Saturday, November 27, 2010

Post Thanksgiving Beer Tasting Review: Out of State Brews

After watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows at the Landmark Theaters in the Westside Pavilion (favorite LA movie theater) last night, Rich and his mobile 40 gallon cooler of beers, Amy, Will and Katie came over to taste some of Rich's new acquisitions.  Most of these beers cannot be purchased in California and are only released annually in their home state (exceptions being the Trader Joe's 2010 Vintage Ale of course, San Diego's Alpine Ichabod Ale, and the He'Brew Rejewvenator, the Chosen Beer, for real).  The favorite of the night was Goose Island's 2010 Bourbon County Coffee Stout from Chicago, brewed with Intelligentsia's Black Cat Espresso in bourbon barrels.  It was strong yet smooth, powerful and delicious.  I quite liked Alaska's Midnight Sun's Brewing Companies T.R.E.A.T. Imperial Chocolate Pumpkin Porter with its pumpkin and chocolate flavors (reminds me of that delicious chocolate and pumpkin bread pudding from Gjelina) and subtle cookie spice flavors (I really like spice-y beers, like Belgian Ales).  I thought it was quite complex in the nose and the taste, and very good.  The New Glarus Brewing Company's fruit ales from Wisconsin: cherry, raspberry and apple were also quite good and unique; sweet, a little like juice / sparkling cider.  It would be hard to drink a lot of it, but the fruit flavors are really good in their own ways.  The pumpkin sour from Alpine Brewing Company (a San Diego company that makes my favorite IPA, the Duet) actually grew on me.  Sours are apparently the "it" thing in beer now.  The lingering puckering taste was off putting at first, but after trying quite a few bottles of the Russian River sours last time and a few sips of the Ichabod and knowing what to expect, I got used to it and could appreciate the other flavors in the beer.  The He'Brew Rejwvenation was just terrible.  It's the first beer we've ever poured out after a sip.  I think it might have gone bad or something, but it was undrinkable.
New Glarus' Raspberry Tart, Wisconsin Belgian Red (cherry), Unplugged (apple).  My favorite was the apple
Alpine Beer Company's Ichabod Ale, a pumpkin sour, and Alaska's Midnight Sun's Treat, brewed with pumpkin, cocoa nibs, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg
Rejewvenator He'brew, the Chosen Beer, Goose Island 2010 Bourbon County Stout, Trader Joe's 2010 Vintage Ale

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