A Beer Cellar Experiment Gone Wrong…

Warning to all aspiring beer tasters:  If you have been trying your hand at Cellaring beer for future consumption, be careful if you have a bottle of Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch Weasel down there.  While creating a brunch menu this morning for Mother’s Day, I thought how appropriate it would be to crack open a bottle of “Brunch Weasel”.  Coffee Stouts often go very well with food served during brunch and we were making brunch.  Worked for me.

For a little bit of back story… Brunch Weasel is an oatmeal coffee stout that is made with the really expensive Vietnamese Ca Phe Chon Coffee beans that have been eaten by a Southeast Asian Civet cat.  The beans are gathered after the civet has “processed” the beans.  So, to be blunt, the cat eats the beans, the cat poops out the beans, then some dude goes through the poop, picks out the beans and sells it as “Gourmet Coffee”.  Yeah, I know it’s weird.

I had heard about the beer in May of 2010 and found it interesting.  Found a bottle and put it in the beer cellar to age.  In March of 2011, I had an opportunity to taste it on tap.  Even though it was very strange, it was pretty damn good beer and the coffee flavor was great.  It made me pretty excited to see how my bottle fared.

Unfortunately, a year of aging completely eliminated the coffee flavors from my bottle.  All that was left was a Imperial Stout with bitter, “off” flavors.  Not even a hint of coffee flavor was present.  The whole point of this particular coffee stout was the coffee flavors.

Obviously, I’m kind of annoyed, but Lesson Learned.  The darn bottle was expensive, too.  What a waste…

Published in: on May 8, 2011 at 8:07 pm  Comments (1)  

Firestone Walker Double Jack Double IPA

Firestone Walker Brewing Co. – Paso Robles, CA

Double Jack Double IPA – 9.5% ABV

$9.99 for 22 oz.

This was purchased yesterday at The Blue Dog Pub, Lansdale, PA.

Double Jack poured a dark amber with an ample, foamy head one inch high.  The head faded to a lattice of bubbles on the surface of the beer.  There were a few bubbles rising inside the glass.

While looking at the beer, the aroma continued to waft in my direction and it was all hops.  Consequently, I didn’t need to consider the aroma any further.  It contains tons of hops: fruity hops, piney hops, fresh hops… you get the idea.  It smells really hoppy.  The aroma is also fresh and clean.  There is a sizeable malt aroma, but it does take a back seat to those hops.

The first sip almost knocked my socks off.  The flavors of the hops, malt and a nice alcohol bite made for a pretty powerful taste.  You’ll taste the hop flavors first and they range from a nice fruitiness all the way to the mouth-tightening bitter type all within the first sip.  After the initial hops flavors, the maltiness comes into play.  The malt has more of the bread-like qualities, so it’s not sweet, but it’s certainly present.  The finish comes back to the bitterness of the hops with a nice alcohol bite that warms the tongue.  A resinous aftertaste permeates the mouth afterward, along with some residual heat from the alcohol.

At first, the flavors are a bit harsh, but it mellows to a pleasant smoothness around the middle of each sip.  This beer is not at all for the faint-hearted.  A wonderful bite and bitterness are very prominent here.

The mouth feel is full bodied for a double IPA, with an appropriate amount of carbonation.  The drinkability is surprisingly good.  Even though the ABV is 9.5%, I could easily have a couple of these.  And I would definitely purchase it again.

I’m very happy that Firestone Walker has been able to bring their product to Pennsylvania.  This was my first brew from them and it’s a great way to start.  I look forward to trying more of their beer.

Overall – A-

Published in: on May 7, 2011 at 7:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale

Sierra Nevada- Chico, CA

Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale 2011- 9.6% ABV.  $2.99 for 12 oz.

This was purchased on April 1st at Whole Foods in Plymouth Meeting.  Before pouring, I noticed some sediment at the bottom, presumably from the bottle conditioning.  A careful pour kept the sediment in the bottle and not in my glass.  I was rewarded with a reddish color that brought along a sizeable cream-colored head 1 ½ inches high.  It faded quickly, but didn’t disappear.

The aroma is a fine balance between malt and hops.  It reminds me of a double IPA; hoppy, but heavy on the malt.  The aroma is very piney… (Is that a word?  Piney?)

The flavor is complex.  First up are the bitter hops.  Like a pine tree.  Next is the alcohol.  Definitely not unpleasant, but present none-the-less.  After that is the extreme malt profile.  It’s sweet with sugary notes- brown sugar, slight molasses flavors.  It’s a very spicy beer.  I don’t think there are any spices in the recipe, but it seems like there could be.  Some faint flavors resembling ginger, cloves, nutmeg, etc.  There are also some herbal notes.

Bigfoot definitely tastes “young”.  It’s delicious, and I bet it would improve greatly with age.  I’ve heard that Bigfoot is a perfect candidate for aging, and having tasted it, I would certainly agree.  How appropriate that the bottles have the bottling year right on the label?  2011 baby… let it ride!

The mouth feel is medium –heavy and has a nice texture, almost silky.  The carbonation is a tiny bit too aggressive.  Drinkability is moderate.  It’s too easy going down, but the high ABV is a little prohibitive.  One bottle would be fine.

Bigfoot needs to be aged.  Buy one to drink now, plus one or more to age for any number of years.  Put them in a cool, dark place like a basement or “cellar”.  Do not store it anywhere near your furnace, hot water heater or washer/dryer.  Then forget about it for a few years, possibly 1 to 3 years, but preferably 5 years, and you will be rewarded.

Overall – A-

Published in: on May 2, 2011 at 8:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
%d bloggers like this: