The Experiment 4: the irish side

irish ale in carboyThis is the pale ale I made using Irish ale yeast. In contrast to the one with Belgian yeast, I also added a handful of Golding hops as well, because I wanted to give this beer something other than malt to work with. Irish ale yeast being very clean, I was afraid that the beer might come out bland.

The picture isn’t the best–the beer is much lighter looking than the photo suggests but the beer has been bottled now so there ought to be results next week on how it came out!

The other differences in the beer are in the Terminal Gravities: the Belgian had one of 1.011 and the Irish 1.016.

I don’t think there’s much difference in the ABV really but I figure that by noting even the small differences, I’ll know more about what happened with each beer.

The 3rd Anniversary Event

So Bailey’s 3rd year of being open was celebrated in fine style, with twenty beers kept in barrels for months finally making a showing. It was crowded but civil, and between myself and the other four people I was with,  every beer got a fair shake.

In a fit of…maybe not-so-smartness, I used Twitter to catalog my general thoughts on the beers I was drinking. So if my comments on these beers more pithy than descriptive, you’ll know why.

tokensBefore I start though, I want to mention the awesomeness of the tokens used at the event. The picture’s on the left-how cool is that? Old bottlecaps are reusable, colorful, and beer-related. Way, way better than the wooden tokens or paper tickets I usually get at such things.

I started with the Cascade Quadratic. From the feed:  reminds me of a sweet tart with dry finish. I liked it-and it was certainly one of the most complex beers of the bunch.

Next, I had the Allagash Curieux: “has a woody flavor that finishes in a bad way for me.” But later I upgraded this beer saying “as it warmed up the woodiness has mellowed. Drinkable.” I wasn’t a huge fan but I did end up seeing the good side of this one.

The third sample I had was Oakshire’s Ill Tempered Gnome. An old ale I said was “pleasantly hopped on front and back with a solid middle.”  I remember being surprised by this beer, as it was the first one that presented me with any hop presence that I could discern. That certainly helped it stand out in a field of oak and pinot barrel aged brews.

Fourth up was the 3 Skulls barleywine. I got this in part because I like the name 3 Skulls. My notes say: “good but there is a quirk I can’t place.” I never was able to figure it out and in a rare instance, my friends couldn’t assist me, in most cases just not picking up on what I found strange.

dragons milkMy fifth sample was New Holland’s Dragon’s Milk. After some teasing from my girlfriend, the tweet said this: “New holland dragons milk is smooth tasty and caramel coco w/alc warmth.” I liked it quite a bit.

After this, some surprises were in store. I found Deschutes’ Twilight Pinot to be a “solid pale with a fascinating Pinot influence that spikes near the end. Worthy mixture. ”

Upright’s Six was “a sour beer for the masses. Good and drinkable but not distinctive.” I mean this in the best possible way. Sour beers are very, very difficult for many people to drink and some even ask why bother. This beer could serve as a gateway for some into the style, and for others a chance to try the style without taking a sledgehammer of sour to the tongue. I call it a win.

I also liked Lompoc’s LSD “is my final beer smooth and drinkable but…fuck you I’m drinking.”

So clearly, by then I was done writing even though I liked the LSD a lot.

But it seems like the local boys made good in this event. Lompoc, Deschutes and Upright all made good beers I wrote about. I also had Hopworks’ For Those About To Bock on the recommendation of my girlfriend and thought it was very good, and Cedric dug on Hair of the Dog’s Cherry Adam.

I also heard good things about the Lagunitas Pinot Saison and Jolly Pumpkin Oro de Calabaza but there just wasn’t enough time in the day to try everything personally.

Anyway, Cheers to Geoff and his staff for three great years. Here’s to next year!

interlude

horse brassSo here I am again.

Not that this is a huge surprise; anyone who drinks beer with zeal ends up at the Horse Brass. And yes, I know; I should be at a new place but Fuz came into town for Bailey’s 3rd (which I’m looking forward to talking about Wednesday) and stayed a few days. So here we are, because the next few place I go to…I must go alone.

/cue ominous music.

I’m having Deschutes Wowzenbock, and Fuz is staying the more traditional path with Pliny the Elder. I like my beer; it’s oddity is that it has been served to me at room temperature. But it’s smooth and very drinkable so I find little fault with the brew, excepting that I get no nose from it. I think I’ll have the Oatus the Red from Salmon Creek next because it’s an Irish Red but with oatmeal. I have to start researching somewhere, and this is as good a time as any.

The oatmeal sweetens this beer up a little but the coffee flavors are definitely played up. It’s lighter in color than my Irish ale, which is probably why the malt flavors aren’t quite as strong but there is a resemblance between this beer and my own.

Anyway, I’m sure everyone will forgive me for a short post; not only do I have company but it’s after a Saturday of drinking very interesting, very strong and frequently very good beer. I’m a wee burnt out both from a drinking place and from a ‘I have something to say’ view.

So cheers! We’ll meet up in a couple days