Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Firkin Beer Festival - April 24, 2010 at Triple Rock Brewery in Berkeley

Firkin Beer!  It's thicker, less carbonated, and more syrupy than usual.  I find this delicious.

Triple Rock had a great beer festival - only $20 for 6 samples, but the "sample" was actually almost a half-pint.  This meant that the Lumberjack and I were able to share samples and thereby taste a LOT of beer.  Perfect!

Lagunitas Little Sumpin Wild (Belgian Ale, 8.5%ABV): this was one of my favourites.  It smelled like flowers, and the hops were just subtle enough to be delicious and not overpowering.

Iron Springs The Malice (Barleywine, 10% ABV): this one was way too much for me.  It's aged in french oak, and smelled very strongly of wood.  I thought the oak flavour was far too strong and overpowered the beer.  I compared it to being slapped in the face with an oak panel.  The Lumberjack viewed it more as getting one's mouth washed out with a 2x4, but apparently he thought that was a good thing.  Duly noted.

Green Flash Le Freak (Belgian IPA, 9.2% ABV): one of my favourite beers from the bottle or tap, so I was super excited to try it Firkin-style.  The hops were more subtle, and it was more syrupy.  Had a sweet, pineapple/clove aftertaste.  Delicious, as expected.

Ale Industries Ryed Piper (Red Ale, 5.8% ABV): no thanks.  It was bitter, and the alcohol flavour was too strong.  The malt wasn't toasty enough for me, and it almost tasted like buttery tobacco.

Drake's Expedition (American Strong Ale, 6.8% ABV): it's been hopped with Horizon, Cascade and Chinook, and at first the strong hop smell turned me off a bit.  But the flavour was actually really nice - it was syrupy and had a sweet/bitter combination - grass/flowery with a hint of peach and honey.  It's one of those beers that has a second, stronger flavour after you swallow and give it a second.  Overall I really enjoyed the sample, but think the hops are a little too strong for me to drink a lot of it.

Blue Frog Arf & Arf (Red Ale IPA, 7.6% ABV): a lovely blend of IPA and Red Ale - the Lumberjack called it "the best of both worlds."  I called it a wine cooler, but I meant it in the best way!  I love wine coolers!  It's sugary, and smells like bubblegum.  I know the Librarian will mock me for this description, but it's true - it smelled like double bubble or bazooka, that hard pink bubblegum from the 80's (do they still exist?).

Speakeasy Payback Porter (Porter, 7.6% ABV): delicious!  A good, smooth, coffee stout.  A little lighter than Speedway Stout, with a hint of raisin and bourbon.  Kind of mapley.  Very drinkable.

Ballast Point Sea Monster (Imperial Stout, 10% ABV): good god.  That 10% is nothing to scoff at.  I found it bitter, and the alcohol was way too intense for me.  Shocker: the Lumberjack loved it.  He said it had a nice caramel/toffee scent, and that he could "taste the whiskey" to which I said I KNOW.

Pizza Port Ernest Silky Smoove (Sweet Stout, 5.6% ABV): oatmeal stout!  oatmeal stout!  I love oatmeal stout!  This beer smells AWESOME.  It has a nice "mouthfeel" and so delicious and syrupy.  Oatmeal stouts are amazing, and this one is one of the best.  The end.

Half Moon Bay Moonglow (Barleywine, 9.8% ABV): so tasty!  We had seconds of this one.  It was sweet and mild, and tasted like pineapple.  It was amber, malty, and "light & sparkly" according to my notes - since this came after tasting a number of other beers, take that description with a grain of sparkly salt.

Marin Brass Knuckle (Double IPA, 10.2% ABV): I wrote "sweet, honey, smooth, hops are gentle, I am tipsy."  The end.

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