Just Another Bottle ShareHello fellow Beer Geeks… The name is Mike and I’m an uber Craft Beer Geek living just north of NYC and working for a local NYC brewery. This blog is a compilation of all the beer geeky things I’ll be doing in the NYC area and beyond, spanning the following – Tap Takeovers, Beer Dinners, Beer Festivals, Bottle Shares, Bottle Releases and Brewery Trips and really any other beer related activity. Follow along for the ride, although it might get sloppy.
This is the first official post in the Craft Beer Life New York Column, the only fitting way to christen it is with the one event which truly embodies Craft Beer Geekdom; a bottle share.
Had some friends coming into town last weekend and as we do quite frequently we gathered at my crib for some beer and cheese, well a lot of beers.
Originally it looked like we might end up with a dozen or so people but some stuff fell through and we went four strong, not including some spouses who huddled amongst themselves in the corner.
So the fact that the four of us plowed through all of the beers pictured below shows just how solid of a night it was.
Here’s a run down of some of the highlights from the share…
Hill Farmstead DayBreak
This is a new one from the one and only Shaun Hill up in Vermont that he brewed with the infamous Mikkel of Mikkeller.
It is a 10.5% imperial stout brewed with citrus and then aged in liqueur barrels.
The beer is wonderful, a big bold black body with a pleasant head and on the nose just a hint of sweetness and citrus to blend with the bold roasted notes. The mouth feel is full but smooth and gives way to a great balance of sweet citrus and roasted malt character with hints of coffee on the back end.
Cigar City Hunahpu’s
I did have the pleasure of attending Hunahpu’s Day a couple weekends back and did fortunately also get some bottles.
We therefore elected to do a side by side of 13 and 14 to see not just what a year did to the beer but if there was batch-to-batch variation.
What we think we discovered was that the year or that the batch made a huge difference. Neither beer poured with much carb or head to speak of, both had pleasant aromas but the 14 was pure cinnamon on the nose in an amazing way.
Surprisingly the 13 had a little more heat to it and it appeared that the subtle flavors brought on by the vanilla and cinnamon had begun to fade.
The 14 on the other hand was phenomenal, hints of cinnamon toast crunch on the nose with just a hint of pepper and some great chocolate notes. A really thick and viscous mouth feel which led way to a perfect balance of sweetness and peppery spice, just enough to know it’s there but not enough to take away from the subtleties of the other ingredients.
Night Shift – Art #18
A Oak aged blend of Berliner Weisse beers & brett beers. 25% raspberry berliner (Art 5.5), 25% Somer Weisse, 50 % brett ale, 100% barrel aged.
This was another beer of note – It poured a bright orange with a pink hue and a low carb. The fruit additions were very apparent on the nose, it led way to a pleasantly tart and funky flavor with notes of raspberries. Based off of the flavor we were led to believe that the “100% barrel aged” would be a wine barrel as it had subtle hints of oak and vinegar to accompany the raspberry flavor that was apparent throughout.
Jack’s Abbey Baltic Porter Barrel Aged Framinghammer’s
Last but not least was our biggest vertical of the night, we opened the following…
- 2013 Barrel Aged Fram
- 2014 Barrel Aged Fram
- 2014 Barrel Aged Fram with Vanilla
- 2014 Barrel Aged Fram with Coffee
All were stand out beers but there was no question that the 2013 and the Vanilla variation of the 2014 were the beers that stood out.
By comparison the 2013 had far more notes of the barrel in comparison to the 2014 and variants, there was a great aroma and taste of bourbon accompanied by some oak.
The 2014 did not have nearly as much of the barrel character, which I believe, is what set aside the vanilla variation, it brought that element to the table. The addition of the vanilla in that variation took the beer to another level and lent the beer an amazing aroma and blended perfectly with the roasted malt characters to balance the beer and give it a silky smooth mouth feel.
All in all it was a great night. There’s simply nothing better than getting together with some fellow beer geeks, opening way too many beers, using way too many glasses, drinking a few verts and eating far too much cheese.