Wes came, he saw, he drank, he left. The beer list wasn’t what we had initially expected, but it was impressive no less. We visited some good places, ate some good food and had a good time all around. Here’s a quick look back on what went down.
First, Wes never made it to Block 15. I was slightly disappointed, but there was plenty of beer to drink, and a growler of one beer may have been a bit much with the plans we had for the weekend.
Friday night started off with the surprise I mentioned. This one has been sitting in my closet for some time and was waiting for the right time to see the light of day. North Coast Old Stock Cellar Reserve Brandy Barrel was absolutely fantastic. The aroma was of alcohol, raisins, figs and brown sugar and even more alcohol. The bottle recommended you allow this one to breathe and that’s what we did. As we drank the beer you could taste the difference as it warmed and the edge seemed to drift away. Incredibly complex, this is one of the best beers I have ever had, if not the best. Really, an amazing experience. I have a second bottle in the closet and anticipate waiting a few years before opening that one.
The next brew for us was the Stone XI Black India Pale Ale. I grabbed this bottle at Bottle Barn the other day. When I saw only a couple left I knew I had to grab one, and after a year this beer if definitely different than I remember. The roasted malt plays a bigger role in this now that the hops have mellowed in the bottle. I’d have to say I enjoyed it more when it was fresh, but seeing how this changed with age was very interesting. A completely different experience, that is sure.
When it was time for another beer, we were distracted by the sound of many fire trucks rushing down the street. From the kitchen, I grabbed a couple cans of Coconut Porter and we headed for the front yard. Apparently someone down the street burned out a propane tank. The smoke was dark and thick, but they controlled the fire quickly. I felt like a real American drinking a beer from a can in the front yard, peeking down the street, trying to get a glimpse of someone else’s problems. I like the coconut Porter, but it is a weird experience drinking a dark, hearty porter out of a can.
As you can see, we then moved to last year’s Christmas selection. The Yeti came to me from Colorado during the Holiday season and the Celebration and Brown Shugga had been hiding out at the in-laws for some time. The Yeti aged well, still very big, but was just more smooth. The Brown Shugga was very good. Usually a bit young when it’s bottled, the alcohol fell back into the flavor this time. It was interesting comparing this one to the Old Stock Ale from earlier. I have one bottle remaining in the fridge and look forward to opening that one at Christmas. Celebration was similar to the Yeti in that it is a very good beer to begin with and showed a little more smoothness after 8 moths in the closet.
At this point we were a little tipsy, and that could explain the Racer 5 making its way into the picture, since we didn’t drink it and the bottle may have just been hanging around the counter top. Friday was in the books, and Saturday had much more to offer.
Note: I intended this to be one post, but this is a lot to write, and a lot to read, so I will continue with Saturday later today or tomorrow.