Sunday, March 18, 2007

Hard Liver v5

3/17: Up at 6:30 to get a fire going in the Egg. Got the brisket on then down to Brouwers at 9AM to judge Barley Wine. Scored 6 entries, the one notable entry ended up being the Old Wookie from Waterstreet. Helped collate and add up the scores. Each entry had 5 score sheets to resolve and add up for a cumulative score (each sheet representing a score between -17 and +17). Half dozen or so needed a "retest" because the scores were so wildly disparate. Well experienced judges should be able to turn in scores within 7 or 8 points of one another. Some of these entries had scores ranging from a -12 to 9. Yike. Anyway, it looked like a solid ten or so advanced to the second round with scores in the upper 40's and into the middle 50's. Went downstairs and sat down with a glass of the Arctic Devil from Midnight Sun. Excellent beer! Firm malt (warm toasted marshmellow, vanilla/maple toffee) with good bitterness underneath, warming with added dimension of flavor from being wood aged. One of the beers we missed out on at Toronado. Shot the shit for a few and went back up to the house. Made a run for groceries and back to the house to make dinner. Pulled the corned beef off the fire (I had taken the supplied pickling spices that you're supposed to use in the boil, ran them through the spice grinder with some more bay leaf and a fair whack of black pepper and used it as a sort of rub. It looked and smelled awesome), stoked the Egg up a bit, laid out some applewood and put the trout on. Went after a pitcher of my Dry Stout to find that it was really iced up. Thawed it a bit in a bucket and it started to pour OK. Finished dinner prep and dug in. Excellent meal of BBQ'd corned beef, smoked trout, cabbage (braised in water with a bit of chicken stock and green apple), carrots glazed with honey and orange, boiled potatoes (broken up on the plate, well buttered and loosened with a bit of the cabbage braising liquid) and fresh from the oven soda bread. All washed down with me Stout. Yummy to say the least. Back down to Brouwers for dessert. Notable examples were the Old Ruffian from Great Divide and the Doggie Claws from Hair of the Dog. Both beers excellent examples of a more West Coast-Styled Barley Wine. Firm heavy dextrin malt flavors, quite firm bitterness long in the palate and very aromatic. Sampled 20 good Barley Wines and one spoiled Barley Wine. The 2004 Stone Old Guardian was bad. Cloudy, vile smelling and tasting of garbage. Lots of good conversation and it looked like the yahoos were mostly well behaved too. I think I may have three offers for a job as a brewer. Stay tuned.

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