1001 Beers: Duck-Rabbit

1001 Beers: The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery

After I moved out to North Carolina, I actually made it out to The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery. I don't know why I have never got to blogging about my experience there but I had some awesome beer and toured the facility. They were talking about expanding back then so I wonder how they have moved forward with that now.

Beer Number 99: The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery Milk Stout

Duck-Rabbit Milk Stout is brewed with lactose, which helps to balance the weight of the roasted grains. Philippon did not know what to expect when the product was launched, but consumers acceptance of the new beer was fairly rapid, and the dark brew has been Duck-Rabbit's top-selling beer every month since it was introduced.

Milk Stout was one of the first beers I had when I got into North Carolina. I had it in Asheville at The Mellow Mushroom. I enjoyed it quite a bit back then and now, it was still good... not that it was not at the brewery, but you know.

It had a sharp roasty nose and malty. A little spicy. While drinking it there was a bit of dark roast in the back of my mouth and some coffee characteristics as well. Milk Stout had a high level of carbonation and lingering chocolate flavors. Almost like chocolate syrup but that did not carry over to the body of the beer. It was fairly medium bodied, roasty, sweet, and mellow. A little dark fruit and alcohol in the finish after it warmed up.

Beer Number 100: The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery Baltic Porter

The brewery unapologetically makes only dark beer. "I aim all for delicious," says brewery owner Paul Philippon. "I'm not saying I always hit it on the mark, but I don't brew anything I don't love." Despite his individualistic approach, Philippon is a fairly conventional brewer, focusing only on traditional styles. Velvelty smooth with no acrid bitterness, Duck Rabbit Baltic Porter is clean, well-rounded and complex. It is a rich, contemplative ale that seems fit for a chilly night beside a roaring fireplace.

I appreciate what he was saying about only brewing what he loves. I feel that is important for any brewery or brewer and it should help to lead to success. The Baltic Porter was not on tap when I went to the brewery but OMFG! I wanted to brew a Baltic Porter before because of a few articles in Brew Your Own, but this beer! This Beer! threw Baltic Porter high on my list of beers to brew.

You have no idea how amazing this beer is... unless you have actually drank it. Big nice malty roasted nose. A bit of coffee when you first sip into it. Strong dark malts, dark fruits, cherries, plums, cocoa, a very smooth beer. A bit of alcohol. Simply amazing! I wish I could have put more into words what I was experiencing but you should just find this beer. Hell, let me find out when it is released since it is not a year round and I will send some to you if you really want it. A-fricken-mazing!

901 Bottles Of Beer To Go!



1001 Beers: Duchesse de Bourgogne

Beer Number 98: Brouwerij Verhaeghe Vichte Duchesse de Bourgogne

This beer has been a long time favorite of mine. I was first introduced to it after I first got into beer. I had never had a sour beer before... well, maybe a La Folie, but one day over at a buddies house while we were both brewing, one of his friends came over and brought over a whole slew of sour ales. I am so glad she did, but I would have for sure found this one at some point even if she didn't.
Breweries have been aging beer in wooden barrels for as long as there has been commercial brewing, but the practice has fallen off dramatically within the advent of more durable and less flavor-imparting stainless steel. In parts of Flanders, however, wood aging endures through the persistence of several beer styles, including the red ales sometimes known as the burgundies of Belgium.

Like I said, I am glad this one was showed to me but I would have loved it and found it eventually. The nose is very sweet and has a slight vinegar character. Some suggest pomegranate, but maybe I have not had enough of this to know exactly what that smells like. Though, there is a ton of fruit on the nose.

The deep red body with a tan, or brownish head leads you into the deep sweet fruit flavors of this beer. Cherries come to mind immediately and then they are attacked with that sweet vinegar taste that I smelled on the opening. A dry finish and simply delicious. The perfect body and mouthfeel. This could easily become my favorite beer.

903 Bottles Of Beer To Go!



1001 Beers: Rye Pale Ale

Beer Number 97: Terrapin Rye Pale Ale

So I went up to The Busy Bee Cafe to meet The Beer Fairy, live, in color, and in person! I had looked at the menu the day before and decided that I wanted to knock this beer off the list. Pretty sweet that I did.
At the core of the ale is malted rye that is blended with Munich, Victory, and honey malts to add complexity and softness. Five differnet types of hops go into the ale: Magnum, Fuggle, East Kent Golding, and Cascade, and then it is dry hopped with Amarillo.

I enjoyed this one very much. It was a very solid pale ale. Had a little bit of a spicy kick, but overall a nice balance throughout. I wish I knew it had Fuggles in it. I LOVE THAT HOP! The beer carried a very good body and a sweet, smooth finish. One I would enjoy time and time again.

904 Bottles Of Beer To Go!



1001 Beers: Smoked Porter

Beer Number 96: Alaskan Smoked Porter

Alaskan Smoked Porter is a one of the very first craft beers I have ever had. I would say it was very advanced for what I was into back then and I really had no idea what I was drinking. I just saw a bottle of it at FredMeyer and decided to pick it up... along with variety packs of everything that the store had... Yes, it was that early in my beer days.

I got this bottle in a trade. I had no idea when I was going to open it up, and after hearing that it ages well for years and years, I figured I might hold onto it for a long time. There have been recent tastings as old as 1993, I want to say. I'd have to find the website or Alaskans official statement on that for a festival not too long ago. But, after hearing that Alaskan Brewing was going to be the Spotlight Interview a few weeks back for Craft Beer Nation, I decided what better time to open it?

To view that Spotlight interview with a few members of Alaskan Brewing, click here.
When U.S. brewers began to experiment with smoked beers in the 1980s, they didn't look to Germany's Rauchbiers for inspiration, but instead to the American past. The most famous reslt is Alaskan Smoke Porter. Brewery founders Geoff and Marcy Larson discovered that Alaskan breweries at the end of the 19th century brewed porter using colored malts that they kilned themselves over wood fires. The wood would surely have been alder, the only true hardwood in southeast Alaska and used for centuries by Native Americans to smoke fish.

I think that last note is very key. I've eaten quite a bit of Smoke Salmon living back in Seattle, so it was a flavor I knew well. And this beer, really had that character. From the nose to the flavor, Smoked Salmon was on my brain. Very heavy on the nose, woody, dry and all of that carried on as well. There was a subtle bitterness, though the overall mouthfeel was smooth and creamy. I kind of thought I was getting a little bit of an oily character, but maybe that was just me thinking about eating the Smoked Salmon... I don't know. For sure a beer to try

905 Bottles Of Beer To Go!



1001 Beers: Victory Brewing Company

1001 Beers: Victory HopDevil & Prima Pils

I am finally knocking off all of the Victory Beers from the list! I know that isn't really as exciting as it sounds, but I prefer Victory beers that are not on the list. And I just got a Barley Wine from the company that they don't even brew anymore... I AM SO LOOKING FORWARD TO THAT!!! I still need to try an aged Storm King...

Beer Number 94: Hop Devil

A funny thing happened on the way to lager fame. While the two young brewers were setting up their brewery's restaurant in 1995, they got their hands on a long-awaited supply of Sierra Nevada Celebration, the famously hoppy beer from California released just once a year for the Christmas season. "It hit us like a ton of bricks," Covaleski said. "We looked at each other and said , 'We have our own brewery! We don't have to wait once a year for a hoppy beer.'" Thus was born HopDevil, Victory's homage to hops.
It is funny hearing this after living in a beer world like we do now... If you want a hoppy beer, all you have to do is look at a brewing calendar and see who has an ultra rare, super limited, 500 case only special release... You know it happens all the time...

I was not really a fan of this beer. I mean, it was a cool deep amber beer with a tan rocky head and a mellow hop flavor and aroma. Grassy, earthy, creamy and it lingered quite a bit into the back of my throat. I know this was not a celebration clone or anything by the brewery, but I wish it had more of that taste.

Beer Number 95: Prima Pils
At the time, most small brewers were specializing in ales and other dark, heavy varieties; the time of the hop-heavy IPA was also about to dawn. Pilsner--at least the variety available in the United States--was generally seen as characterless, a fizzy yellow liquid with lots of money for promotion but little taste.
I've had Prima Pils a few times, too. And I did not really care for it any time I had it before... It is just not my type of beer. I know a ton of people that love this one and quite a few people that actually cook with it... I know some referred to it as more of a German IPA than a Pilsner.

I can't really pick out what it is that I do not like in this one... maybe it is the yeast... I don't know but something in the aroma and flavor really get to me. The sweetness, floral notes on the nose. A nice hop character but a very nice malty background that it lays on. Some alcohol in the finish and a dry finish.

So, now that I am done with the list Victory beers, I can get back to drinking their good stuff. I know people love these ones and I really hop they enjoy.

906 Bottles Of Beer To Go!



1001 Beers: Bourbon County Stout

Beer Number 93: Goose Island Bourbon County Stout

This 1001 post got a little messier than other post I have done... Nothing about the beer though. That was hot, complex, and delicious... Maybe I should have waited longer to drink this one...

I don't know what made me want Orange Chicken but it started to sound, and smell better and better along the way... Now I am hungry once again...

I'm not going to bore you with the details of how I made this one... Maybe one day, but I'm not really in the mood. I just wanted to show off some pictures. If you want to make it though, here is where I found the recipe. Clicky!!!

After one hundred days in the barrels, the big stout finally emerged, spiked with the lovely vanilla perfume only an old bourbon cask can provide. Despite its appeal, it remained a once-a-year winter specialty for the pub, but was expanded into a packaged product in 2004. Bourbon County Stout became a defining beer for Goose Island and helped spawn a whole new category of bourbon-barrel-aged beers.

So, as you can see, this is a fairly new bottle. I wish I would have held onto it a bit longer... like 2 or 3 years longer, but now that it is off the list, I can just find it stock it. I mean, why not?

So, again... Fresh, This beer was Very HOT! Like on the nose, the alcohol burn... everything. Bourbon on the nose. A little malt does come through, but your nostrils are on fire. So when you are drinking it, Again, bourbon is the over arching theme. A roasted malt character comes through with a little bit of caramel and chocolate on a malty body. Again, I wish I let it age. I hear there is some awesome vanilla flavors in there as well.

908 Bottles Of Beer To Go!



1001 Beers: Saison Rue

Beer Number 92: The Bruery Saison Rue

I have had this beer a couple of time, even once at the brewery and The Provisions, (before they shut that down), while visiting some buddies of mine. Just about every beer I had from them I loved and they were all fantastic. I remember sitting there drinking Batch 300 for the first time, after having been drinking and following The Bruery for some time, and now Batch 1000 is out for the masses to try. I won't be able to get my hands on that one but I can revisit one of my first.

Saison Rue is an intersection of several interest, according to Rue. "I'm a big fan of Dupont Avec Les Bon Voeux because it is complex, spicy, big, yet easy on the palate. I'm also a fan of beers that contain Brettanomyces yeast because it brings another dimension to the beer and noticeably changes it over time. Rye is the perfect ingredient in a beer that is going to become extremely dry as it adds mouthfeel and texture."
I found out after opening this one that it is recommended, by the brewer, that you drink it at about the 6 month mark. I know when I got this beer, and it came from the shelves at the brewery, but I am not sure how old it is still... If I use the date it left The Bruery, I drank it quite young. I don't expect it to stay long at the source, but there is no type of date on this bottle... so I have no idea. I guess the only thing I can do is get a new bottle, try to find out exactly when it was packaged and wait six months... oh darn!

The nose was quite funky and spicy. It must have been that Brett that they talk about ever so much. It reminds me of other beers that use Brett with its musky-ness. Spicy, peppery notes set in on the tongue immediately and then I get quite a bit of fruity character. Things that came to my surprise was, like an effervescent, minty-ness throughout my mouth. Lifting flavors of the palate and replacing them with more. A creamy mouthfeel and an acidic bite that was smooth and mellow. Drying in the finish but gracefully so.

While this is not one of my favorite Bruery releases, this one is definetly a classic. I see how it got into the book. It is just a shame that the other beer is discontinued :(

909 Bottles Of Beer To Go!



1001 Beers: Cascade Brewing Company

1001 Beers: Cascade Brewing The Vine, Kriek, Cuvee du Jongleur... kind of...

I drove down to Portland to taste the three beers from Cascade mainly because the cost per bottle of each beer tends to be quite expensive, $20-$30 each. The Cuvee De Jongleur was also discontinued so I figured I would take this chance to find out if it was going to be brewed again or if there is something similar to it that I could taste.

I wish I would have gotten some more pictures of this place! I only took pictures of my beers but the place was pretty sweet. You can probably find images online but it would be way better to get over here! So, they brew a whole array of "normal" beers but the reason to come here, at least in my and many other opinions is their line up of sour/Northwest Style Sour Ales.

Beer Number 89: The Vine
The Vine is the result of Gansberg's interest in the concept of marrying a beer with the juice of an American white wine grape varietal through the process of fermentation. It took the brewery two years to develop a spiced Belgian blond ale that became the base for The Vine.

This was one amazing beer. On Untappd I said, "Very nice, but I have a feeling this isn't their best!", and nothing against it, but it was not! Their beer list has them in an order to drink. I can't remember what was the deciding factor, but The Vine was at the top of the list, i.e. drink first. You got an initial sourness, more vinegar like, but sweet and oaky. Then I guess the grape juice that they use opens up and finishes slightly dry. Worth a try, multiple times.

Beer Number 90: Kriek
The Pacific Northwest is noted for producing outstanding cherries, and Cascade blends blood-red Bing cherries and sour pie cherries to get the right taste profile for the beer. The goal is to make a kriek unique to Cascade and not attemp to simply copy Belgian krieks.
So, I only had one beer before this one but the similarities of the two were unmistakable. Cherry flavors and a nice sour twang open up this beer. As you move more into this beer there is a vinegary note and some great fruit flavors blending with the oak. Another one that finishes a bit dry but you are begging for more as you go. Just fantastic and better than the last. I would love to taste the base Flanders Red for this one.

Beer Number 91: Cuvee du Jongleur Substitute

This beer is one that was discontinued and I, as well as others on this hunt, had no idea what to do other than trying to track it down. When I was talking to the server, she told me that it was around when the sour program first started but after that... nope! I was told to pick up a bottle of 2011 Manhattan or to try a blend that of Vlad The Imp Aler and Noyeux. Separately both of these were fantastic but together, I hope they were great. I hope this is similar to the beer I was trying to get!

Cascade Brewing's Cuvee du Jongleur is a beer that is hard to pin down. For a start, there's the issue of the name. "Cuvee' is a French term used on wine labels to denote wine of a specific blend or batch. The word originates from the French word cuve, meaning 'vat,'" explains Cascade's brewmaster Ron Gansberg. "'Jongleur' refers to an entertainer or juggler in medieval England and France," he adds, revealing the name "Cuvee du Jongleur" made perfect sense to him as he juggled barrels from nine different lots of beer to create the finished product. The beer is the result of a careful blending of select barrels of sour red ales, aged in excess of a year; soured Belgian tripels aged in oak for up to eighteen months; and fresh blond quadrupels. After bottling, the beer is laid on its side in racks, like champagne, for eight months of further conditioning.

To me, that sounds like why it is not around anymore. A ton of work for what sounds likes an amazing beer. I just wish I were able to get my hands on it. This blend, while tasty I feel does not compare to that haha! Then again, she said that would be the closest I get. Oh how I wish, I were around for that one. Maybe I will just have to move close to Portland and ride my bike in every so often... I did not get a growler on this trip but I did get a glass. And I love it! I am sure you will be seeing it around.

910 Bottles Of Beer To Go!



1001 Beers: Rogue Ales

1001 Beers: Rogue Dead Guy Ale, Shakespeare Stout, XS Imperial India Pale Ale, & New Crustacean

Not a brewery I was looking forward to but they have quite a few beers on the list... probably not true, but I think they have the most from any single brewery in the whole book... I would have to check that fact...

Beer Number 85: Dead Guy Ale
With one foot in the orthodox world of German lagers, Dead Guy started as a straigh-up Maibock called Maierbock, named for brewmaster John Maier, "We were brewing it at out Bayfront brewpub, and of course we didn't have a lot of tank space," says Maier, referring to the extended aging time that ties up tanks with conventional lagers, "so we thought we'd give it a try with our Pac-Man yeast. People like it."
I think it is funny I always compared this beer to Arrogant Bastard... I had no idea this was a Maibock, but whatever. Just throwing that out there.

I really didn't like this one and did not write good notes on the sample I had there, but I have never liked it ever since I first had it as I was getting into craft. Rogue is one of the breweries that I picked up a few of when I was first tasting beer. There was quite a bit of sweetness, I was expecting a big hop punch, but nothing... I guess it is just because of my expectations... I don't know, but this one is a pass.

Beer Number 86: Shakespeare Stout
Shakespeare Stout is an imperial stout that is one of Rogue's original beers. It is named to recognize the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, which takes place annually over several months in the small, arty community of Ashland, where Rogue was originally located.
This one actually surprised me. I enjoyed it a bit and thought it was nicely made. The chocolate and dark malts really came together and made this an enjoyable taster. I might have tried this one in a bottle but I've had it now and it did not wow me enough to make it a "regular". Maybe one day I will try it again.

Beer Number 87: XS Imperial India Pale Ale
I2PA is the brainchild of Nate Lindquist, who worked as a brewer at Rogue in the early years. His first imperial IPA was slightly different to the current commercial version. "I tasted it and told him there weren't enough hops; it needed more 'oomph," Maier says. "We doubled the hops and changed some of them to American hops for that Cascade aroma."
So, I like IPAs, and IIPA's but this one was so malty, hop flavor but not insanely bitter like I was expecting, but it was hard to get passed the straight alcohol that was leaping out of the glass and everywhere you could imagine. This will get you drunk during your "session".

Beer Number 88: New Crustacean

This is one that used to go by another name and now it is called a different name. Old Crustacean will, for now anyway, be known as New Crustacean Barleywineish Imperial IPA Sorta... I guess I get the point because a lot of American "Barley Wines" are referred to as IPA's. I don't agree with this, but I understand where it came from. Everyone has their own take on everything but there are some things written in stone... or at least history so changing things around sucks.
Old Crustacean is a hefty brew, weighing in at 11.5 percent alcohol content and verified as having 120 IBUs by the Siebel Institute of Technology. The recipe comes from a barleywine-style ale that was first brewed in 1986 by Rogue's long-time brewmaster John Maier, when he was still a home-brewer.
This new recipe comes in at 9.8%. I was not really big into this one either. I clocked it in at 2.5 Crowns on Untappd. Maybe it being so fresh was an issue. They say it changes a lot over time but who knows. It was the Imperial IPA Sorta type beer right now. So, if you pick this one up, give it time. I can't say how long because I did not, but that is my suggestion with all Barley Wines... Except Horn Dog. Drink that fresh! You can age some though, I heard it is amazing aged.

913 Bottles Of Beer To Go!



1001 Beers: Elysian Brewing

1001 Beers: Elysian Brewing The Wise ESB, Avatar Jasmine IPA, & Dragonstooth Stout

I've been to Elysian once before and this second trip, pointed out to me I need another. I want to visit when they do their Great Pumpkin Beer Festival, but that would take some major planning, or moving back to WA... which would not be a bad thing...

I wanted to check out a new location of the three that they have, but I guess that was not in the cards for me. I should have known with all the available parking...

Beer Number 82: The Wise ESB

The first time I came to Elysian, the keg had kicked on this one and I guess they had no more left. Being it is now only a draft beer, I had to pick it up on site... I think I was even more disappointed that they were out of The Trip when I showed up this time... But I did find bottles of The Trip XV and XVI.
Dick Cantwell has created over sixty different beers, on a modest 200-barrel brew system, including six year-round standards, of which The Wise ESB was the very first beer Elysian brewed. They all feature themes taken from Greek mythology, and the reference to wisdom in the ESB's name is an allusion to the Greek goddess Athena, the goddess of wisdom, peace, warefare, strategy, handicrafts, and reason.
This beer has won three gold medals at GABF and I find it funny that it is draft only. Talking with another brewery the other night, Here Is The Video Feed, they have had similar success with their ESB but now it is discontinued... Did the Hop War and the push for higher ABV kill this style? It is one I enjoy and I would love to see more of it!

I loved everything about The Wise. It had an amazing nose. Some toffee, malty sweetness, a bit of citrus. Just amazing. On first sips, a beautiful bitterness runs over the beer and you get a creamy texture in the mouthfeel. Some fruit flavors, and just fantastic. They used Chinook in this beer and finished it with Cascade and Centennial. I might want to keep that in mind next time I brew...

Beer Number 83: Avatar Jasmine IPA
The idea of Jasmine IPA was inspired by a comment at an IPA judging panel by the English beer luminary Mark Dorber who noted that a beer had an aroma of "jasmine tea." The notion intrigued Dick Cantwell (who founded the brewery along with David Buhler and Joe Bisacca). He let the idea steep for several years before brewing the beer as a seasonal. "We took it to the Washington Brewers Fest and had a line of about fifty people, many of whom were women, a demographic as you know, not always enamored of beers as bitter as IPA. Still, the guys liked it.

I wish I would have gotten a womans opinion on this one after reading that, but it was not a bad beer at all. It was hard picking up scents of the tea now that my food arrived and it was very mellow as well. Some hop character but nothing too blaringly out there. A nice, subtle bitterness, and smooth flavors throughout. Some caramel and a dry finish. Not for the extreme IPA lover, I would say but not a bad beer, once again.

Beer Number 84: Dragonstooth Stout

This beer... This is the beer I got my growler fill of last time I was here. I decided to pick up a bottle of this one as I was leaving the brewery and to enjoy it at home. This is never a bad idea. You have been warned.
"Dragonstooth was a carryover from a strong oatmeal stout I used to brew at a previous job," says head brewer of Elysian Brewing Dick Cantwell. "As soon as it ran out, people wanted it back. So, when we started Elysian, our newer version became part of the permanent lineup." This version of Dragonstooth was Elysian's second brew, after the Wise ESB, but it wasn't as fierce as the one that stands today.

In this tasting, I picked up a few things that I was not sure I had noticed before. This is for sure, a big and aggressive stout but there is so much flavor and everything to it, that it is magnificent. It opens up a little spicy, probably from the nice dose of roasted barley. Chocolate comes through and I got a bit of a minty character... Odd, right? I get a bit of coffee-ish tones in the finish. All in All, my favorite year round from Elysian.

917 Bottles Of Beer To Go!



1001 Beers: Black Butte

Beer Number 81: Deschutes Black Butte

Black Butte is my favorite porter... and just nearly my favorite beer. It was one of the first beers I have ever had when I got into craft and really changed my world when it came to matters of flavor. The first anniversary beer I had was Black Butte XXIII, I still have a bottle of it I am planning to open soon. I recently had Black Butte XXIV, and now things have finally come to Black Butte XXV.

Deschutes's founder and president Gary Fish credits Black Butte Porter's success, in part, to Jim Kennedy, one of the first distributors of craft beer in Oregon and the United States. Kennedy had advised Fish to focus on Promoting the inky-black beer when Deschutes opened for business in 1988, a time when almost all beers in the country were pale yellow and fizzy. Crafted from chocolate and crystal malt, Black Butte Porter remains its flagship beer to this day, enjoying a loyal and passionate following.

I love the class of 88 caps and got 4 of them from all the beers I had while home on my trip. I cannot wait to get back there and finally visit the Bend brewery rather than going to PDX... Not that anything is wrong with PDX, but I want to be where it all began and see the infamous Black Butte.

I know it is just a picture and perception is different than in real life but when Black Butte pours into the glass it appears to be solid black all the way through. Only when you bring it up to the light you can see the amazing brown highlights a little ruby poking its way through. A tan head that is billowing and full. It died down a little bit in that picture but mainly because of the way I poured it. In that first link, you can see the head on an older bottle that is still insanely crazy... Double negative?

The nose is really roasted and you get a bit of chocolate, cocoa rather filling the space around the top of the glass. A dark roast, kind of coffee-esque up front and it finishes dry. Very sharp and it caries a high level of carbonation with a medium body, and a very refreshing, easy drinking mouthfeel. A little grainy as well. Just an overall fantastic beer. Having it after a couple of years being excluded from the Deschutes distribution circle, it is nice to be reminded why I love this beer. Clocking in at 5.2% Alcohol by Volume.

I guess now this brings me to the anniversary edition. A whole 25 years of Deschutes and Black Butte... If only I were born one year away from where I was and about a month later... We could be celebrating out birthdays together!

So, this one is considerably bigger than its predecessor... and I'm not just talking about bottle size. It is 11.3%ABV and a whole lot of beer. I first fell in love with XXIII like I said earlier and it just totally blew my mind that one of my favorite beers could be made even better. You can't say that about much I love the guys who put it together and can't wait to see more from them in the future.

So, you would be surprised how this one compares in other ways as well. You would think that they would go all out and make every aspect of this beer extreme... NOPE! They knew exactly what they were doing.

I feel the nose on this beer is quite mellow but it still has that nice roasty character. Some dry fruits come across as well. They threw figs and dates into here, and I feel those dates are a bit more tamed than last year and quite pleasing.

Black Butte XXV opens up in a bit way with those figs and dates but a nice chocolatey smoothness comes across and smoothes everything out. A nice dry finish and lingering dark fruits. Hints of vanilla peek through and tell you to love every bit of their flavor. Then there is some oak and a little sourness. Not a lot, but just a smidge. It could have just been my perception but it was not out of place at all. I feel this beer would age well for years and years.

XXIII was my overall favorite of the ones I have had while comparing them fresh, but I think it may have some competition with this one a few months or maybe years down the road.

920 Bottles Of Beer To Go!



Sierra Nevada Beer Camp

So, once again it is that time of year where Sierra Nevada has opened up their Beer Camp contest and released a 12 pack of some of their favorite beers. Actually, I have no idea how they select what beers go into the packs. The first year, they were all random numbers... and I think the same as last year. This year Batch #93, 94, & 95 are in the mixer. I will post my thoughts on those beers really soon... and it gives me more opportunities to plug this post.

Why do I want to plug this post? Well, I am need your votes! The more votes I get, the higher my odds of going to Beer Camp are. The title of my video is, "The Best Beer In The World", which is kind of a parody of Tribute from Tenacious D. Basically it follows me as I am to bring a demon The Best Beer In The World. You can check out the video over at the Sierra Nevada Beer Camp site. You are allowed to vote once a day between now and September 30th now that my video is live!!! Please help :D and have your friends help... and their friends help... and maybe their bosses... but hey, that might be pushing it.

There are some things I wish I could have done differently, but for only 10 minutes of shooting and then cutting this video together in order to get it submitted 3 days past opening, hey... It is done and submitted!!! More time for votes! I'm off to a decent start already, but those that were submitted at the very beginning already have over 100 votes, so I need to catch up and maintain it for almost 2 months... This could be tricky as new submissions roll in... but it will be worth it. And it was a very fun video to shoot. Anyway, I am sure you will hear more details about this later. For now, Enjoy my video, Enjoy some good beer, and Thank You For Your Votes!!!!



1001 Beers: Session Lager

Beer Number 80: Full Sail Session Lager

You would think that living in Washington State, I would have had this beer more times than I have had. This is my first experience. But I always thought they had cool looking bottles. So unique. There are breweries like Sierra Nevada that have short bottles but not like the ones Full Sail has.
Full Sail Brewing set out to revive pre-prohibition lager when it released Session. It is an all-malt lager that is availableonly in squat 11-ounce (330-ml) bottles known as stubbies. "A bunch of us in the brewery always talked about how much we like the look of the stubbies, and how you just didn't see them anymore,"
So, this beer as well as the bottles had a little place in history.

This beer reminded me exactly of all the lagers that have came before it. Granted, I have never had a pre-prohibition lager before. I tried to brew one before, but that was my first or second brew and it ended badly! So, I really have no idea what to expect.

A deep golden straw color with a very light, white head. The nose had that characteristic malt sweetness of a lager. My first sips reminded me of the classic beer qualities that people refer to. Smooth, crisp, clean, and probably refreshing after a long hard day. Almost BMC-esque, but you do not get any of that green apple taste or anything. I did not care for this beer at all though.

I wonder how it compares to other pre-prohibiton lagers... or what others ones there are out there. I cannot name any off the top of my head but there have to be some. I did not even know this was one originally. The quest continues.

921 Bottles Of Beer To Go!



1001 Beer: Ninkasi

1001 Beers: Ninkasi Oatis Oatmeal Stout & Tricerahops Double IPA

I loved my last trip to Ninkasi and I had wanted to make the voyage again in order to knock out the two beer from this brewery on the list, but like quite a few of my original plans, we just did not go the distance.

I had the Vanilla Oatis while I was at the brewery and I think that it is a mighty fine beer. I actually enjoy it more than the regular Oatis and I almost thought about subbing it... but for ones that are still around, I will be true to the book.
Ninkasi Brewing was named to honor the ancient Sumerian goddess of beer. The Sumerians gave up their nomadic way of life when they began to grown barley, making them among the first known brewers. Their beer is documented in a hymn to Ninkasi that is considered the first beer recipe.
I always pray to Ninkasi on my brewdays, but I have never thought about tracking down the "first" recipe... I should do that and brew it... hmmm...

Beer Number 78: Oatis Oatmeal Stout

Oatis is a beer with a massive dose of oatmeal added to each batch. "I love oatmeal stout. It is my favorite of the stout styles. And there are not a lot of commercial examples of the style in the marketplace." says brewer Jamie Floyd.

The inspiration behind Oatis is pretty straight forward and Ninkasi does it well. They have always been a favorite brewery of mine being on the West Coast and I am disappointed I can't get them any longer.

I feel that Oatis is very big and chocolaty. Almost like that chocolate syrup flavor. It has a nice roast on it and a very sharp bite. A nice warming alcohol presence into the finish dark, stone fruits make a unique appearance. A great, full body and a hint of creaminess to blend it all together.

Beer Number 79: Tricerahops Double IPA

Tricerahops is a beer I did not care for when I first started drinking craft beer. Though, I was not crazy about IPAs then, either. I totally hated them. So, let's see how things go this time around.
Floyd says his other, unofficial name for the massive Tricerahops beer is Sleepytime. "This beer has had a common effect of letting people become extremely familiar with the shape of any chair that they are sitting in while drinking it," he says. "Two pints and it's often nap time."
Thinking about this beer, I can totally see that. I mean, it is only 8.8% alcohol by volume... What is the worst that can happen?

This time around, I had a far better experience with Tricerahops. The citrus and deep pine scents and flavors were fantastic. The harsh bitterness that I experienced before was rounded out by a nice malt sweetness, almost honey or nectar like but not quite syrupy. I found a lot of balance to the flavors in this go around and it drank relatively smooth. I can totally see how Tricerahops would send you into "Sleepytime".

922 Bottles Of Beer To Go!



The Session: Elevator Pitch

The Session: Your Elevator Pitch For Beer

I see you are celebrating IPA Day. Well, Do you know why? Because someone told you to drink an IPA? Do you know what this day is about? Apparently it is meant to convert a non-craft drinker to become solely an IPA drinker. Crazy right? I mean, there are so many styles of beer and so many different flavors to experience but they want you to only drink a small handful?

Do you like momma's homebaked Banana Bread? Sour candies & beverages? What about those magnificent dark fruit flavors? You can't get that with an India Pale Ale! No matter how hard they try.

Why not drink this ancient Scottish Ale that uses no hops or this Biere De Garde? I have a few to share and I'd rather you find something you like than force feed you what I like.

If you need anything, go to one of the extremely loud rooms. I'll be there drinking some Westvleteren and Sexual Chocolate. Or if you need something easier drinking, there are some other magnificent ales I can show you. Especially with the holidays coming up. Do you like Pumpkin Pie? Or maybe you do want something nice & strong, yet very aggressive?

Hey, there is more to life than that IPA you are holding.



1001 Beers: IPA

Beer Number 77: Stone IPA

So, I have had this beer already on the blog but I decided to give it its own post. I wish I could have grabbed a bottle of it... Hell, I know I will and I could have waited but I decided not to. So, Stone IPA.
They released Stone IPA as their first-anniversary beer, knowing it would then take a place in the regular lineup--and also establish the fact that each other Stone beers, the IPA sets itself apart because the recipe doesn't include any of the Cascade hops common in most West Coast hop-centric, beers--
So, not the day I am drinking this one, but the day I am writing this post happens to be the 17th annivesary of Stone and the day they sold their first keg of Stone Pale Ale to their first account. Pizza Port. And Pizza Port even came and picked up the keg. Just to give you an idea of how far I am behind in my posting... almost caught up though... Kind of...

As you can see, this beer is in its proper serving glass at the melting pot. A very nice and citrusy ale with pine character coming in and taking you by storm. A nice malt background and an amazingly dry finish. Classic Stone. Classic Beer. Classic, GET SOME!

924 Bottles Of Beer To Go!