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!