July 2, 2015

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Last week, I posted this haul from my recent trip to Belgium. Kurt emails me with information that he sent me 8 boxes instead of 7. I guess when you’re getting that much beer, you lose track. This last box arrived on Monday and I should update the haul with this addendum post. So here is box #8 from my 2nd trip to Belgium this year:

Beer and Champagne Haul, Europe Trip May 2015

Beer and Champagne Haul, Europe Trip May 2015

Beer and Champagne Haul, Europe Trip May 2015

The photo quality isn’t what it usually is due to these photos being taken with a backup camera (Canon S110). My Olympus OMD is in repair…possibly destroyed forever after getting water logged in the rain (despite its claim to being water resistant). I might have to upgrade to a newer model or replace it. Oh well. Thank goodness that Lightbox is coming soon. Lightbox + SLR + Beers I’ll never open and just stare at for years. That’s how you do beer in 2015.

June 30, 2015

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via LePan:

While there are hundreds – thousands, even – of interesting wines to drink (and one should), a collection is something that should be curated according to strict standards.

And that limits the market for truly collectible wine to just a couple of hundred different labels.

For me a “collectible” wine should taste good, get better with age and appreciate in value over time.

While our Aglianicos and Xinomavros will certainly improve with age, there are very few that improve in value, and in many cases there will be no secondary market at all.

The single case sold this year of Mastroberardino Taurasi Radici Riserva (a star wine made from the Aglianico) went for a 20 percent discount to its retail price, and top Naoussa producer Kir-Yianni has never sold a case at auction.

The sad truth is that the even in the most common and accepted categories, the secondary market lacks luster for any save the best bottlings from the top producers.

I see a striking resemblance to the beer resale market as well.

June 25, 2015

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On April 15th, I posted this haul from the early March trip to Belgium. It was 4 boxes total and my largest haul ever from the great country of Belgium. The trip in May blew this one out of the water mostly because I added on 3 days in Champagne which meant another case of beer wine was added. This trip was 7 boxes worth of beer! Not sure I’ll ever top this haul again but it was for sure an awesome trip. 11 huge boxes from Belgium and it’s only June!

Now that the beers have arrived from my May trip, it’s time to snap a few photos and share the haul (in photos).

Beer and Champagne Haul, Europe Trip May 2015

Beer and Champagne Haul, Europe Trip May 2015

Beer and Champagne Haul, Europe Trip May 2015

Beer and Champagne Haul, Europe Trip May 2015

Beer and Champagne Haul, Europe Trip May 2015

Beer and Champagne Haul, Europe Trip May 2015

Beer and Champagne Haul, Europe Trip May 2015

Beer and Champagne Haul, Europe Trip May 2015

Beer and Champagne Haul, Europe Trip May 2015

Beer and Champagne Haul, Europe Trip May 2015

Beer and Champagne Haul, Europe Trip May 2015

Beer and Champagne Haul, Europe Trip May 2015

Beer and Champagne Haul, Europe Trip May 2015

Beer and Champagne Haul, Europe Trip May 2015

Beer and Champagne Haul, Europe Trip May 2015

Beer and Champagne Haul, Europe Trip May 2015

June 22, 2015

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Hill Farmstead Flora - Cherry

3.8

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20

Batch 2 of Cherry Flora, 375ML Bottle although this is technically batch 1 as a commercial release. It’s not fair to compare both batches but I might do it anyway because batch 1 was truly a flawless beer, very kriek-like in many ways. 2015 Flora Cherry was limit 1, released earlier this month. Stored upright @ cellar temp and served at 40F in clean Hill Farmstead Stemware.A – Intense hiss of CO2 when opening the cap but zero gushing and very little bubbling. Pours a very faint red that looks almost orange in a certain light. Very little carbonation on the pour.

S – Aroma is distinctly cherry. Really good cherry presence with a bit of wine tannins and oak.

T – The taste culmination is very much a wine barrel aged saison, funkified with cherries added and, in its simplest form, that’s exactly what this is. You get a grape laste with lemon, oak, red wine, a little bit of peach and wild yeast and the cherry presence starts strong and lingers.

M – Thin mouthfeel, might carbonate more with time.

O – First notes when thinking of batch 1 and 2 is that this must have far less cherries or be a larger batch than the 1st. Looking at my photos, for sure not as much cherry. Also, the carbonation is not as thick or filling. This is also a slightly more sour beer than batch 1. I like this a lot. I think the 1st batch ruined me. Still, a fantastic beer. Unfortunately, I’d take standard Flora any day.

Hill Farmstead Flora - Cherry

Hill Farmstead Flora - Cherry

June 19, 2015

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Harpoon Leviathan Barrel Aged Czernobog (2015)

COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION: Placed in Barrels, November 2014, released June 2015. Draft only, 3-4 Kegs @ Harpoon Brewery, Windsor VT Aged in Bourbon Barrels acquired from Silo Distillery, about 200 yards away from Harpoon. Freshly emptied barrels were filled with Czernobog the same day.

3.7

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 15/20

On Tap @ Harpoon Windsor. Not much of this to go around. $5.50 for a 10ounce pour.

A – Pitch black and oily half a finger head that faded fast. Looks oily, not too thick though

S – Smells fantastic. Tons of fudge and vanilla. Chocolate pudding and a light licorice.

T – Oily. Finish is booze and fudge. Sweet with raisin and clove. The good flavors fade pretty fast.

M – Decent mouthfeel. thin though and not a lot of lingering much of anything

O – This certainly has a lot of great Imperial Stout aspects but the base beer I remember being a bit too thin and you really can’t add body with barrel aging, in fact you’ll dilute it.

Harpoon Leviathan Barrel Aged Czernobog (2015)