Boys night out Friday. We had a bottle share first.
Mike was a nincompoop and says he doesn't trust any bottles. I think we got fresh enough bottles and that two months is in the window where we can judge the beer fairly.
Oasis Meta Modern Session IPA
Live Oak Hefeweizen
I got a ton of fruit and hops out that Meta Modern for it being a session. Gave even more taste per ABV than Easy Jack, which is saying something, with almost equal smell to taste ratio. But there might have been a touch too much mosaic in the boil for me, just a little too much vegetable on the mouth. Still, that's a great beer that I would crush with you in Texas any day.
The second entry into Texas Thursday was Live Oak's Hefeweizen, which was sweeter than the fruity session pale, which is saying something. I almost got grapes from the sweetness. No head, very little body from a looks perspective -- this wasn't your unfiltered thick yellow hefe. Which, fine, that means it might work as a crossover for some people. Clear, refreshing, and sweet make most styles more appealing to people who don't love those styles, anyway. Me? I'll take a thick yellow Hefe over this one, but I didn't hate it.
Fieldwork Contour Pale Ale
Altamont Dank Row IPA
Lone Pint Yellow Rose IPA
Grimm Afterimage DIPA
La Cumbre Elevated IPA
Fremont Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Star Imperial Oatmeal Stout (2014)
We started at Toronado, where I had a Fieldwork pale to begin. It smelled fruity up front, but was more conventional to finish, maybe an Amarillo finish. Very enjoyable but not the best I've had from them. Still think they are a must-taste if they're on the menu. Our American Rookies of the Year.
Altamont inspired a conversation of mixed results. The Dank Row I was having was super dank and fruity, so I didn't complain. But it didn't have any brightness really, so it was a bit of a heavy IPA. And it was one of the better Altamont beers I've had.
Then came the bottle share. Except I was the only one that brought bottles.
We had the Lone Pint first and I was actually a little underwhelmed against the expectations I had. This has been declared Texas' best IPA, and it was... restrained for Texas I guess. I got some nice lemon and citrus from it, and that's about it. I got some honey too, I guess, but I'm surprised to see people call this a Mosaic single hop. I didn't get as much stone fruit as I would have expected for that. This was a well-crafted beer that was just a bit mellow for my expectations. I'd love to try it again on tap.
The Grimm, well that didn't go as expected. Maybe I thought I was going to get a hazy grassy fruity North East style pale ale -- that's not what the Afterimage is about. This was so citrus hoppy on the finish that it almost gave you a tart feeling. It was a little hazy, but not on the level of Trillium or Tree House. The smell was intense pineapple, and that carried over into such a great bite on the tongue. Some call the finish herbal, and maybe that's the source of the twist at the end that made me look at the can again and again. Whatever the finish is, you can call it dry. Which sets it up in great contrast with the smooth thick mouthfeel and the big pale ale taste.
I think the La Cumbre belonged at the bottle share, so that's saying a lot about the Elevated IPA. It's more classic west coast in that it brings the pine and dank up front, but it also has enough apricot and stone fruit juiciness to it to hang out with today's best IPAs. This had the ABV of a double, and the thick body and juicy dankness to finish up our pale ale section of the night.
The closer was was the thickest Oatmeal stout of all time -- Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Star. I got a ton of soy and molasses from this one, and I'm thankful for the person that gave me this all the way back in Seattle. Maybe it's the barrel, maybe it's the chocolate, but this was boozy and sweet without being boozy and sweet. Totally enjoyable.
Jester King La Petit Prince Farmhouse
Stone Enjoy By 4/20/16
Heavy Machinery Specialty IPA
Took it relatively easy Saturday. The first beer had 4.5% ABV and didn't get going until dinner. That's when the wife said it tasted like soap and she didn't want it. I let her begin the Enjoy By while I finished my Prince in peace. That's okay, I like Brett and I'm not sure she does and I guess you could get some pepper soap thing from Brett. I think it might actually be the lemon I got from the Prince that turns the thing a little weird. Anyway, I wouldn't necessarily seek this one out, but I didn't hate it.
This Enjoy By seems like the dankest and fruitiest. The danker you get the more you lose the juiciness, though. Still, really fun beer, and you know it's fresh. No real complaints, and for those of you that said Stone was overrated, I still submit this beer, over and over again.
The Heavy Machinery was a bit like the La Cumbre in that it was big on malt, big on body, had the pine and grapefruit of the old west coast IPAs, but also a bit of fruit. It just didn't go as far as La Cumbre on the fruit, so it was a bit more old school. Still, enough fruit and juice to make me want to try their other beers. Texas has some stuff going on!
Real Ale Hans' Pils
Night Shift Brewing Awake Coffee Stout
Station 26 Single Hop Chinook
Tree House Ma Amber
That Hans' Pils hit me super sweet on the first sip, sweeter than most pils. After a few sips however, the sweetness subsided and you were left with a hoppy German pils, which is really fun. I would recommend this to anyone that likes pilsners and hasn't made the transition into hoppier beers. Like Pivo Pils, this can be a crossover beer.
Holy heck. That Awake might have been the best beer of the weekend. What was amazing about it was that it was so creamy and thick and easy for a coffee beer. I think coffee brings a taste of acid to these stouts, a taste of bitterness and acid that helps brighten the finish. But sometimes it also brings too much bitter to something that should be easy to drink and smooth. Awake was so smooth. I could drink that beer forever and I don't really do coffee or coffee stouts on this level. Night Shift! Could you, perhaps, threaten the bigger dogs for best in Massachussetts?
The Station 26 didn't really register. It was almost exactly three months old, too, and that's borderline for registering complaints.
No complaints about the Ma. I would love Shirt to get one of these and put it up against Nugget Nectar. Never otherwise have I had an amber so juicy and fruity -- of course Tree House adds some grass, but in an amber, that goes away a bit. You're left with the most Nectar like of non Nectar beers. What a BeerSport this would make.
What beers opened your eyes this weekend?