Thursday, November 14, 2013

Sampling Session in Kyoto -- 11/02/2013

It had been a while, for me anyway. Our fairly regular beer tasting sessions had been on hold during the summer months when most of us were traveling. But on a mild, cool Saturday afternoon, we once again took up our seats in Lefty’s spacious dining/living room and proceed to uncap many bottles.

Here is a rundown of the ones I found the most enthralling:

Oakshire Perfect Storm Imperial IPA
This Oregon brew has a big fat grapefruit nose with good caramel backing. Moderately harsh hopping and bright peach notes dominate the initial. The mid palate gets a bit rough, with a little tobacco. It finishes with more scratchy hops. A very solid DIPA.

Stone Enjoy By IPA
The is the 11.12.13 vintage. A medium pine/citrus blend aroma. Medium straw color. A balanced initial. Hops dominate the mid palate, with a light sweet caramel backing. The finish extends the sweetness. Medium body. Good enough, but the taste is rather reminiscent of many another Stone brew in their signature IPA style.

Captain Lawrence Captain’s Reserve Imperial IPA
A nice mix of pine and citrus with some stinky fruitiness. Light grapefruit and some sweet peach. The mid palate balances very well, and the finish is tasty and full of gentle bitterness. Medium body. It's a bit of a hop bomb at first, but goes mild quickly and has a lovely range of fruit flavors.

Maine Beer Lunch
The hard-to-find beer has a massive piney and fruity nose, which just touches light manure. Medium straw color. A hop attack initial, with rounded caramel and peaches and grass. The finish has gentle, extended hoppiness. Medium body. Great aroma and good balance. Love it!

The Bruery White Chocolate
This is a wheat wine with a complex nose of light chocolate, vanilla, strained peaches, powdered sugar, and fumes. Medium straw color, with no head. A sweet milky initial, with some tangy oranges and pineapple. Mild sweetness in mid palate (from the wheat?), and then chocolate and vanilla drop out. It finishes with a bit of allcohol. burn and some fruity sweetness. Not really recognizable as a wheat wine. But full of marvelous flavors. Great.

8 Wired Batch 18 - Barrel Aged Imperial Stout
A big chocolately nose, with dark sugar, some barrel notes, licorice, and fumes. A deep brown color with ruby edges. The initial has lots of chocolate and highly roasted coffee. The chocolate and bittering intensify in mid palate and then settle out. Thge finish is rich and smooth. Very good! Thanks to Al, who brought it from New Zealand.

BFM Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien 2011
This rare Belgian has a supremely sour nose, with some prunes and light sauerkraut. Fair to moderate sourness in the initial, with some apples and sweet dark fruits. The finish is wonderfully smooth. Well-modulated sour flavors, and the aroma is great.

Grassroots Arctic Saison
A collaboration saison from Hill Farmstead and Anchorage Brewing. It has medium dium funk in a bready nose, with some refined sewage and grapefruit zest. Cloudy light straw color with a creamy head. Moderately tangy initial of soured pears and peaches with a sweet backing. Light tasty dry finish. Well-made and somewhat well-mannered stuff. The barnyard is there but we're not really inside the barn.

BFM 225 Saison
This was my top beer of the day. Tart and huge barny nose, sauerkraut. Cloudy amber color, with a creamy head and great lacing. Biting tart sournessand some peaches, cucumbers, and tobacco. A liight acid attack in mid palate. The finish is smooth and the fruit sweet in the final. Medium body, with a great mouthfeel. Runs a full range of flavors -- yogurt to pine needles to fruit to .... Great stuff. And big thanks to Takahara, who brought it.

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