Sunday, January 16, 2011

Local Sips – Week of January 16, 2011

I only got out to one local beverage event this week, the Winter Beer Tasting at The Drinkery. In the week or so leading up to the event Joan sent out a note to her newsletter recipients with the list of winter beers she had on hand. She was asking us to vote on what would make the lineup on tasting night.

I had sampled several of the beers in the lineup at the NH Brewers Festival in 2010, and had included several others in the beer tasting at our holiday party. My votes were split between some I had had and some new selections.
  • Sam Smith Winter Welcome
  • Sierra Nevada Celebration
  • Woodstock Wassail
  • Shipyard Prelude
  • Rogue Mogul Madness
And the final lineup was:
( winter beers lined up and ready to sample! )

My tasting notes on the first four can be found in the holiday post linked above. The Woodstock Wassail was one I tasted at the NH Brewers Festival. The comment I made to my friend Richard then and that was backed up again this week, is that is smells like maple syrup covered French Toast. Several of the other tasters found that to be apt description.

The Otter Creek Black IPA was definitely interesting. Nice and hoppy like you would expect from an IPA with dark malt flavors reminiscent of a stout or a dark brown ale. This is definitely a winter warmer with some character.

( as you can see, the place was hopping! )

The beer I was most interested in trying was the Rogue Mogul Madness. I knew I was going to buy one even if I didn’t get to taste it, but Joan cracked one as soon as I asked about it. Thank you so much Joan!

The hoppy nose is nicely enveloped in malty aromas making for a pleasing warm smell. The malt flavors are reasonable and there is only a mild hit of acidity. This is a sweet spot of a hoppy/malty beer for apre-ski warming. I am hoping to visit Rogue later in the year. I might not want to leave!

( Rogue makes an interesting lineup of beers. )

Margot went with me to this event and of course got excited at the selection of beers to take home. She hadn’t had the Brooklyn Chocolate Stout yet so that was added to our mixed six pack. Also in the pack was one each of the Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, Midas Touch, Indian Brown Ale, Palo Santo Marron and Burton Baton. Reviews on these will show up down the line. We also grabbed a Rogue Mogul Madness and a Shipyard Prelude. I can’t wait to crack one of these after a snowshoe trek!

Some excitement for me came in the form of the case of Ballantine XXX Ale that I ordered being ready to take home. Ever since I read an article about this beer in the May/June 2010 Issue of Brew Your Own magazine I knew I both wanted to try this beer and to make a clone of it. Ballantine XXX is a unique beer and representing a slice of American brewing history. At the time it was first brewed (1850’s) it was more flavorful and had a bit more body that the lager beers typical for the time. It was dry-hopped imparting hop nose and flavor not found in the beers it competed with. It is the original American Pale Ale with a tasty hoppy character! I cracked one of them open when I got home and found exactly what I was looking for. A simple pale ale with a nice balance of grain and hop aromas/flavors. My version of this is going to be the perfect beer for summer parties. I expect to brew a batch of it in March or April.



*** Don’t forget that the Easter Seals Winter Wine Spectacular is coming up on January 27th. Tickets are sold out (or nearly so) but there are many other events going on during Wine Week. Check the event web site for more information.


Tiffany said...

Oh, this looks like so much fun! (Too bad I'm on a drinking detox until Feb.!!!)

Carolyn said...

This is a great post, I know little about how to discover new good beers (or wines) and it's so great to have someone else do all the dirty work for me!