Vertical Epic Tasting
This past Wednesday, on 12/12/12, Stone Brewery released the last beer in their limited edition Vertical Epic series. They’ve released a different beer every year starting on 3/3/03, with instructions to bottle age them for a vertical tasting on 12/12/12. Alewife in Long Island City featured a tasting with all of the beers for one night only, and it was a treat to retry some of these beers and see how gracefully they’d aged—especially 7/7/07 which I loved back in the aughts.
Hopfenstark Boson de Higgs. Cool label aside, this is a tasty low-gravity beer; a little smokey upfront, slight tartness, and some saison spice. It’s not an easy beer to categorize, but at least it’s one a beer nerd and a science geek can agree upon.
I love it when I find surprises stashed away in my liquor cabinet. #beer (Taken with Instagram)
I think a full post on rye beers is in order because I’ve had two in a row that I’ve really enjoyed, Two Brothers’ Cane and Ebel, and Founders Red’s Rye PA. First impressions: these are complex beers, the Cane and Ebel tending toward dark, smooth, and malty and the Red’s Rye more on the spicy, hoppy side. The Red’s Rye also had a nice thirst-quenching effect, perfect for chilling out on a muggy fall equinox. Both available at Top Hops—they just kicked the Cane and Ebel but should be getting more.
Goose Island Matilda
This is all I want to drink right now. Matilda is a Belgian pale ale and tastes just a bit sweet, with honey notes perfectly balanced by mild hops and spicy cloves. It’s well-rounded, but has a saison-like dryness. It was supposedly modeled after Orval, so now I’m on the hunt for that. Matilda is available on tap at Top Hops Beer Shop.
Fantôme Hiver Saison
So, this is Fantôme’s “winter” saison, but I’ve been having a difficult time finding Fantôme beers, so I’m hailing it the best saison I’ve had in a summer filled with saisons. This has lots of carbonation and lemony tartness up front, a bit of pepper, some malt mellowing that out, and a dry finish. On the whole, it’s a really balanced and drinkable brew even though there’s a lot going on in each sip. I’m not sure what’s wintery about it, except that an 8% ABV glass is sure to put roses in your cheeks.