it all goes with the realm that if blatent drunkenness ensues, then they may have to care a little bit more about it.

That’s as far as I’m going into my lawbreaking issues as I plan to do it again in other places.  But this all just leads into the beer that I smuggled and had never sampled before.  Alesmith Yulesmith.  Now this beer has had a lot of words about it as there are two different versions.  I had the version with the red and green print indicating that this one is the winter edition.  It may also be good to note that this was the winter 2006 edition.  Without further ado, the review:

Beer gushes on opening causing quite a mess, but there was still plenty of beer leftover for reviewing.

Appearance- Beer pours a dark red brown with a one and a half finger head of tan/cream foam that dies slowly to a murk across the top. Lacing clings pretty solidly to the sides of the glass.

Smell- Cat piss and vaginal fluid mixed with grapefruits and pines along with thick bready malts. Some Candied gelatinous sour patch scents are in there as well. This is the first vagina scented beer I’ve ever had.

Taste- Sweet pines with a large load of earthy hops, a little sourness and a bit of yeastiness stinging on the tongue and lightly burning. I’m not sure if it was better younger, but this time it’s just pretty good.

Mouthfeel- Bitter, burning, sticky, full-bodied, and medium in carbonation.

Drinkability- This is a strong IPA that would cater to many, but I am really a fan of flavor and taste at the end of the day. It really doesn’t cut the mustard for me.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 10-24-2008 15:55:10

No real beer events to speak of this week, but I’ll mention Firkin Friday on the next post to fill those in who don’t leave the house for these sort of things.

Well the Studio 35 review got a little long and didn’t say anything about this weekend and what’s going on.

This weekend the Drexel theater on Main St.  Which I have never been to, is having an all night horror movie marathon which I will have to attend as well.  As stated in earlier posts, I love horror movies and marathons are perfect venues for this kind of thing.  For those interested, check the link, but it’s Saturday October 18th 10PM to sometime Sunday morning, and it’s $20.  I wonder if I can smuggle in a cooler?

In other beer news, Firkin Friday is later on today after I wake up again, and the beers du Friday will be:

Smokehouse:  Maclenny’s Scottish Ale, which I don’t think I have tried yet.

They also released a Raspberry Infused Saison tonight.  Which really intrigues me as I have brewed one as well.  They also have Lagunitas Imperial Red on tap and I just can’t say enough good things about that one.

and

Downtown:  Barley’s Barley Wine.  Another I have not tried, but I had better before it’s too late.  Hope it’s still there when I get off work.

Holy crap.  Columbus Beer news.. Just what I always wanted.  I can’t wait to hear more. Gotta love strong beer season.  Hopefully I’ll have more updates in the near future.

I did make it out to the Studio 35 beer tasting and good god, it was a good one.  Let me give you the rundown on the beer list.  My reviews have yet to hit the websites, but I will give a brief synopsis…

Number one on the lineup was New Holland’s Golden Cap Saison, which I did review in the bottle, but had yet to try on draft at the time:

Poured from the 22oz bottle into a standard beer mug. This was purchased at a retail store in Ohio so this is not just limited to the brewery.

Upon opening and the pour I nearly immediately spilled it all over the pants and keyboard area. This is usually a good sign. I usually accidentally spill the good beers out of sheer clumsiness wasting precious liquid from past instances.

Without further ado:

Appearance- Beer pours a slightly hazed golden yellow with a two and a half finger head of sodalike carbonation that quickly dies down to tiny bubbles raising up from the bottom of the glass.

Smell- Spices, a slight funk, lots of malt character, light fruits, and minor hop character. Some cardboard oxidation notes, I hope that isn’t in the flavor. Some citrus notes are there but the spices quickly overpower them.

Taste- Fruity and citrus with a creamy quality that gives way to more funk. I’m not sure if funk is entirely appropriate for the saisons, but I’m very glad that it is there. I love the funk. Hops are present but not too overpowering. Malt is adequately balanced.

Mouthfeel- Creamy, lightly warming, lightly fruity, highly carbonated, medium bodied.

Drinkability- Very nice for the summertime and very nice for the winter as well. The high ABV makes it a beer for all seasons. I would love to try this on tap and feel I may have the opportunity soon.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 08-02-2008 22:35:34

There was a beer mishap on this review, but it was a fine beer and was worth a try on tap.  Just for elaboration purposes, on tap was about 25% better, which makes it a grand slam of a beer.  If you find it on tap, I say get it.  You won’t regret it.

Now this is one hell of a starter for a tasting, but you won’t be seeing me complain on that one.  The fun had just begun and we weren’t even up to number 2.

Number 2 was Troegs Pale Ale, which was good, but it’s pretty hard to follow up that first one and it just didn’t do all that much for me.

number 3 was the oh so mediocre Troegenator Double Bock, which I would encourage others to try, but afterward, try Sam Adams version than tell me which one you like best.

Number 4: Founder’s Dry-Hopped Pale Ale which was pretty good!  Not that Founder’s is really a brewery that would disappoint, they aren’t but this was no Breakfast stout, and really, what is?  Founders excells with their dark beers, but still does a good job with the lighter ones.

Number 5:  Moylans Kilt Lifter.  This is probably my favorite American made Scotch ale, and it is different every time I have it on tap.  This time was no exception and it was especially flavorful this time around.

Did I mention this was a good tasting?  Ten bucks and already I had felt I’d gotten my money’s worth.  I would love to see the Studio 35 guy doing this more often.  It has to be good for his business as the theater has been packed both times I’ve come to these tastings.

Number 6:  Bell’s Hell Hath No Fury.  This was one of the strangest beers I have ever had and this year’s batch is totally different than the first batch they did.  That is to say, this is a completely different beer.  I would guess the only thing in common with the old one is maybe base malts.  It was one wacky monkey.  Roasted like a stout, sweet, no hop flavor, spices, it’s something, but who knows what kind of beer.. Maybe herbal/spiced?

Number 7:  Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale.  I suppose there had to be a pumpkin beer in the mix as it is the season.  I’m no longer that big on the pumpkin beers, but this one was quite good.

After this the tasting got really good.  I don’t know what wild hair got up Andrew’s ass, but he really pulled out the stops on this tasting and gave the tasters a real kick to the goods on this one..

8:  Avery The Kaiser.  Again i will offer up my bottle review on this one, but I assure you, the tap is much better.  This is the only imperial Oktoberfest to my knowledge, and it’s a damn good one.

Poured from a 22oz foil capped bottle into a tasting glass. Bottled in early 2007.

Appearance- Beer pours a golden amber with a decent and impressive head of foam. Dissipates to a thinner layer of foam on the top of the glass. Cleanly layered.

Smell- Big malts, mostly light with very mellow hops. Fellow commenter’s say they catch barnyard, but I say nay. Sweet light malts and very little hop. Yeast is present and mysterious.

Taste- Rich malty flavour with a rich hoppy background. Hops linger and nearly overpower but then the malt comes back reminding us that this is actually a Marzen. Warming and gingerbread on the finish.

Mouthfeel- Medium-full bodied with thick carbonation. No astringency. Creamy and enjoyable. Warming with the ABV of 9.37%, slightly sticky on the lips.

Drinkability- A nice Marzen. Time has balanced the beer slightly, but the beer could use much more time to come together. Adam could stand to make this beer a little lighter. As an Imperial Oktoberfest goes, Great job!

9, and this one really knocked my socks clean off.. This one was something I thought I would never see again, but I was oh so glad I did.  One of my favorite beers of all time, Flying Dog Wild Dog Barrel-Aged Gonzo Imperial Porter which I have reviewed from the bottle here:

Poured from 750ml bottle into a St. Bernardus Chalice.

Appearance- Solid black with a huge head of foam that reaches the 3 finger mark. Head is tan and splotchy, thick and undying. Clings to the glass and makes it’s artistic statement on the sides of the glass just like Steadman does on the bottles.

Smell- Malty and thick. I could paint my goth ex-girlfriends room with this stuff. Deep dark malts, chocolate and possibly some rye. The oak whiskey barrel is detracting from the malted smell and throwing me off. Caramels and rich dates and figs come in and the flying dog yeasty reminiscent that standard gonzo has (standard gonzo? That doesn’t quite sound right).

Taste- This is one hell of a beast right here. Smoother than gonzo porter, for some reason the barrel aging has made this beer more deceptive than it previously was. Malty sweetness gives way quickly to the whiskey oak flavor that I know all too well. Alcohol is warming but not felt on the tongue or nose. Smooth as all get-out, espresso on the finish makes me wish I had cracked it earlier in the night. I’ll be up all night with this one.

Mouthfeel- Thick and creamy, full-bodied and smooth. Alcohol warmth is big but unnoticable. Big carbonation on the appearance, but not too much on the mouth. Heavy like Elvis in the final days. It trys to cover it up, but everyone sees right thru that veil.

Drinkability- It does get hurt a little on drinkability due to the weight of this monster. 9.5% is nothing to scoff at. I will have it again on tap soon, but I won’t be drinking it all day much to my dissapointment.

and last but not least, the very nutritious, and delicious, and oh so good for you:

Southern Tier Oat (Imperial Oatmeal Stout) the bottled review is here as well.  Once again, the tap was better than the bottle:

Poured from 22oz bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- Solid obsidian but when held to the light slight reddish hues escape around the top. A light brown 1.5 finger head appears but quickly dissipates to a splotchy peninsula of tiny bubbles thin over the top.

Smell- Oats, cream and fusel alcohol byproducts. Belgian chocolate malts and more creaminess. The alcoholic bit wafting in and out really docks the score on this bad boy. Hints of raisin and almond come out after repeated sniffs.

taste- black patent malt, lactose creamery with a rich oaty chocolate malty sweetness. A coffee huskiness permeates the palate, no real dark fruits on the tongue, but imperial Russian traits still persist. Damn Southern Tier knows the way to make their stouts. I would love to age one of these back longer. Hops are nicely balanced and not too over the top.

Mouthfeel- Rich and sticky. Smooth and creamy with low carbonation.

Drinkability- This stout, although huge with alcohol and oily, is still delicious and quite drinkable. I would love to find this on tap.

What a great tasting, all that, and Better Off Dead as well, which I had not seen before and I will have to obtain on DVD now.  Last Sunday night would have been hard to make it go any better, and the only thing to make it any better.. No work on Columbus Day the next day.  An event like this makes me love this city even more than I already do.

I did make it out to the Studio 35 beer tasting and good god, it was a good one.  Let me give you the rundown on the beer list.  My reviews have yet to hit the websites, but I will give a brief synopsis…

Number one on the lineup was New Holland’s Golden Cap Saison, which I did review in the bottle, but had yet to try on draft at the time:

Poured from the 22oz bottle into a standard beer mug. This was purchased at a retail store in Ohio so this is not just limited to the brewery.

Upon opening and the pour I nearly immediately spilled it all over the pants and keyboard area. This is usually a good sign. I usually accidentally spill the good beers out of sheer clumsiness wasting precious liquid from past instances.

Without further ado:

Appearance- Beer pours a slightly hazed golden yellow with a two and a half finger head of sodalike carbonation that quickly dies down to tiny bubbles raising up from the bottom of the glass.

Smell- Spices, a slight funk, lots of malt character, light fruits, and minor hop character. Some cardboard oxidation notes, I hope that isn’t in the flavor. Some citrus notes are there but the spices quickly overpower them.

Taste- Fruity and citrus with a creamy quality that gives way to more funk. I’m not sure if funk is entirely appropriate for the saisons, but I’m very glad that it is there. I love the funk. Hops are present but not too overpowering. Malt is adequately balanced.

Mouthfeel- Creamy, lightly warming, lightly fruity, highly carbonated, medium bodied.

Drinkability- Very nice for the summertime and very nice for the winter as well. The high ABV makes it a beer for all seasons. I would love to try this on tap and feel I may have the opportunity soon.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 08-02-2008 22:35:34

There was a beer mishap on this review, but it was a fine beer and was worth a try on tap.  Just for elaboration purposes, on tap was about 25% better, which makes it a grand slam of a beer.  If you find it on tap, I say get it.  You won’t regret it.

Now this is one hell of a starter for a tasting, but you won’t be seeing me complain on that one.  The fun had just begun and we weren’t even up to number 2.

Number 2 was Troegs Pale Ale, which was good, but it’s pretty hard to follow up that first one and it just didn’t do all that much for me.

number 3 was the oh so mediocre Troegenator Double Bock, which I would encourage others to try, but afterward, try Sam Adams version than tell me which one you like best.

Number 4: Founder’s Dry-Hopped Pale Ale which was pretty good!  Not that Founder’s is really a brewery that would disappoint, they aren’t but this was no Breakfast stout, and really, what is?  Founders excells with their dark beers, but still does a good job with the lighter ones.

Number 5:  Moylans Kilt Lifter.  This is probably my favorite American made Scotch ale, and it is different every time I have it on tap.  This time was no exception and it was especially flavorful this time around.

Did I mention this was a good tasting?  Ten bucks and already I had felt I’d gotten my money’s worth.  I would love to see the Studio 35 guy doing this more often.  It has to be good for his business as the theater has been packed both times I’ve come to these tastings.

Number 6:  Bell’s Hell Hath No Fury.  This was one of the strangest beers I have ever had and this year’s batch is totally different than the first batch they did.  That is to say, this is a completely different beer.  I would guess the only thing in common with the old one is maybe base malts.  It was one wacky monkey.  Roasted like a stout, sweet, no hop flavor, spices, it’s something, but who knows what kind of beer.. Maybe herbal/spiced?

Number 7:  Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale.  I suppose there had to be a pumpkin beer in the mix as it is the season.  I’m no longer that big on the pumpkin beers, but this one was quite good.

After this the tasting got really good.  I don’t know what wild hair got up Andrew’s ass, but he really pulled out the stops on this tasting and gave the tasters a real kick to the goods on this one..

8:  Avery The Kaiser.  Again i will offer up my bottle review on this one, but I assure you, the tap is much better.  This is the only imperial Oktoberfest to my knowledge, and it’s a damn good one.

Poured from a 22oz foil capped bottle into a tasting glass. Bottled in early 2007.

Appearance- Beer pours a golden amber with a decent and impressive head of foam. Dissipates to a thinner layer of foam on the top of the glass. Cleanly layered.

Smell- Big malts, mostly light with very mellow hops. Fellow commenter’s say they catch barnyard, but I say nay. Sweet light malts and very little hop. Yeast is present and mysterious.

Taste- Rich malty flavour with a rich hoppy background. Hops linger and nearly overpower but then the malt comes back reminding us that this is actually a Marzen. Warming and gingerbread on the finish.

Mouthfeel- Medium-full bodied with thick carbonation. No astringency. Creamy and enjoyable. Warming with the ABV of 9.37%, slightly sticky on the lips.

Drinkability- A nice Marzen. Time has balanced the beer slightly, but the beer could use much more time to come together. Adam could stand to make this beer a little lighter. As an Imperial Oktoberfest goes, Great job!

9, and this one really knocked my socks clean off.. This one was something I thought I would never see again, but I was oh so glad I did.  One of my favorite beers of all time, Flying Dog Wild Dog Barrel-Aged Gonzo Imperial Porter which I have reviewed from the bottle here:

Poured from 750ml bottle into a St. Bernardus Chalice.

Appearance- Solid black with a huge head of foam that reaches the 3 finger mark. Head is tan and splotchy, thick and undying. Clings to the glass and makes it’s artistic statement on the sides of the glass just like Steadman does on the bottles.

Smell- Malty and thick. I could paint my goth ex-girlfriends room with this stuff. Deep dark malts, chocolate and possibly some rye. The oak whiskey barrel is detracting from the malted smell and throwing me off. Caramels and rich dates and figs come in and the flying dog yeasty reminiscent that standard gonzo has (standard gonzo? That doesn’t quite sound right).

Taste- This is one hell of a beast right here. Smoother than gonzo porter, for some reason the barrel aging has made this beer more deceptive than it previously was. Malty sweetness gives way quickly to the whiskey oak flavor that I know all too well. Alcohol is warming but not felt on the tongue or nose. Smooth as all get-out, espresso on the finish makes me wish I had cracked it earlier in the night. I’ll be up all night with this one.

Mouthfeel- Thick and creamy, full-bodied and smooth. Alcohol warmth is big but unnoticable. Big carbonation on the appearance, but not too much on the mouth. Heavy like Elvis in the final days. It trys to cover it up, but everyone sees right thru that veil.

Drinkability- It does get hurt a little on drinkability due to the weight of this monster. 9.5% is nothing to scoff at. I will have it again on tap soon, but I won’t be drinking it all day much to my dissapointment.

and last but not least, the very nutritious, and delicious, and oh so good for you:

Southern Tier Oat (Imperial Oatmeal Stout) the bottled review is here as well.  Once again, the tap was better than the bottle:

Poured from 22oz bottle into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- Solid obsidian but when held to the light slight reddish hues escape around the top. A light brown 1.5 finger head appears but quickly dissipates to a splotchy peninsula of tiny bubbles thin over the top.

Smell- Oats, cream and fusel alcohol byproducts. Belgian chocolate malts and more creaminess. The alcoholic bit wafting in and out really docks the score on this bad boy. Hints of raisin and almond come out after repeated sniffs.

taste- black patent malt, lactose creamery with a rich oaty chocolate malty sweetness. A coffee huskiness permeates the palate, no real dark fruits on the tongue, but imperial Russian traits still persist. Damn Southern Tier knows the way to make their stouts. I would love to age one of these back longer. Hops are nicely balanced and not too over the top.

Mouthfeel- Rich and sticky. Smooth and creamy with low carbonation.

Drinkability- This stout, although huge with alcohol and oily, is still delicious and quite drinkable. I would love to find this on tap.

What a great tasting, all that, and Better Off Dead as well, which I had not seen before and I will have to obtain on DVD now.  Last Sunday night would have been hard to make it go any better, and the only thing to make it any better.. No work on Columbus Day the next day.  An event like this makes me love this city even more than I already do.