Discussion in 'Beer Travel, Events and Releases' started by drbenzo, Nov 16, 2015.
Pairs perfectly with a trashcan.
November 2019 Preview Tasting
1) Leanne was in Santa Ana, and Steven was sick, so Andrew hosted with a special guest - Teddy Gowan from Societe. For having never experienced the madness of a League preview tasting, Teddy did a great job of jumping into the fire and keeping up with Andrew. Or keeping up as much as anyone could be expected to. Between the tangential dissertation on bananas and the encouragement to drop acid right then and there, it was a rather free-form evening. I'm not going to say we needed some adult supervision, but we probably needed some adult supervision. Never a good sign when even I, of all people, feel like things are getting a bit off the rails.
2) Andrew also decided to have some fun at my expense by calling me up to sign a bottle of Fellowship of Xul, ostensibly for Jacob. If you don't get that bottle, Jacob, Andrew has some explaining to do. If instead, it shows up on MBC, I'm going to be very disappointed. Not angry, just disappointed.
3) The Black House Black Friday beer list for the San Diego event is completely outrageous. If you haven't bought your ticket yet, get on it. It's my favorite Modern Times event of the year, and this looks to be the best yet. Seriously, what else are you going to do that morning? Trample grandmothers at WalMart for a shitty flatscreen TV? Come beat back your Thanksgiving hangover with some nice, refreshing imperial stouts. I've done every Black House Black Friday, and I can safely say there's no better way to spend the day.
4) New public slots for the 2020 League sold out in under a minute on Saturday. I expected them to go quickly, but damn, that was impressive. A huge congrats to everyone at Modern Times. I think many of us would agree that this club is unmatched in the beer world right now, and it's great to see the public continue to catch on to the awesomeness.
5) If you've been enjoying Foeder Ice - and I hope you have, because it's straight fire - Andrew mentioned that we'll be seeing another variant coming out soon, as well as some other foeder-aged lagers. I'm pretty fond of this development, although I'm still hoping for a 10% ABV doppelbock called Export Jurgenbrau so I can finally reach my full potential of being a walking, talking Mitchell & Webb skit.
6) There were some questions earlier about the flavor profile of the barrels used for Beastermaster Aged in Malt Whiskey Barrels. It's going to be reasonably similar to bourbon, although a bit maltier since bourbon has a significant corn component. Think a mashup of bourbon and single malt whiskey. I'm pretty stoked for it, as I think the barrel profile will play well with the Beastmaster base.
7) Pimping another beer we didn't get to try - don't sleep on Starbelt. Everyone knows Abaddon is going to slay, but the Starbelt pilot batch was a crushable hoppy lager back in May, and I'm guessing the canned batch will be even more refined. Summer may be over, but there's never an inappropriate time to slam back cans of hoppy lager.
1) Radix: Roxbury Russet Single-Varietal Cider
Notes: Roxbury Russet apples are an heirloom varietal and generally recognized as the oldest apple variety to originate in North America. Neat. Modern Times sourced the juice from EZ Orchards in Oregon, then fermented it with funky house cultures and aged it in red wine barrels for six months. The nose opens with bright, lightly acidic apple juice followed by mild to moderate funk - hay, horse blanket, and fresh sod. Light oak wafts around in the background with touches of vanilla. The palate opens with a flash of lactic acidity, followed by bright, lightly-sweetened apples and barnyardy funk - less sod/earth, more hay. An assertive wave of barrel character comes through towards the backend with oak and vanilla, rounding out the apples and providing a touch of body and sweetness to the finish. This is probably my favorite from the Radix series so far, excellent fruit profile, and the funk melds nicely with it.
2) At Long Last
Style: West Coast Double IPA
Score: 4.25 (4.35)
Notes: The goal with this was to use Societe's The Pupil as a rough starting point, bulk it up, and add a bit of a Modern Times twist. To that end, they laid down a grain bill of 2-row, oat malt, and white wheat, fermented it with Chico yeast, and hopped it with Nelson, Citra, and Centennial. It's safe to say they hit their mark as the beer practically leaped out of the glass at first sniff with orange, tangerine, papaya, light white wine, and resinous pine sap all weaved around. Bits of boozy heat poked through but were neither distracting nor stylistically out of place for a WC DIPA. A firm but restrained bitterness hits the tongue first, followed by tropical fruits - mango, papaya, guava - and a less assertive citrus profile than the nose with orange zest and tangerines. White wine and gooseberry float in the background along with pine resin. The oats and wheat provide a bit more body and sweetness than your typical WC DIPA, but it doesn't drift anywhere near NE IPA territory. Those of you that have been clamoring for some WC action should be pleased with this one.
3) Beastmaster: Rum Banana Sundae Edition
Style: Rum Barrel-Aged Stout w/ Bananas, Peanuts, Vanilla, & Cocoa Nibs
Notes: It seems like this was the biggest question mark of the month for a lot of people, but have no fear - it's a certified slapper. They blended Beastmaster that had been aged in both Jamaican and San Diegan rum barrels for twelve months, then added dried heirloom Thai bananas at a rate of 7.8 lbs/bbl, roasted salted peanuts at a rate of 4.7 lbs/bbl, Mexican cocoa nibs at 3.1 lbs/bbl, and Mexican vanilla at just over 1 lb/bbl. Banana opens the aroma immediately, standing out but not overwhelming, with a character that's easily recognizable as dried, yet richer and more complex than you'd get out of the dried food bins at Sprouts. More banana depth and touches of allspice and nutmeg, it's interesting how nuanced it is in the context of such a powerful beer. Salty peanuts follow quickly, along with vanilla, dark cocoa, and smooth rum barrel notes. The rum really plays well here, displaying none of the harshness that Jamaican rum barrels have imparted in some beers. The flavor takes on considerably more rum barrel influence as it opens with big, syrupy dark fruits - dates, figs, and touches of sweet grapes - that are quickly subsumed by a wave of sweet dark chocolate. Beastmaster doesn't mess around; it asserts itself. Vanilla and peanuts come through on the mid-palate, while banana is subtle, but playing its part before a long, sweet finish of boozy, rum-dipped chocolate takes over. They really hit the mark on this one.
4) Cloud Daggers
Style: Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Porter w/ Maple Syrup Roasted Pecans, Cocoa Nibs, & Vanilla
Score: 4.25 (4.15)
Notes: As with last year's batch, Cloud Daggers is an imperial porter aged for nine months in bourbon barrels, to which they added maple syrup, maple-roasted pecans, cocoa nibs, and vanilla. For this year's version, they increased the vanilla significantly and dialed back the pecans slightly. Those changes are immediately evident as vanilla dominates with a sweet, fruity character, followed by maple, toasty pecans, sweet milk chocolate, velvety bourbon, and light oak in the background. Bourbon and rich, semisweet cocoa lead on the palate, providing a canvas for vanilla, maple, and subtle pecans. The cocoa provides a drying balance to the sweeter vanilla character, preventing the beer from drifting in a cloying direction. Medium-bodied - in the context of modern stouts, anyway - although following Beastmaster made it seem drier than it really is. I would've liked to see the maple and pecans take on a bigger role, as the vanilla is quite dominant and creates a linear sweetness. Enjoyable for what it is, but it doesn't really hold my interest.
5) Valley of Sound
Style: Red Wine Barrel-Aged Sour Blond w/ Peaches
Notes: Get your helmets, kids, the peaches are loose and comin' for your skull. The base here is a blend of blond sours aged in red wine barrels for anywhere from eighteen months to three years, which they refermented with Flavorcrest peaches from Masumoto Farms at a rate of four pounds per gallon. Masumoto fruits are basically a cheat code for beer, and this is no exception. Peach takes command of the nose and never lets up, with the full spectrum from skin to flesh to juice all on display, rendering both a breadth of depth that provides a borderline-sensual experience. Barnyard-driven funk manages to poke through the fruit, along with light acidity, oak, and a faint blue cheese that only occasionally shows itself. The palate is a bit more balanced, as acidity takes a slightly stronger role - although it's still entirely restrained - that leaves plenty of space for the peaches without letting them overwhelm. Flesh and skin lead the fruit side, with less juice than the nose, while oak, hints of vanilla, and light funk complement the fruit profile. As dominant as the peaches are, the base manages to weave an interesting story and prevent the beer from being simplistic or linear. Nonetheless, the fruit is the star of the show here, as Masumoto peaches tend to be.
6) Palace of Paper Sacks
Style: Red Wine Barrel-Aged Sour Blond w/ Nectarines
Score: 4 (4.1)
Notes: Using roughly the same base blend as Valley of Sound, they added yellow nectarines from Sunny Cal Farms at a rate of four pounds per gallon. The aroma opens with fleshy nectarine, a good dose of skin, and just a mild, juicy aspect. Moderate acidity, funk, and light oak follow with a bigger and more balanced role than in Valley of Sound. Nectarines assert themselves more on the palate with just a touch more juice, but the fruit's more acidic nature causes it to stand out less and integrate more into the beer's character. A bit oakier and less funky, with an acidity that's moderate but certainly brighter than Valley of Sound. Where that was dominated by fruit, this is a well-integrated wild ale with an enjoyable but restrained nectarine contribution. In some ways, I think trying Valley of Sound first hurt my impression of this beer and perhaps is coloring my scoring a bit. This is a damn good beer on its own, but it's hard to stand up to that Masumoto greatness. Don't sleep on this just because it's the lesser of the two, it's well worth the price of admission.
Can't stop, won't stop.
Still hoping for a WCIPA.
Man, Rum Beastmaster was gross.
Societe collab was fantastic.
Both sours are probably the best sours MT has done to date.
The rum was too strong? or the banana?
I find all of their Jamaican Rum beers to be too overwhelming. That funk seems to dominate for me, I could barely pick anything else out. Which is funny, because I love rum - I just don't like that profile with these beers. They feel like a mess.
I'm always opposite of you with the rum beers. I've loved their jamaican rum barrel beers, and unlike you, I don't generally love rum (on its own). It's fine and all, but I rarely ever drink it other than mai tais or dumped in cola. But hey, tastes vary and all that.
noted, copy that.
I also generally don't enjoy rum. Even less, when its a beer aged in rum barrels. Though there are some outliers where the rum is mild. I'm surprised once in a while. Banana and rum sounds like a good combo though.
Just wait til brewer's realize they can get banana flavors from yeast!
it's a different type of banana flavor tbh