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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Drinks of the Week - Epic Brewing

This week is starting off a theme week. Yes, a theme week. I won't being doing a theme every week, and, as a matter of fact, the theme this week kind of ended up as an healthy accident.

Epic Brewing (825 South State Street, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111) has had an Exponential Series on the shelves for some time now and I have not really done an exhaustive examination of it. This is where Epic Brewing "jouney never ends" because these bottles are a cut above. Basically because one bottle of it was so good, it just blew my mind. I have had a bottle (Brainless on Raspberries, Peaches, and Cherries) of the Exponential Series and found them to be really good. Tightly wrapped up flavors in explosive amounts for not a limited some of money kind of limited my options, so I started collecting. Bottle here, bottle there in 750ml amounts until there were five.

First you have to acquire five of the Exponential Series brand and that is what has taken the longest to do. Now let's take their five brands, analyze them, and come out with some semblance of what we are saying about them.

Sour Apple Saison - I imagine that this will be a sour apple inspired saison. However, as we have discovered before, the flavor of sour apple will be the ultimate deciding factor. Curious how this will come out!

Double Skull - Doppelbock Lager: This has always gotten me because of the number of factors involved in this concoction. The secret could lie in the doppelbock or it could lie in the lager. Or it may be trapped in between the two. Curiosity killed the cat and may get me this time!

Fest Devious - A Full Celebration (beer): This could be good for a number of reasons, the least of which is that it will be just good beer.

Big Bad Baptist Imperial Stout: This could be good for the most basic of reason - just good imperial stout. This is one beer taste that has eluded most beer drinkers - but not all of them.

Elder Brett Saison Brett Golden Ale:  Not one, but too saisons to measure up against - the inference is that the brewer is ballsy. But this brewer has proved tough defeat in the past and two of same saisons may not be beyond their reach. We will see on opening!

So these are the five choice that we have laid out. Hopefully we have enough diversity that we can distinguish between them (I don't doubt it) and have some real lesson learned.  Onward!


Thursday, February 5, 2015

Drinks of the Week!

Sorry for the delay in updating this section, but as you might have guess, I have had a major time partying to my 1,000th drink. Yep, I made it and it felt so good that I have started on a the next thousand! Hey, once you have it down, it should be pretty easy, right?

So, the next thousand (sorry, I am stuck on this business of a thousand, but eventually it will pipe down) starts at 1,016 because I have had a few bottles in between. Hey, it goes with the territory and I will cover some of those drinks as a group a little bit later.

The next group of five ends our experience with the Hispanic markets and casts us squarely back amongst the North Americans. The Hispanic voyage really portrayed what US beer markets used to be. Aside from a few (very few) brands, the Hispanic brands that are imported to the US represent the US market 10 or 15 years ago. This is not to say this is the case now, but what they are importing is saying a lot about how they view the US market.  They were a lot of what we used to be about and the newer US market is a lot more about where we are going. I like the direction of where the US headed and I believe that we have Providence on our side. Its certainly where we are going with four of the five brands we have in our review.

(Suffice it to say that the Budweiser ads in the Super Bowl XLIX last week did nothing to cement the relationship that InBev is carving our with the American public. It is very interesting to have a Belgian multinational (I believe) try to execute a strategy the same way that American multinationals have executed a strategy on other audiences. Turn around is fair play except that the Belgians are promoting a fear rather than a pride in supporting their beer.  But more on that later!)

Now the five from last week. I am going to trying to move these into the write-up and we will see how it goes. You tell me if you like it or not.

Biera Corsa - Pietra: Kind of a peppy start, but then dies away. Like an IPA, but smoother and more easily distinguishable. Richer taste too. Pretty good. 3.5 stars.

Rince Cochon - Biere Blonde Des Flandres: It has the smell of smoke in it, but doesn't work for me. the tap taste if good, and I know what they are after, but they just keep missing it. 3.5 stars.

Rince Cochon - Biere Rouge: The sweet syrupy sauce is a pleasure to taste, but it sits separate from the beer. It's two drinks where they should be one. Not great. Yes, that is a nice pig! 3.5 stars.

Brassuers Depuis - Jenlains Ambree: This beer has a kind of melancholy taste to it. It came out of the bottle nicely, it looks good, but the taste is kind of flat. Oh well...3 stars.

Brasserie Dubuisson Freres - Denee Des Trolls (Belgian): #1000! I have finally made it! Woohoo! and the beer: Smells like cookies. Says that it is a Belgian strong ale, but they would be lying. 3 stars.
OK, here are the five for this week:

Cerveceria Modeleo Mexico - Victoria: The last of the Hispanic beers and one that I imagine will continue to the trend to 10-15 year old US beer. I would really like to see the Hispanics break out of this trend and try so more exotic beers. I know they can do it.

The Ilkley Brewer - Siberia Rhubarb Saison: Rhubarb says it all. Normally rhubarb is combined with strawberry because the flavors really go good together. Strawberry for the sweetness and rhubarb for the tart. Rhubarb by its self should be lovely in its tartness.  We will see!

South Street Brewery - Anastasia's Chocolate Fantasy: This could be good - big bottle of chocolate goodness. It could also be too much of a good thing because chocolate is fine in the right proportion but simply too much when it is overdone.

The Dogfather Imperial Stout - Well, leave it to me to take a picture of a bottle but not the brewer! I was so enamoured with the name (and who wouldn't be) we will have to take it on faith of the quality of the brew. But it looks reasonable and it is another example of the breakthrough of the American brewing tradition.

DuClaw Brewing - Devil's Due Bourbon Barrel Stout: The bourbon barrel stout is getting to be a common name among beers and I will take a look at this one with the same critic's eye. Normally bourbon barrel stout is pretty good with the generous kick over the goal line (hence the raise in price), but I have noticed lately that some of these bourbon barrels are a bit weak. Hopefully, that is just a hiccup, but I have a feeling that it is not.

Happy drinking!