We started with some scotch / whisky. I'm not a scotch drinker; the burn and the peatiness is a bit much for me usually, but the Laphroaig 30 year was awesome: smooth, smoky and mellow. I guess I will just have to stick with really expensive really old scotch! It was purchased from an estate sale so who knows how old it really is. The Yoichi Single Malt was a little strong for me.
Moving on to the main event, the beer. A couple of beers did not make the family photo including a growler of the Alpine Hoppy Birthday and a growler of Redwood Curtain Black Forest Imperial Stout (no wonder I forgot the name) which was quite delicious. I didn't try all the stouts as they get too dense for me after a few and my palate goes numb. I'm still a beer newbie and lack the right vocabulary and sophistication of palate to do justice to the descriptions, so beer connoisseur friends, please feel free to add your thoughts on what we tasted that night!
|One of everyone's favorites of the night (including me): Goose Island Bourbon County Rare, aged for 2 years in Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon barrels. It was syrupy smooth and deeply chocolatey|
|Ithaca Excelsior Le Bleu (a lot of people liked this, not me; all I tasted was sour), Surly's Smoke Lager, Central Water's Bourbon Barrel Stout and Peruvian Morning, Williamsburg Alewerk's Cafe Royale|
|New Glarus Unplugged Cran-bic, Alpine's GREAT Barleywine (I really like barleywine and this one in particular; has the taste and mouthfeel of sherry with some caramely flavors), Sierra Nevada's Organic Estate IPA (refreshingly drinkable)|
|Some of Rich's prized stash|
|Sprinkles Cupcakes for all|
Happy Birthday Rich! It was fun celebrating with you and your buddies.