Beer Tasting with Grant Curlow & Erin SuzukiBy
Yesterday we had an unreal opportunity to try some VERY interesting beers at a tasting held at Pint & Jigger, hosted by Grant Curlow & Erin Suzuki. There was a wide range of fabulous beers the two of them had brought back from their trip to Colorado & the American Brew Fest. It was a REAL treat. Let me begin by saying…..I am by NO means a beer professional nor am I knowledgeable. Hopefully, though, my commentary on these beers will inspire you to go out & try some inetersting craft beers yourself. You will see it will open a whole new door for learning.
Six Point “The Crisp” While we waited for the others to arrive Grant poured us a taste of this light, crisp, tasty Bohemian Pilsner from Brooklyn, New York to whet the palate. What a delicious, uplifting way to start the tasting!
New Belgium Brewing Company “Brett Beer-Lips of Faith series” Here was a very tropical (ripe pineapple/lilikoi nuances) scented, sour ale/wild ale (from Fort Collins, Colorado) fermented with brettanomyces. There is also some obvious residual sugar–pretty crazy stuff.
The Lost Abbey “Avant Garde” This was the first of many beers we would sample from all world brew-meister Tomme Arthur. This particular brew lies somewhere between Biere de Garde & Farmhouse Ale in style, & is for “those who seek the not so ordinary“. Honey/roasted hazelnuts, tootsie roll like finish, masculine with a pungent, bitter finish.
Russian River Brewing Company “Damnation” a very aromatic (vanilla/banana/crepes suzette) Belgian styled Strong Golden Ale with a sweet malt & uplifting mid palate, good acidity, & a high toned, peppery hop character.
Boulevard Brewing Company “Saison Brett 2012” I am not sure if I completely understood or appreciated this highly rated Saison styled beer from Kansas City, Missouri. I like a litttle brett in my wines & beers, but this was just a little too much for my taste.
Dogfish Head Brewery “Sah’Tea” This was another VERY aromatic beer (juniper berries, tea, cinnamon, ginger, clove) with a delicious-ness & terrific gulp-ability.
Dogfish Head Brewery “Theobroma” another VERY aromatic,” traditional ale”. (cocoa powder), voluptuous, hoppy middle & an ancho chile/expresso nuanced finish.
Dogfish Head Brewery “My Antonia” An Imperial Pilsner with loads of flavor, floral, citrusy, fruity finish with a seemingly oxidative edge throughout. It seems these beers from Sam Calagione of Milton, Delaware are well worth checking out as each have been quite interesting.
Firestone Walker Brewing Company “Double Jack IPA” I was really WOW-ed by this Imperial/Double Ale. It had a very exotic nose (lychee, jabon/grapefruit, floral, pakalolo/mango), very flavorful, graphite nuanced mid palate & a BIG, powerful finish.
Russian River Brewing Company “Pliny the Elder” A very well crafted beer BUT too much pine needle character for my taste. I however like the lime blossom nuance, the crisp, refreshing acidity & the beer’s over all balance.
Port Brewing Company “Hop 15” Very deeply flavored with green apple Skin character & tannins & a pine needle edge. Well crafted, this is a 11% alcohol Imperial/Double IPA has some cajones.
The Lost Abbey “Judgement Day” Prunes, figs, dark, intriguing nuances–dried, smoked chilies/Mexican mole.—full flavored, masculine, which they say ages very well & gets even more interesting with age.
The Lost Abbey “10 Commandments” Very unique character–raisins, Recioto like earthiness, savoriness & muskiness, mole, rosemary, coffee grinds with a citrus orange finish. Well crafted by Tomme Arthur, this is another beer making a statement, & with higher levels of alcohol.
Odell Brewing Company “The Meddler” The Meddler Oud Bruin is a blend of several generations of brown ales that were barrel aged for over 18 months. Lots of berry fruitiness, a diacetyl (buttered popcorn) edge yet vinous with an orange rind/oxidative character I find in well aged Francois Jobard Meursault wines. VERY interesting.
New Belgium Brewing Company “La Folie–Lips of Faith Series” A “Flanders styled Red Ale/Wild Ale from Fort Collins, Colorado, which rests in French oak barrels for up to 3 years. It defintely has a “sour” charcater with raisin bran/shoyu notes, a dried apricot middle & an uplifting sour apple, hoppy finish.
Dogfish Head Brewing Company “Bitches Brew” This is a bold, darkly colored Imperial Stout with dark honey/molasses aromas, lots of base notes, rich luscious, soy reduction nuanced middle & coffee in the finish.
Hop & Frog “Frog’s Hollow Double Pumpkin Ale reminiscent of pumpkin pie–cinnamon, nut meg, pumpkin, spices with some mint, cola gummy & ginger qualities. Thanksgiving!!!!
Alesmith Brewing Company “Barrel Aged Wee Heavy” Another VERY highly rated beer. Who am I to second guess? Aged in Bourbon barrels, it smells like whiskey with richness, sweetness….full flavored, supple & low carbonation.
Three Floyd’s Brewing Company “Dark Lord” Another iconic beer apparently available only on 1 day in April at the brewery in Munster, Indiana. They refer to this full throttle beast as a Russian Style Imperial Stout. To me it is VERY complex–coffee, cherry cough syrup, Mexican mole, shoyu in the middle with a surprisingly uplifting, long finish. I am so grateful to have tried this “hard to get” specialty.
Drie Fonteine “Oude Geuze” I liked these 2 lambic styled beers which have been aged in OLD oak, as they has a wine-y character & therefore more like what I am used to. It didn’t have alot of added flavorings like many of the other beers & I liked the resulting purity & refinement they showed, especially the one on the right. Thank you Tony!
Straffe Hendrik “2011 Heritage” we ended this marathon tasting with this oak aged quad.
Thank you to all, especially to Grant & Erin as this was a truly educational & enlightening tasting.