Some tasting notes I’ve been gathering over the past week or so; forgive me for the halfassery.
Orchard White – The Bruery
Orchard White “is an unfiltered, bottle conditioned Belgian-style witbier. This hazy, straw-yellow beer is spiced with coriander, citrus peel and lavender.”
My mom: “It’s a beer? It sounds like perfume.”
Tasted like one too, but oddly, not in a bad way. Somebody on Beer Advocate described it as slightly soapy. Wits are difficult (and I mean that in the sense that they are difficult for me to like; as I’ve never actually brewed a beer myself). You kinda have to go big or go home; and I don’t mean that strictly in terms of ABV.
Anyway, I liked this one. It was fresh and light without sacrificing flavor. I think I’ve said before that I’d like to try and branch out from my predictable fondness for IPAs/DIPAs/TIPAs/IIPAs. So this was a step in that direction.
Theobroma – Dogfish Head
Not pictured. Doh!
Now that mah boo Sam
Caligula Caliglione Caldifjsdlkfsdder from Dogfish Head has his own TV show, Dogfish has “officially” hit the big time. But they hit the big time for me on that fateful day in 2007 when I tasted the 90 Minute IPA and abandoned my macrobrewish tendencies forever.
Dogfish likes to do their homework. This beer is a re-creation of some ancient shit the Aztecs used to get crunk on back in the day; so to speak:
This beer is based on chemical analysis of pottery fragments found in Honduras which revealed the earliest known alcoholic chocolate drink used by early civilizations to toast special occasions. The discovery of this beverage pushed back the earliest use of cocoa for human consumption more than 500 years to 1200 BC. As per the analysis, Dogfish Head’s Theobroma (translated into ‘food of the gods’) is brewed with Aztec cocoa powder and cocoa nibs (from our friends at Askinosie Chocolate), honey, chilies, and annatto (fragrant tree seeds).
I didn’t really taste any chocolate; I did get a nice, smooth flavor or honey, with traces of that chili-spiciness. Like most Dogfish beers (although I cannot stand the Aprihop), it’s exquisite without being pretentious. Well done.
Bell’s Batch 10,000
Mystery beer! The label gave no implication as to what kind of beer this would be — it is a brew commemorative of their 10,000th batch (duh) and it’s got 100 different malts, grains, and other fermentables along with 60 different hop varietals.
It turned out to be a flippin’ fantastic spicy brown ale with strong, nutty caramel tones. LIKE.
Bare Tree 2009 – Two Brothers
It’s a big 11% ABV barley wine style weiss; I tasted the 2008 one (read about it here), but my undeveloped pallet didn’t find any astonishing differences between the two.
It’s spicy, malty, yeasty, and dry in a white wine kind of way. I sipped it while watching a movie on the couch and I probably would have enjoyed it more with food.
Lips of Faith – New Belgium
It says on the bottle: “ale brewed with spices.” It’s a 7.2% ABV/26 IBU Sahti; a traditional rye ale brewed with juniper.
The recipe just called for “a can of beer,” but you know me; I wanted to do better than that. I didn’t want to feel like I was dumping swill into my roast, but I didn’t want to pour liquid gold in there either. (I mean, you don’t put an $12 beer in a marinade unless you’re Sting.)
Initially I was looking for a red, but apparently Christmas Eve isn’t the best time to shop for booze. (Who knew?) So I picked up the Sahti because it sounded like it would be spicy. I can’t tell you what it did to the Italian beef– the jalapenos, pepperoncinis and various other spices probably overwhelmed the flavors in the beer, but it certainly didn’t screw up the beef either. And the few sips I had tasted pretty good too…
On the running front: I did a nice fourish on the Eagle Creek trails today; it was warm — 38°!! I wore my old Pearl Izumi trail shoes. (Well, I say “old” but they probably don’t even have 200 miles on them.) They’re heavy as a MFer but they kept my feet dry, my ankles from snapping and my feet from slipping. That’ll do, Pearl.
I love trail runs, but sometimes you just wanna go fast. Tomorrow I think I’ll hit the road.