Sunday, 23 May 2010

Extreme US Craft Beer Tasting - Report

This was a cracker of an evening. Andreas Falt from Vertical Drinks did us proud, talking the group knowledgeably through the ten insane beers on offer. When, after beer # 5 or #6, the group grew restless and began indulging in that great crime of "talking amongst themselves" he would clap his hands briskly and efficiently together and order would miraculously be restored. The line-up, with tasting notes, is below.

Star attendees included beer blogger Mark Charlwood, Henrietta Lovell (The Rare Tea Lady), violinist Eos Chater of Bond and I at last was able to meet Nick Gibson, co-owner of Islington's Michelin-starred Drapers Arms. Also the charming Sam and Nigel from The Coastguard Arms in Kent - more here.

So thanks Andreas and to all who came. A top time was had by all.

Next event (blog-preview to follow) is on 16th June and is a demonstration of cask ale pouring techniques (go to for more info).

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale – 5.6%
American favourite Pale Ale! A delightful interpretation of a classic style. It has a deep amber colour
and an exceptionally full-bodied, complex character. Generous quantities of premium Cascade hops
give the Pale Ale its fragrant bouquet and spicy flavour

Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA – 7.2%
An American double IPA. Full bodied and lots of hop character. Good balance between malt, hops and

Victory HopDevil IPA – 6.7%
Menacingly delicious, with the powerful, aromatic punch of whole flower American hops backed up by
rich, German malts. HopDevil Ale offers a roller coaster ride of flavour, coasting to a smooth finish
that satisfies fully.

Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA – 6.0%
60 Minute IPA is continuously hopped - more than 60 hop additions over a 60 minute boil 60 Minute is
a session India Pale Ale brewed with a slew of great NorthWest hops. A powerful, but balanced East
Coast I.P.A. with a lot of citrus hop character. The session beer for hardcore beer enthusiasts!

Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA – 9.0%
An Imperial I.P.A. A big beer with a great malt backbone that stands up to the extreme hopping rate.

Sierra Nevada Kellerweis - 4.8%
A great example of a Bavarian-style cloudy Wheat beer. Lots of banana and cloves on the nose and
refreshing full bodied palate.

Victory Saison – 6.8%
Their version of a Belgian style saison. On the nose the wheat malt and spices come through. On the
palate comes a balanced mixture of malt and spices. A beer that leaves you wanting more of it.

Stone Levitation Ale – 4.4% (my personal pick of the bunch)
Stone Levitation Ale might be the lowest ABV (4.4%) beer that they produce but there is no lack of
aroma or flavour in this one. It has a fantastic fresh hop aroma mixed with a malty background. In the
mouth it has a lot of flavours from the roasted malts and from the hops in the bitter finish.

Stone Arrogant Bastard Ale – 7.2% (we will shortly be the only people in the country to have this on draft)
Arrogant Bastard Ale is an American style strong ale with a hoppy finish. On the palate it is round,
velvet and with a slight sweetness. This is then finished with a warm and bitter finish. Not a beer for
the faint hearted.

Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron – 12.0%
An unfiltered, unfettered, unprecedented brown ale aged in handmade wooden brewing vessels. The
caramel and vanilla complexity unique to this beer comes from the exotic Paraguayan Palo Santo wood
from which these tanks were crafted. Palo Santo means "holy tree" and it's wood has been used in
South American wine-making communities.

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