Last Weekend's Beer, Today

Eno Sarris, April 04, 2016

Baseball has started, and now that it's my job, I have *almost* the opposite reaction. It used to be, oh god finally baseball. 

Now it's, OH GOD WHAT HAPPENED TO THE OFFSEASON I DIDN'T LEARN SPANISH OR ANYTHING. I didn't even finish that craft beer book I was supposed to finish -- that's coming soon, I promise. 

No, instead, here is the shitshow that is the baseball season, when all I do is try to keep up. It's started. I'll get back to your email as soon as the world stops spinning. 

Night Shift Santilli IPA

What a great IPA from Boston. It's not the NEIPA we've gotten used to. It's on the level of the Grimm Afterimage, where it's just a whole 'nother type of IPA. This one smelled like grapes and was super bright and fresh. You get floral and fruity, but the freshness stands out. It's a treat, and it's a treat in a way that you've haven't had a ton of treats before. The best Night Shift I've had. 

Ballast Point Mango Even Keel
Grimm Vacay Hoppy Sour
Jester King RU55 Sour

Okay so I loved the smell of the Mango Even Keel. Straight mango to the face. But the taste? Other things came in. Like some vanilla? And some creaminess, in a way that I didn't want from my session pale? It's kind of like mosaic beers -- I like certain things on the nose, and certain things on the tongue. Those things don't always line up. And so, this version of the Even Keel is just fine, I guess.

The Grimm was the third of three beers I'd had from that brewery -- Vacay, Afterimage, and Super Spruce. The Spruce was a spruce gose that I described as "making love to a spruce tree," so that was a miss. The Afterimage was hot sauce, a great, unique citrus IPA that was so citrus and floral and bright that it read tart and almost sour. The Vacay? It was a hoppy sour, yes, but it didn't do enough with the hoppiness or the sourness to impress in any one direction. It was just a slightly tart, slightly hoppy beer. 

The Jester King! Oh lord. It was up there with Consecration from Russian River, Ensorcelled from Rare Barrell, Sang Noir from Cascade, Red Poppy from Lost Abbey -- a top five American Sour. You got the mouth feel thickness of the barrel, the oakiness too of course, and then a dark cherry fruit, and though it wasn't as sour as some of the most sour American sours, it was sour enough to finish the taste and get you going again for another sip. Jester King sours. Austin sours, too, it turns out.

Firestone Walker Luponic Distortion
Alpine Due

The Luponic Distortion was five days old! Five days! It tasted fresh and floral and maybe reminded me just a little bit of Ithaca's Flower Power. But it's hard to tell, because it was so fresh. I'd have to have some in New York with a Luponic next to me. 

Alpine Duet any time. What a marriage of citrus and floral. You gotta try it. 

Oddwood Ales Taming the Savage Heart Blonde Sour
SweetWater Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout
JW Lees Harvest Ale (Aged in Lagavulin Casks)

Austin! Your sours are great, if I can believe my small sample of Oddwood and Jester King sours. This one smelled of grapes and freshness and middled with some thickness before ending refreshing and sour and tart. Really a hot day sour, a great refreshing white sour, a really nice tart white that wasn't without body. I want more from these guys. And Jester King of course. 

The SweetWater? So much alcohol. Only listed at 11%, all I got was chocolate and bourbon. It was too much for me, until I drank a bunch more and it was mostly chocolate and I wanted to go to bed. I mean, chocolate dessert is fine, but it didn't distinguish itself from all the other chocolate dessert beers. 

Oh god that last one if I could take it back I would. Like the whole idea of even buying it. If I could take back the whole idea of making the beer, I would. Because I've now had two beers aged with barrels from my favorite Scotches, and they've been terrible. The sour tasted like dirty tart water out of the keg, and this one tasted like sweet honey mead with so much alcohol and oh yeah there's a little peat in there too awesome. I mean, I could take root beer and oregano and paprika and put it in a lagavulin cask, and you'd taste all the flavors and the lagavulin too and but that wouldn't make it good. THERE'S LAGAVULIN IN THAR DIRTY WATER.

What did you did you drink this weekend?