Sunday, March 18, 2007

New Cask Festival Boogie

3/10: Washington Cask Beer Festival. Better. (see 10/16/06 post) Showed up in a rather more timely manner than last time and were treated to the last three festival glasses on the table. Lots of tasting note sheets though. Back in the Alki room which I like better than the Fisher Pavilion, not quite so bright and cavernous. Lots of good beers put out for us. Started off with the Bottleworks VIII Oak Aged Strong Scotch Ale brewed by Flyers and released to honor the Anniversary of the Bottleworks store. Very rich, satisfying meld of soft toffee-ish malt flavor and whiskey. Lush and mouthfilling on the palate. I'll have to make run for a few bottles. After putting up with a bit of weirdness from Younts we managed samples of Adambier from Hair of the Dog. This is an amazing beer; firm, full bodied, great depth of flavor, deep dark bittersweet chocolate, dried fruit (black currants and cherries), long firm bitterness and gently warming in the finish. I hadn't been too keen on this seasons' Jolly Roger out of the bottle. Maritime had a tank of Jolly seasoned with rum soaked oak on hand. Very nice, the rum and wood added some nice vanilla/maple flavors and a certain richness, like a boozy rum hardcandy. Skagit River had an excellent wood aged Porter. Medium bodied, mild nutty and toasty malt flavor with dry chocolate cocoa, just the correct amount of hop finishing a bit chewy and inviting. Perfect for a nice, ripe salty sheeps milk cheese and ripe pear. I think Dave Leonard may be on to something. He had his Belgian-Style Dubbel with him; very impressive, medium bodied, nice malt flavors (toast, raisins, dates) but very nicely attenuated. Good dextrin development and a modest terminal gravity combined for drinkability. On top of that he threw in a bit of Brett to add complexity. Not funky by any degree but just enough tart and green apple to add a savory mystery to the finish. Many good beers on hand and good people in attendance. Straight home to bed. No "Afters" this time, I had to work Sunday.

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