July 18, 2014

2 comments

I’m an idiot when it comes to beer and especially toward Lambic but the same goes for most of us and some of the same questions come up at tastings…almost every single tasting. Here are some misconceptions I’ve seen over the last 6 months.

  1. Only Lambic from Cantillon, 3 Fonteinen and Tilquin is worth buying
  2. Cantillon “Organic Gueuze”, “100% Lambic Bio” or “Classic Gueuze” are all different beers
  3. Everything from Boon, Timmermans, Mort Subite and Hanssens is not worth buying (sweetened and fake flavored or not real Lambic)

I may be stupid but at least I can help with clarifying some of these. Keep in mind Lambic Rumors change every time you hear them. These sort of things change all of the time. So keep that in mind. I’m trying to give factual set in stone info here based on traveling and reading. I’m sure the Lambic Lovers will comment below if I get something wrong.

———-

Cantillon only uses the Lambic they brew for their Gueuze. Tilquin and 3 Fonteinen (Drie) use Lambic from other breweries. Specifically Boon & Lindemans go into 3 Fonteinen Gueuze and Tilquin is the only Gueuzerie that uses those 2 producers’ Lambic + Lambic from Cantillon (not a lot, by the way as Cantillon is one of the smallest components of Tilquin Gueuze and I believe getting smaller every season)

So when you say Lindeman’s and Boon have crappy Lambic…keep in mind the best Oude Gueuze on the market now (3 Fonteinen) uses their Lambic. The highest rated beers on RateBeer in Gueuze Blauw, Roze, etc use Lindeman’s lambic. It’s more about the blender’s talents than the juice itself.

Michael, a new partner of Armand’s (3 Fonteinen) is learning what makes a 3F Oude Gueuze what it is. He’ll be taking over 3F when Armand finally retires. I’ve heard from multiple people the Gueuze hitting shelves this fall will be Michael’s blends, not Armand’s but Armand is obviously still very involved.

Tilquin does not brew it’s own Lambic yet. 3 Fonteinen just started in December 2012 so within the next year, 3F Oude Gueuze will finally have their own Lambic in it for the first time since I think 2008. Someone correct me there, please.

What’s the difference between Cantillon Classic Gueuze (yellow label) and 100% Lambic Bio? Nothing. They’re exactly the same. Cantillon’s Gueuze that’s sold in the European Union meets the requirements to be classified as Bio-Organic. In the US, it does not so they use a different label here. They’re the same beer. I’ve heard people actually say that 100% Lambic Bio tastes better than Classic Gueuze. That’s impossible.

————

Most people that think anything that’s not 3F, Tilquin and Cantillon Lambic isn’t worth buying. Untrue but in a lot of ways, I can understand why they think that. Most Lambic is sweetened with syrupy candy flavorings, force carbonated and mixed with various juices to appeal to a broader audience. On my first visit to Belgium I ordered Kriek Max, a Lindeman’s product in a bar. It tasted terrible and all of the men around me laughed because “Only women drink Kriek” which is true. It’s a drink for girls who don’t like “men’s beer”. Just like Bud Light drinkers in America, women drink flavored wine coolers and real men drinking Bud Light. The non-beer geek of Belgium doesn’t know real lambic exists…they only know that Kriek is for girls and in a lot of ways, they’re right.

We don’t have Kriek Max in USA but we do have Boon Kriek and Framboise and Hanssens has a lot of various flavored lambic. You can guy crappy Timmermans Pumpkin Lambicus and stuff like that and quickly realize that everything except for 3F, Tilquin and Cantillon sucks.

But you’re wrong.

The terms Oude Gueuze & Oude Kriek, within the European Union are protected under law. If you call your product this, you’ll need to meet some basic criteria. Boon Oude Kriek for example is nothing like Boon Kriek. Same for Mort Subite, Lindeman’s, Timmermans and Hanssens. All of these producers have crappy sweetened Lambic and most of them have a Kriek / Gueuze product(s) that are made the traditional way and they’re all quite good, drinkable, on shelves all over Belgium and much cheaper than Tilquin, 3 Fonteinen and Cantillon.

So if you see something called Oude Gueuze on a shelf, grab it and be amazed at how good it is. Cantillon’s gueuze actually scores dead last on my favorite in-production gueuze…actually i take that back. Moriau Gueuze is actually the worst. It’s a Boon product and it’s pretty bad.

In summary, don’t write off a Lambic maker because their non Oude products are bad. They’re supposed to appeal to people who like fruity sweet candy beers and that’s okay. Also, keep in mind that the best gueuze in the world uses Lambic from these supposed “crappy lambic makers”

—————-

One of the most enlightening moments for me when talking about Quality Lambic versus Quality Blending & care of Lambic (transfer, storage, aging, blending, carbonation) is at the Weekend of Spontaneous Fermentation back in 2012. I got to try unblended Lambic from 12+ different producers. I’ve tried a few more since then but I was amazed at how great the Lambic was from some producers who don’t have that great of Oude Gueuze. Basically, the unblended is better than the final production blend. Why is this? The human element of creating Gueuze from Unblended Lambic is the failure point.

Looking at my own ratings of Unblended Lambic

Screen Shot 2014 07 18 at 12 14 13 PM

You’ll see Timmermans, Mort Subite, Girardin and Cantillon score pretty highly. I’d probably rate Lindeman and Boon a bit higher now that I’ve had them a few times. These ratings are BS though because every single batch of Lambic during the brewing season (Winter time when it is below 40 degrees Fahrenheit) is different. Microbial effects, temperature, cooling time, the barrels used and many more variables. I’ve sampled from 5 different Cantillon barrels of Jonge Lambiek and each taste different. You’d need to sample hundreds of barrels from every producer to truly rate unblended Lambic..that’s my opinion, though. But this only reinforces my point that you can have a fantastic barrel of Lambic or a crappy one and the blender can make it to match the brewery’s profile. The human element is critical. So with time as brewers retire, things change, climate changes, brewery expands / moves to a new location and even things like different barrel producers change, the lambic and gueuze will change. This makes rating these bottles so difficult. Ideally, there’s a unique entry for every single bottle date of every single Lambic / Gueuze / Kriek from every producer. 

That’ll never happen though.

I passed 1100 words so I should probably stop writing but I’ll try to do more posts like this as I find time. I think the discussions around what constitutes as Good Lambic is important. HORALs is doing a good job in a lot of ways but not so good in other ways and I think that’s another conversation entirely.  Also, I didn’t proofread this one. So there are typos.

July 15, 2014

0 comments

Hill Farmstead/Blaugies Le Sarrasin

4.5

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL19/20

AdamJackson (2289) - Enfield, New Hampshire, USA – JUN 15, 2014

UPDATED: JUN 16, 2014 Grabbed this bottle 2 weeks ago, $30 @ 2 per person, quite steep but when you compare it to the $20 375ML younger wild ales from so many breweries, it’s not a bad price. This is effectively a french wine barrel aged saison brewed using organic ingredients and spent up to 6 months bottle conditioning. Just my personal thoughts about the price. Anyway, this sat in my fridge for the 2 weeks since purchase and enjoyed 3 waysA – Gorgeous orange gold slight hazziness. 1 finger head fades to a thin line. Slightly sticky lacing.S – Nose is a huge wine bursting tart with a mild acidity of fresh oranges. Lots of citrus tart lovely I mean this nose is incredible.T – Taste is challenging to describe. Super bright juicy ripe fruit, super tart and lively hearty but extremely well balanced between a wheat, light bitterness and lemon with an oaky vinous texture.

M – A mouthfeel that is thick and full of bubbly sparkling wine and the tartness resembled raspberry and honey. I don’t know what buckwheat tastes like but I would imagine the minor haze and chewy effervescent is due to that.

O – This s super drinkable! Really delicious and I’m glad I have a few of these to enjoy over the next year or so! Great work Blaugies and Hill Farmstead.

Hill Farmstead/Blaugies Le Sarrasin

Hill Farmstead/Blaugies Le Sarrasin

July 14, 2014

0 comments

Hill Farmstead Peleg (Old Ale - 2014)

3.9

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL14/20

AdamJackson (2348) - Enfield, New Hampshire, USA – JUL 11, 2014

Picked up 3 bottles on July 11th at the brewery. Kept them upright and safe on the 1 hour journey home and stored upright in the keezer at 45 Degrees F for 5 hours. Enjoyed split 2 ways in HFS Stem-ware while watching Luther on BBC (great show, BTW). When I opened it, it didn’t gush but left un-checked, this beer will foam and depart the bottle at a slow steady pace. Get your glassware ready!!!!!A – This looks like a darker Old Stock, mahogany hues, with a touch of dark blood color. Caramel and darker-esque but no where near black or grey. Looks like a standard old ale.

S – The nose is fantastic. Smells like Cherry Cola, a faint bourbon back-end with funky leather brett and caramelized malts from a long boil or extended oak aging. Very similar nose to some of the darker wild ales from Crooked Stave.

T – Taste is incredibly difficult to pin-point. It is certainly and undeniably an old ale but the brett and other wild yeasts really do strange things I mean maybe in a good way? If the description wasn’t that they intentionally added micro-flora, I’d think infection because I’ve never had an Old Ale that intentionally received that funky goodness. A lot of sweet, a lot of sour / funk with leather and raw sorghum with tobacco. Funky in a dominating way, some clove and spice. Finish is an oaky port wine tannic w/ obviously more funk.

M – Fantastic bottle conditioned mouthfeel. Dry and not too sweet finish

O – This is hard to rate. I like it certainly could drink a lot of it but the American in me that wants to categorize what this is…it’s so hard. I love Old Ales!!! but I’ve never had one with this much funk presence. I could drink a lot of this. My mind is telling me no…but my body, my body is telling me yes.

Hill Farmstead Peleg (Old Ale - 2014)

Hill Farmstead Peleg (Old Ale - 2014)

July 13, 2014

0 comments

Thanks to my buddy, Fuj for bringing all of us together for this awesome Lambic tasting. There were 10 of us and I was added to the group last minute when another participant couldn’t make it. Albany is 3 hours away from me so I got up at 9AM and arrived around 1PM @ Fuj’s and we wrapped up the tasting around 11:30PM which was great. I left and was home around 2:30AM.

Everyone brought a minimum of 75 ounces of Lambic, we tried to eliminate overlap and every 375ML had to be doubled up so there was enough for everyone of every thing we were pouring. I especially liked that we had a Fou Foune 2013 and 2011 side by side and a Belgian & Shelton Brothers bottling of 2009 Lou Pepe Gueuze. Overall, it was a great time.

Highlights were the Schaerbeek cherry lambic side by side comparisons and as always, Armand’s Oude Gueuze kicked ass over every other gueuze we opened that evening. Always a winner in my book.

Now for some photos: More are on Flickr - https://www.flickr.com/photos/adamjackson/

Upstate NY Gueuzepalooza

The fridge before the madness began

Upstate NY Gueuzepalooza

Upstate NY Gueuzepalooza

Solid line-up from the evening

Upstate NY Gueuzepalooza

Upstate NY Gueuzepalooza

Upland Sour Reserve Batch 3

Upstate NY Gueuzepalooza

2 Trillium Shirts

Upstate NY Gueuzepalooza

Many pounds of meat, charcuterie and 125 hot wings

Upstate NY Gueuzepalooza

2008 Schaerbeek Kriek from 3F

Upstate NY Gueuzepalooza

2012 Schaerbeek Kriek from Hannsens

Upstate NY Gueuzepalooza

Timmerman’s Oude Kriek w/ Schaerbeek cherries

Upstate NY Gueuzepalooza

2009 Lou Pepe Kriek w/ Schaerbeek cherries

Upstate NY Gueuzepalooza

Upstate NY Gueuzepalooza

Lou Pepe Gueuze

Upstate NY Gueuzepalooza

Upstate NY Gueuzepalooza

Lou Pepe Framboise

Upstate NY Gueuzepalooza

Upstate NY Gueuzepalooza

We made our own Friendship Blend using equal parts of Cantillon Classic Gueuze, Batch 6 Beatification and Coolship Resurgasm

Upstate NY Gueuzepalooza

Upstate NY Gueuzepalooza

Upstate NY Gueuzepalooza

We got a 10 liter bag of Girardin Oude Lambiek

Upstate NY GueuzepaloozaUpstate NY Gueuzepalooza

2013 Lambickx Kriek

Upstate NY Gueuzepalooza

Upstate NY Gueuzepalooza

Fuj emulsified some raspberries in the Girardin Lambiek for flip-cup

Upstate NY Gueuzepalooza

Upstate NY Gueuzepalooza

Upstate NY Gueuzepalooza

2013 and 2011 Cantillon Fou Foune

Upstate NY Gueuzepalooza

De Cam Kriek Lambiek 2009

Upstate NY Gueuzepalooza

De Cam Framboise Lambiek 2009

Upstate NY Gueuzepalooza

2013 Mega Blend. I was hoping we could do a 2009 and 2011 as well as those have aged really well but 2013 is just too new right now…

Upstate NY Gueuzepalooza

Upstate NY Gueuzepalooza

Upstate NY Gueuzepalooza

Upstate NY Gueuzepalooza

Upstate NY Gueuzepalooza

Upstate NY Gueuzepalooza

Upstate NY Gueuzepalooza

Upstate NY Gueuzepalooza

Upstate NY Gueuzepalooza

Upstate NY Gueuzepalooza

Upstate NY Gueuzepalooza

Upstate NY Gueuzepalooza

Upstate NY Gueuzepalooza

Upstate NY Gueuzepalooza

Upstate NY Gueuzepalooza

Upstate NY Gueuzepalooza

Intense Red is far better than it was a year ago. A lot less cough syrup like

Upstate NY Gueuzepalooza

Upstate NY Gueuzepalooza

Upstate NY Gueuzepalooza

Upstate NY Gueuzepalooza

This is the 2013 Quetsche tilquin. Still tasting great!!!

———

This was a great tasting. I checked my Untappd Check-Ins today. Wow, lots of of toasts. Holy crap.

12 hours of Untappd Toasts - Whoa

July 11, 2014

0 comments

Mostly, this post is for people searching Google for “Jack Rose DC Menu and Prices” because I couldn’t find anything online that listed the prices. Unfortunately, most of the menu is permanently sold out which is a bummer.

If you’re a whiskey aficionado, walk in on a slow night and order an Ardbeg or Willet, talk about whiskey and then tell the bartender, “I have $150 to spend, can you line up 5-8 1 ounce pours of some really cool stuff?” That’s what I did and it was a great time.

My first approach at Jack Rose was writing down 10 things I wanted to try…all but 3 of them were sold out. All in all, I spend $210 to try I think 9 different Bourbons and it was money well spent. I can’t wait to go back.

I am posting some tasting notes below but keep in mind my bourbon knowledge is only just starting…these were typed on an iPhone and I’m not going to make them look pretty. I was pretty impressed with the notes from a surprise in what I liked over other bourbons. I think the 13 year Van Winkle Rye was unfair because I got the last half-ounce of the bottle and the bartender claimed it had been open and oxidizing for quite a long time. “People don’t really know about this one or ask for it”

Jack Rose Dining Saloon Whiskey / Bourbon

Van winkle 13 Rye. Golden velvet look. Burns on the back of My throat nose. Ashy charcoal taste. Floral with cigarette and sweet turpentine honey mix 89/100

Stitzel Weller old fitz 1966 decanter (not pictured). Pale orange. Strange corn and juicy fruit sweet nose. Banana and jam. Strange nose. Very thin. Juicy like juicy fruit gum. Slight licorice and mint finish. Strange whisky. 60/100

Jack Rose Dining Saloon Whiskey / Bourbon

Jack Rose Dining Saloon Whiskey / Bourbon

Willet 10 year barrel 2362 58.8% Nose is just whoa. Cherries and fruit with nuts and a sweet spice. Wow. Most amazing just super interesting. This thick velvety and incredibly sweet. Juicy orange honey blossom so sweet and sugar juicy. 95/100

Jack Rose Dining Saloon Whiskey / Bourbon

Noahs mill 15 Smells like a honey coated nail salon. Great body and mouthfeel. Thick and sweet. Acetone galore though. Has a crisp pear finish and residual sweetness 85/100

Jack Rose Dining Saloon Whiskey / Bourbon

Rowan’s 12 year Has a candy sweetness like lollipop and tootsie roll. Quite boozy. A lot of sweetness and oak is Turned up to 11. Caramel and vanilla bean 91/100 I love oak

Jack Rose Dining Saloon Whiskey / Bourbon

Heaven hill select stock spring 2014. 8 year wheater bourbon cognac for 2 years 65.1%Smells pretty awesome. A bit boozy but not surprising given the abv. Plum and orange peel nose. Taste has some turpentine but pear and tree fruit sweetness. A crap load of oak. Huge booziness. Crisp and oaky finish with sweetness from the cognac. 87/100 Update 2 drops of water opened this one way up! All of the nuances of extended cognac aging are gone and all of the sweet and flavorful elements come forward. Wow. Much improved.

Jack Rose Dining Saloon Whiskey / Bourbon

Four roses 2011 55.1% limited Very faint nose. Candy apple and blackberry and a touch of oak. So smooth. This is the smoothed bourbon I’ve ever had. Remarkably well done. Oak, caramel and semi sweetness. Finish is pretty boozy. No off flavor though 94/100

Jack Rose Dining Saloon Whiskey / Bourbon

Jack Rose Dining Saloon Whiskey / Bourbon

Jack Rose Dining Saloon Whiskey / Bourbon

Willet 55.5% barrel 3602 22 years Great pear with a slight peat and mossy nose. Sweet crisp apples. Light peppercorn, wheat and sweet candy apples. Blackberries. Smoked oak and cedar. Light finish with then an intense booziness. Really fantastic 94/100

Jack Rose Dining Saloon Whiskey / Bourbon

Willet 67.6 barrel c43a 20 years Very dark oak. Takes the nose hairs out. So freaking strong. Honeysuckle and wood. Whoa. Intense flavor. Woody, tannic with dark berries and earthy notes. Minor sweetness. Hurts my tongue. Whoa 91/100

Jack Rose Dining Saloon Whiskey / Bourbon

Four roses 125th Burnt golden appearance. Nose is like Oaked cotton candy and jelly beans with caramelized table sugar. So silky smooth and full of flavor. No burnt notes at all. Incredibly wel blancd. With a floral backbone. Booze bites at the finish. Sits on the tongue. Really exceptional 96/100

 

Menu @ Jack Rose DC

Jack Rose Dining Saloon Whiskey / Bourbon

Jack Rose Dining Saloon Whiskey / Bourbon

Jack Rose Dining Saloon Whiskey / Bourbon

Jack Rose Dining Saloon Whiskey / Bourbon

This is only a sample of the menu but it does help to give an average price to those who are interested. Higher resolution images are on Flickr - https://www.flickr.com/photos/adamjackson/

July 10, 2014

0 comments

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5531/14561843055_fb9604450b.jpg

4

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20

AdamJackson (2343) - Enfield, New Hampshire, USA – JUN 28, 2014 

Insanely cloudy. 1 finger head. Fades fast. Looks like peach juice. Smells like peach and melon and kiwi with a bit of oak and lemon juice. Well dang. This is pretty good. Peach, Gingersnaps, biting mineral water refreshing mouthfeel. Super juicy with lots of tree fruit. Under notes of Brett funk. Solid beer.
I can’t wait to see how this beer evolves with age. It’s really fantastic now!
https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3883/14375231338_0d50dbcdf2.jpg
Crooked Stave L’Brett d’Or Grand Cru
July 9, 2014

0 comments

Crooked Stave L’Brett d’Or Grand Cru

 

Crooked Stave Raspberry Origins

3.3

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL14/20

AdamJackson (2343) - Enfield, New Hampshire, USA – JUN 28, 2014 

Murky dark blood red appearance. No head. Nose is 100% raspberry. Just bursting with juiciness. Pretty good mouthfeel. A little oily. Far more sour than base origins. Raspberry is great. Way better than the cherry version. Acidity is quite high. Very nice.

Crooked Stave Raspberry Origins

July 8, 2014

0 comments

Crooked Stave Blackberry Dark Origins

 

Crooked Stave Blackberry Dark Origins

 

3.3

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL15/20

AdamJackson (2343) - Enfield, New Hampshire, USA – JUN 28, 2014 

Dark with a slight purple hue. 3 finger head. Fluffy and fades to a thin line. Nose is kind of strange. Not very jammy a touch of grape skins but an overwhelming fecal aroma. Taste is good. Pretty sour and earthy. Heavy acidity with a fruit undertone. Not quite what I was expecting. Very little whiskey.

Crooked Stave Blackberry Dark Origins

July 7, 2014

0 comments

I continue to refine and simplify what kind of beer I buy. Crooked Stave, Bruery, Hill Farmstead and Lambic are my focus these days. The last month of hauls reflects that:

Crooked Stave Q1 2014 Release

 

Beer Haul 6-27-14

 

Beer Haul 6-27-14

 

Beer Haul 6-27-14

 

Bruery Sucre Variants 2014

 

Beer Haul DC - 2014

July 7, 2014

0 comments

Night Shift Supernova

 

2.9

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 9/20

AdamJackson (2343) - Enfield, New Hampshire, USA – JUN 29, 2014  [delete] [move] [convert2tick] 

Picked up from my trustee. Enjoyed at 45F in two stemware. Bottled in May and I don’t think a Brett DIPA is going to change much so I opened this ASAP.A – Incredibly cloudy, burnt orange with a nice fluffy head.

S – Smells fantastic. Leather, grape skins, kiwi and persimmons with a funky earthy oaky undertone with dry grape skins.

T – Taste, this sort of falls flat. Super earthy, tree bark and mud with old orange rind and moldy pineapple / pear. It has just a moldy basement mossy taste with a bit of fruit and boozy finish.

M – Dry and filling mouthfeel solid carb

O – Smells so good but this is just not a great beer.

Pretty disappointed by Night Shift beers overall. They do have a nice logo.

Night Shift Supernova

June 24, 2014

0 comments

Rodenbach Caractère Rouge

 

4.2

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20

AdamJackson (2299) - Enfield, New Hampshire, USA – JUN 17, 2014

Batch 2, enjoyed 4 ways at 45F in stemware. 

A – Huge cork pop, no gush, Blood red pour, 1 finger head fizzes out to a small head. 

S – The nose is fantastic. Gorgeous cherry dominates followed by a small raspberry acidity and that classic oaky rodenhbach nose 

T – Very smooth, loads of fruit! Just a huge explosion of cherry and raspberry. cranberry seems like an after-note, fruit salad in a glass. Acidic and tart, not overpowering sour, very easy to drink 

M – Juicy, Nice mouthfeel carbonation on a swish. 

O – This is a fantastic beer! I have a batch 1 as well and can’t wait to hold that for a very long time. 

Rodenbach Caractère Rouge

Rodenbach Caractère Rouge

 

 

4.2

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20

AdamJackson (2299) - Enfield, New Hampshire, USA – JUN 17, 2014  [delete] [move] [convert2tick] 

Batch 2, enjoyed 4 ways at 45F in stemware. 

A – Huge cork pop, no gush, Blood red pour, 1 finger head fizzes out to a small head. 

S – The nose is fantastic. Gorgeous cherry dominates followed by a small raspberry acidity and that classic oaky rodenhbach nose 

T – Very smooth, loads of fruit! Just a huge explosion of cherry and raspberry. cranberry seems like an after-note, fruit salad in a glass. Acidic and tart, not overpowering sour, very easy to drink 

M – Juicy, Nice mouthfeel carbonation on a swish. 

O – This is a fantastic beer! I have a batch 1 as well and can’t wait to hold that for a very long time. 

June 19, 2014

0 comments

Firestone Walker Bretta Rosé

3.4

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL14/20

AdamJackson (2289) - Enfield, New Hampshire, USA – JUN 15, 2014

Thanks mark. Pours a sprite / 7up head that fades fast. Slight pink hue. Very close to a faint strawberry nose with a touch of lemon acidity. Oily and sweet, tossed salad with some balsamic and cucumber. Lovely carbonation. Very tart and I really couldn’t drink much of this.

Firestone Walker Bretta Rosé

June 18, 2014

0 comments

Hill Farmstead Civil Disobedience (Release 9)

3.7

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20

AdamJackson (2289) - Enfield, New Hampshire, USA – JUN 15, 2014

UPDATED: JUN 16, 2014 Acquired this a bit ago but can’t remember when. Bottle date is 03/2014. Split 3 ways (gasp) with some friends. This has been upright in my cellar since purchase..chilled to 50F before serving.A – Slight haze gold pour small head. Bottle started to gush slightly.

S – Spicy peppercorn and floral honeysuckle nose, sweet bread like sourdough.

T – Taste is actually more sweet than dry. Hearty bitterness with sweet lemon peel and snicker doodle cookies.

M – Not a huge mouthfeel, not the explosive carb I was expecting, slightly oily.

O – Really nice on a warm day, while it lacks a dry bright tartness we come to expect from HFS saisons, the maltiness was surprising and made the beer a pleasure to drink.

Hill Farmstead Civil Disobedience (Release 9)

June 16, 2014

0 comments

Schramm's Heart of Darkness

Thanks to a great RB trader for sending me this bottle in a GoandpickitupBro! I have this version and the B.Nektar version so excited to try them both but obviously a side-by-side is just a waste of money. Anyway, this was very special to try. Everyone loved it including my friend who is semi-pro in his mead making operation. He was blown away by how good it was. The best part is that you can’t taste the 14% abv at all…there is zero booze.

4.4

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL16/20

AdamJackson (2289) - Enfield, New Hampshire, USA – JUN 15, 2014

Super blood red. No head. Nose is huge. A ton of fruit. Like crap loads. Taste is incredible. Just a crap load of strawberry, cranberry, raspberry and cherry. Just stupid crazy good. Whoa This was batch 2 w/ the schramm’s label not b.nektar. This is an incredible mead!!! try this if you can.

Schramm's Heart of Darkness

Schramm's Heart of Darkness

June 13, 2014

0 comments

via DraftMag

Why do beer geeks not feel the same way when staring at a rare bottle? Dr. William Goldstein of the University of Chicago’s department of psychology believes it stems from a fear of “closing the account”—that is, when it’s gone, it’s gone. It seems the length in which we delay draining a bottle increasingly erodes our certainty of a special moment. So, maybe we’re headed for a Miles Raymond-esque breakdown after all? Or, maybe not—if we follow Spilman’s lead.

I started cellaring (yes, I have a real basement) to improve beers as they age then it became an issue that I simply was buying more than I could drink and now, I don’t really care how most of my beers improve, nor do I buy more than I can drink. The issue with some bottles is that I bought them with a special occasion in mind that will probably never come and ‘closing the account’ does raise a small level of anxiety. Very few guys who say, “everything in my basement is for opening” may say differently when you point at their KBS or Beatification vertical going back 5 years.

I buy Lambic to drink & cellar usually waiting until a bottle is 2 years old before I open it and even then, some specifically are for 10 years from now. I like Hill Farmstead saisons after 9 months so while I drink a lot of them, I keep 2-3 from each release until they’re older to open. Then, I just open them up.

So I can completely understand their analysis here.

One thing I do though is there are no non-Lambic bottles in my cellar older than maybe 18 months old. I have some Hill Farmstead from January of last year still and a 2012 Bourbon county so I guess that is pretty old but I do love me some aged BCS. My point is, most beer falls apart after 3 years, sometimes 5 but that’s pushing it.

Also:

Earlier this year, Arizona beer distributor Pitcher of Nectar experimented with the release of rare Cantillon lambics. To squelch the frenzy incited by past releases—when a few beer geeks gobbled up bottles as they hit shelves—owner Tony Piccini made a controversial call to limit the entire allotment to a few on-site tastings at beer bars. “I really wanted to reach more people than the hoarders,” reasons Piccini. “My intent was to approach local businesses and get people to actually visit these locations to try out this fantastic beer.” 

This is happening in Vermont as well w/ our distributor. You don’t see shelf Cantillon anymore. Supply is lower, some stores might in fact just be drinking it themselves but shelf Cantillon was a thing in Vermont for a very long time. Now, you can only get it at quality beer bars / restaurants in out state because I believe the same principle is applied. Sell to bars who specialize in great beer and that promise not to overcharge for Lambic and then more people can enjoy the bottles instead of someone like me buying 2-3 cases and staring at the bottles for 2-3 years.

I think the hoarding of Lambic is a huge problem because lots of it does make it over here only be bought in bulk and stuck in basements or worse, hall-closets. I’m guilty of this but prefer old lambic to young stuff and when I see it on the shelf, I grab it. 

I have nothing against distributors only selling to restaurants. I can drink Cantillon in Vermont at my top 5 favorite bars year-round and that’s pretty awesome.

June 11, 2014

0 comments

Thanks Brett & Bill for coming over. It was a great day!

Beer Tasting June 8th

Beer Tasting June 8th

Beer Tasting June 8th

Beer Tasting June 8th

Beer Tasting June 8th

Beer Tasting June 8th

Beer Tasting June 8th

Beer Tasting June 8th

Beer Tasting June 8th

June 5, 2014

0 comments

The latest trip to Belgium was fantastic! The highlight of the trip was drinking with new and old friends and experiencing far more of what Belgium had to offer than any other trip before. While I didn’t include my bottles picked up in Copenhagen (mostly Mikkeller beers), here are some of the things that I brought back from Belgium. What to drink first?

Belgian Lambic Haul

Belgian Lambic Haul

Belgian Lambic Haul

Belgian Lambic Haul

Belgian Lambic Haul

Belgian Lambic Haull

Belgian Lambic Haull

Belgian Lambic Haul '14

Belgian Lambic Haul '14

As an added bonus, I came across these from a friend to hold on to for a while. I don’t know much about Scotch but will certainly hold on to these the best I can until he wants them back :)

Scotch

June 4, 2014

0 comments

Had some buddies come over last night. The weather prediction was for a thunderstorm so it was windy, humid and super gloomy out. We still had a fantastic time. Obviously, here are some photos.

Thunderstorms - Mascoma Lake

Storm clouds rolling in

Lambic Beer Tasting w/ Friends

Last night’s full lineup. Even a Coors Light was had.

Lambic Beer Tasting w/ Friends

Lambic Beer Tasting w/ Friends

Lambic Beer Tasting w/ Friends

Harbison, Winnimere and Cabot Clothbound

Lambic Beer Tasting w/ Friends

Lambic Beer Tasting w/ Friends

Lambic Beer Tasting w/ Friends

Lambic Beer Tasting w/ Friends

Lambic Beer Tasting w/ Friends

Madness & Civilization 4

Lambic Beer Tasting w/ Friends

2006 Doesjel

Lambic Beer Tasting w/ Friends

Lambic Beer Tasting w/ Friends

Lambic Beer Tasting w/ Friends

Lambic Beer Tasting w/ Friends

2003 Oude Gueuze Vintage

Lambic Beer Tasting w/ Friends

Lambic Beer Tasting w/ Friends

Lambic Beer Tasting w/ Friends

2005 Schaerbeekse Kriek

Lambic Beer Tasting w/ Friends

Lambic Beer Tasting w/ Friends

The pour looked totally disgusting but the ’01 LP Framboise was delicious

June 4, 2014

0 comments

I sometimes get press releases about beer. This one arrived last night. Maybe someone out there cares. Here ya go:

Hi Adam – First of all, I’m jealous of your dandelion experience at Hill Farmstead. Second, I was initially envious of your Rue D’Floyd & Floyd D’Rue bottles, but in reading the tasting notes am no longer that envious! Although I definitely know which one I would pick if I had access to both.
 
Third, and the main reason I looked you up – I make beer goodies, and I feel like your readers might like to hear about some of them – especially our beer soap – either in time for Father’s day or at some other point.

I know you don’t really do product reviews, but I thought I’d give it a shot since I’m a one man operation just trying to get the word out to fellow brewers and drinkers!

 
You can browse our goodies here: www.swagbrewery.com
 
Let me know if you have any questions, or if I can send you any product to try out!
 
Cheers,
Max
 

– 

Maxwell Arndt
Swag Brewery | Craft Beer Outfitters

BeerSoapSixPack

May 28, 2014

0 comments

The Bruery / 3 Floyds Floyd D’Rue

RDF

3.6

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL15/20

AdamJackson (2223) - Enfield, New Hampshire, USA – MAY 20, 2014 

Pitch black, minor latte head. decent alcohol fingers. pretty boring appearance. Smells like dark roasted chocolate with jalapeño peppers and roasted red peppers with coffee and vanilla. Very chocolate forward. sweet finish, very little booze flavors, no tartness detected at all. Fruit is there…but wouldn’t call it cherry. certainly a tawny port / rum detected. vanilla throughout w/ cinnamon spice.
The Bruery / 3 Floyds Rue D’Floyd
The Bruery / 3 Floyds Rue D’Floyd
The Bruery / 3 Floyds Rue D’Floyd
FDR
2.6

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 8/20

AdamJackson (2223) - Enfield, New Hampshire, USA – MAY 20, 2014 

75CL stored cold and enjoyed split 2 ways? Gotta invite over more people to drink this. Pitch black. mild head fades slowly. Very sticky alcohol legs, espresso coloured head. Smells like jelly bellies and cheap licorice and band-aids and soap. The taste is even worse. Cough medicine, twirlers, cherry cola, thin mouthfeel. booze isn’t actually that bad. very sweet with rum finish.
The Bruery / 3 Floyds Floyd D’Rue
The Bruery / 3 Floyds Floyd D’Rue
I had both of these bottles side by side on Thursday and then again on Saturday and I would say I liked RDF even more like 4/5 on Saturday and FRD even less like 2/5. But still, interesting beers. I’m going to cellar my lat set despite the lactobacillus warning and see what happens in a year.
May 27, 2014

0 comments

I had some friends come over who home-brew and we usually meet monthly to taste new home-brew and swap tips and usually I try to share something that’s a commercial beer. We had a lot of fun and I snapped a few pics.

Hill Farmstead Tasting - Spring, 2014

 

Hill Farmstead Tasting - Spring, 2014

Hill Farmstead Tasting - Spring, 2014

Hill Farmstead Tasting - Spring, 2014

Hill Farmstead Tasting - Spring, 2014

Hill Farmstead Tasting - Spring, 2014

Hill Farmstead Tasting - Spring, 2014

Hill Farmstead Tasting - Spring, 2014

Hill Farmstead Tasting - Spring, 2014

Hill Farmstead Tasting - Spring, 2014

Hill Farmstead Tasting - Spring, 2014

Hill Farmstead Tasting - Spring, 2014

Hill Farmstead Tasting - Spring, 2014

Hill Farmstead Tasting - Spring, 2014

May 27, 2014

1 comment

On Memorial Day, twenty of us arrived at Hill Farmstead at noon to pick dandelions for this year’s vintage of Vera Mae. Many dozens of pounds of flowers and 3.5 hour of picking, drinking and making new friends.

Beer description, ”Vera Mae is crafted from organic Vermont spelt, American hops, wildflower honey, dandelion flowers from our fields, our distinctive farmhouse yeast and water from our well. Unfiltered and naturally carbonated. 6% abv.”  2014’s batch was brewed May 27th and will be released some time this Summer.

Hill Farmstead Vera Mae Day (2014)

Hill Farmstead Vera Mae Day (2014)

Hill Farmstead Vera Mae Day (2014)

Hill Farmstead Vera Mae Day (2014)

Hill Farmstead Vera Mae Day (2014)

Hill Farmstead Vera Mae Day (2014)

Hill Farmstead Vera Mae Day (2014)

Hill Farmstead Vera Mae Day (2014)

Hill Farmstead Vera Mae Day (2014)

Hill Farmstead Vera Mae Day (2014)

Hill Farmstead Vera Mae Day (2014)

Hill Farmstead Vera Mae Day (2014)

Hill Farmstead Vera Mae Day (2014)

Hill Farmstead Vera Mae Day (2014)

Hill Farmstead Vera Mae Day (2014)

Hill Farmstead Vera Mae Day (2014)

Hill Farmstead Vera Mae Day (2014)

Hill Farmstead Vera Mae Day (2014)

 

Hill Farmstead Vera Mae Day (2014)

Hill Farmstead Vera Mae Day (2014)

Hill Farmstead Vera Mae Day (2014)

Hill Farmstead Vera Mae Day (2014)

Afterward, 12 of us went to Parker Pie and indulged on Lambic and Hill Farmstead beers:

Beers at Parker Pie - West Glover, VT

Beers at Parker Pie - West Glover, VT

Beers at Parker Pie - West Glover, VT

Beers at Parker Pie - West Glover, VT

Beers at Parker Pie - West Glover, VT

Beers at Parker Pie - West Glover, VT

May 27, 2014

0 comments

20140527_093312

Inbound are four 30 kilogram boxes from Belgium. Just got two so far, waiting on the other two. We’ll see what horrors are inbound Here are the 2012 and 2013 hauls following my Belgian trips. I had to buy a new wine rack for what’s in-store.

I also am storing less bottles on-site now. Everything in this shipment is to be consumed after 1 year from now…I’m thinking 5 years for most of these so I’ve contracted with a storage facility so the liability of having it all on-site is greatly reduced.

Also, I watched Seven again last night. Great movie!

May 19, 2014

0 comments

AleSmith Speedway Stout (Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee)

3.9

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL15/20

AdamJackson (2214) - Enfield, New Hampshire, USA – MAY 17, 2014

Bottled February 2014, Thanks Eric for sending this over! Enjoyed at 55F split 3 ways. 

A – Creamy coffee head, super sticky dark black, no light coming through at all. 

S – Medicinal coffee, super fresh roasted notes. Has a very acidic chocolate and caramel nose. 

T – This is like chewing on coffee beans which is both good and bad. A little bit of fudge and very sweet throughout. The roasted acidic medicinal notes are rough but if you love coffee, it’s pretty darn good. 

M – Creamy, smooth and a very high bitterness with velvety sweet finish. 

O – This is a good imperial stout. Super drinkable but could not drink more than a glass unless you really love coffee. Good thing I do. 

AleSmith Speedway Stout (Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee)

AleSmith Speedway Stout (Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee)

May 15, 2014

2 comments

via:

Trades are ridiculous everywhere. Someone offered 2 West Ashley’s and TWELVE Beats for a BVDL! And it looks like it didn’t get done?!

The “inflation of trade value” or whatever is due to a VERY SMALL number of people, like, one person, who really wants a fucking beer, and goes so goddamn overboard, and then the other traders see it and go “Well, I guess that’s the value of my beer, then!!”

Basically this.A decent beer is released with an adjunct most people universally like (vanilla, apricots, coffee) and then “gotta catch ‘em all” assholes put up insane offers and then suddenly the value is X when it should be way less. 

Whatever. The game is serious business now. drink local? Well that’s easier for Vermonters to say but there are great breweries almost everywhere now. Not trading and saving up for trips to Belgium is really how it should be. Works out well for me. 

____ the haters? LOL