It’s hard to believe I’ve been writing this blog for almost as long as Bailey’s has been serving beer to me. But here we are, 2016, still kicking it. The ninth anniversary was last Saturday and despite my concerns about having it on the same weekend as the OBF, everything turned out fine. It wasn’t overcrowded and the lines were minimal, at least as long as I was there. All in all I have to admit it exceeded my expectations.
The beer reviews, as always, are edited for readability.
North Coast- ’14 Old Stock Cellar Reserve: old ale. I am waiting to drink this because (my friend) Fuz is trying to line up his camera shot. Priorities, damnit! It’s a little like boozy syrup and I have to say, I’m enjoying it. A little heat as it goes down: this stuff is strong. It’s also incredibly clear: I don’t know how they got it this translucent but it’s a beautiful looking drink. As it warms up, it gets a bit more chocolaty and I’m a little less enamored with that. Onward!
Block 15- Cardinal Coalescence: Flanders red in brandy barrels. This one comes down on the tarter side of the style: a bit puckery, is what I’m saying. I can feel it in my nose when I breathe it in. The brandy isn’t coming through much though. I don’t mind, since the beer is still quite tasty.
Double Mountain-Divine 9: imperial brown in bourbon. THE PRECIOUS, IT IS MINE
…I mean. Don’t drink this beer. Very bad. Stay away.
Fort George/Bailey’s Taproom-Anni Are You Oak Aged?: wee heavy with Bull Run bourbon. The malt nose is prominent and the bourbon effects come in late and on the side of my tongue. This is a suspiciously drinkable ale that would catch someone unprepared unawares.
Epic- 2015 Big Bad Baptist: Imperial Stout w/coffee & cocoa nibs, in whiskey. Initial nose is COFFEE so I set it aside to warm up a little. It does sweeten up after this but the coffee flavor is so strong, very little is allowed to express itself in this beer. Unfortunate. It isn’t bad, just feels one dimensional, even as it smooths out quite nicely near the end.
The Commons-Unforeseen Circumstances: stout with brettanomyces; You can smell the tart quality in the nose, almost blueberry like. The sour quality is so mild and the mouthfeel on this beer is so light that I’m having trouble getting a grip on this beer. It’s slippy. Drinkable but in an rare odd moment, not extremely well defined. I’m not sure if I can recommend it.
Fuz nails it for me: “Root beer.” And he’s dead on; the sassafras not the sweetness. Too bad.
Fremont- Rusty Nail: it says licorice in the description so I was avoiding it until a woman drinking nearby said it was worthwhile. I didn’t get any licorice in the beer. It’s just a really solid cinnamon tilted imperial chocolate stout. With bourbon. I dig it.
Firestonewalker- 2012 Parabola Imperial Stout: bourbon. Chemical nose. This is always a little weird. The flavors are a bit harsh, too. A rough edge of bourbon that the chocolate cannot cover up. As it is, I await the warming up of this beer to see if it improves. By the time I’m nearly done with it, I can say that is has mellowed out but not quite enough to suit me.
And finally, a thank you to all the staff at Bailey’s Taproom. I really appreciate your service.