I pull a half-pint of my latest monster – a 10% ABV beer, pale in color, with a moderately high bitterness and lots of late hops. A huge nose of Amarillo and Centennial hits me right away – floral citrus notes assault me like Coltrane’s Sun Ship. Then I take a sip. Bitterness is not that strong, and alcohol dominates the flavor. This beer was meant to be an IIPA. But now I am not so sure.
I have somehow been subscribed to the Rock Art Brewery email list. Probably from when I emailed to ask what their tour hours were for the time I was going to their town to visit my Great Grandmother In Law for the weekend. Turns out they didn’t do Saturday tours and so basically the answer was “too bad.” But I still like their beer. And it was a tremendous bargain at the gas station in Morrisville to pick up a few bombers of one of their IPAs.
Today Renee Nadeau told the group news that boils down to the following:
Hansen Beverage Owners of Monster Energy drinks have told us to “cease and desist” the use of our The Vermonster label.
Welcome to this month’s session! Our gracious host today is Pfiff! The topic is drinking out of season beers.
For the longest time I was not a believer in seasonal beer. I was always just the type of person to pick whatever seemed good, regardless of weather. It was mostly IPAs at that time. What am I saying? I would drink IPA rain or shine, hot or cold. Even to this day, I feel that IPA transcends seasonal drinking. It finds a way to fit into any season.
But this is not about drinking in season.
Avery makes a lot of great beer. They have a solid lineup of standard beer like IPA, Wit, Porter, etc. that comes in user friendly six pack containers. They also have a wicked lineup of big beer like RIS, IIPA, Barley Wine, etc. that comes in brain smashing 22-ounce bomber bottles. Finally there are a select few monstrous offerings so huge that they come in single 12-ounce bottles. It’s safe to say that Avery spans the spectrum of beer choices.
I began my beer-loving journey inspired by the bitter bite of the hop that is epitomized in IPAs. No matter how deep into other styles or how broad through the world of beer that my journey takes me, the IPA remains my anchor to what I really love about beer. When it comes down to it, I’m a sucker for a hop bomb.
On the surface, it would appear that a dog and a goose have little in common. Then you realize that the dog is flying. Wait, can a goose even fly? Oh yeah, they fly South for the winter, don’t they… But the goose is wild. Surely a flying dog must be wild. These two have more in common than it would initially seem. Then it occurs to me: Wild Goose must be the brewery in Maryland that Flying Dog took over a few months ago!
Flying Dog is at it again, sending beer to bloggers! I love this country!!
There are three themes to this package. That means multiple beers, too! Read the rest of this entry…
This is the second of the free beer series I got from the generous Flying Dog brewery.
Horn Dog is Flying Dog’s barley wine. I have written about it here before. To summarize, it is a really good American Barley Wine. I found the hops to be a little more forward than some more traditional English-style Barley Wines. Fortunately, I’m American, so I like the big American twist on beer. Thinking back, and comparing to something like Bigfoot, it isn’t very hoppy, but compared to others in the genre, it is pretty hoppy. Overall I liked it a lot.
Matt Brophy, the Flying Dog head brewer, went ahead and made a special version of the Horn Dog, and aged it in oak barrels fresh from the whiskey farm (presumably the one next door at Stranahan’s). Then they even made special labels and everything and started spreading it around. I was totally happy and honored to receive one of these. I’d read about them, but didn’t think I’d ever have one. Now that I have, I am planning my next brew that I can age on some whiskey-soaked oak. Maybe I should do a Barrel Aged Horn Dog clone…
Well I finally got my hands on Sierra Nevada Bigfoot 2008. Not sure when it became available here, but with the kids sick, it’s been tough to get to the packy for a sixer. A trip to BigY was just what the doctor ordered today, and it gave me a chance to get the Bigfoot (not at BigY, at the liquor store nearby).
This beer is so montrously hoppy, I can hardly deem to call it a Barley Wine. More like a Dark IPA. Or actually a Dark Imperial IPA. At 9.6% ABV, and probably 100 IBU (just an exaggerated guess), this thing is huge. The resounding impression is not of sherry or cherry or malts or mustiness or anything other than big hops. I should say BIG HOPS.
But I thought Mondays were Style Profile days. How does this fit in?
The Session this month was about Barley Wine. Rather than share one of my many tasting notes with the group, I chose a feel-good story about quality time with my toddler son over Barley Wine. Don’t worry, you neo-prohibitionists, I wasn’t giving the boy beer. He’d never drink it. It was the fancy cheese he likes.
Anyway, I promised that if some of the beers I’d had weren’t covered in the session proper, I’d kick in with a little booster. So, here it is. Dogfish Head Olde School, Avery Hog Heaven, Brooklyn Monster, and Hooker’s Old Marley. Reviewed from notes.
Last month was Doppelbock, and I had to cram hard for the final session post. I’d never been too into Doppelbocks, or even Bocks, or even lagers for that matter. But I dived in deep and made it happen. I learned a lot, not only from my own research, but from the work of others too. And now I love Doppelbocks.
Fortunately, I was well prepared for this month’s session.
Yesterday I wrote about the informational packaging on Flying Dog’s six-pack holders. Quick summary: there’s a light-dark scale and a malty-hoppy scale. Info is good and all, but what really matters is, of course, what’s inside the bottle. The upcoming Session for February 1st is themed on Barley Wines. Fortunately, I’ve been after this style of beer pretty much since the end of Oktoberfest, so I’ve been around the Barley Wine block. No cramming needed the week of the session. Not to worry – that doesn’t mean no more Barley Wines. I still might have to lean in the favor of a Barley Wine if the opportunity arises between now and then. Like now.