Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Great Night by the Lake

The Great Lakes tasting was at the Oscar Event center at Jungle Jim's on the evening of the 19th of February. It was one that I nearly didn't attend. I did not feel well that day and worked from home. In the early evening, the opportunity to attend presented itself. I arrived a few minutes late and only missed the pour of the first beer.

Eliot Ness Amber Lager

This one is clean, start to finish. Caramel sweetness mid-mouth and hints of hops through out. 7

Conway's Irish Ale

Deep golden color. Malt and fruitiness on the nose. Some hops and malt on finish. 7

Dortmunder Gold Lager

This is an award winning Dortmunder for which Great Lakes is known. It is a medium gold color. There is malt on the nose. It is smooth through out. It has a good balance of hops and malt. There is a hint of honey on the finish. 8

Burning River Pale Ale

Malt and hops on nose. It starts with bitterness with fruitiness and piney notes mid-mouth. The finish has hopey flavors and bitterness. 7

Commodore Perry IPA

Citrus and pine on the nose with a pale golden color. Bitterness and hops mid-mouth. The finish has hints and sweetness and hop bitterness. 9

Edmund Fitzgerald Porter

A nice dark porter with hints of coffee on the nose. Starts coffee and chocolate and it continues to mid-mouth. The finish is mostly coffee, but the feel of the bitterness is a bit thin. 7

Alberta Clipper Porter

Brought directly from pub in Cleveland, this on draft only porter is made from Belgian chocolate and Raspberries. The berries are quite noticeable on the nose and mid-mouth they blend with the chocolate very well. The beer is smooth throughout and both the chocolate and raspberries are present on the finish. 8

Blackout Stout

The nose is hit with coffee and roasted malt. There are also hints of hops on the nose once the beer reaches proper serving temperature. Mid-mouth, the coffee presence becomes mixed with hints of alcohol and hops. The finish is good blend of malt and hop bitterness. 9

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Raging the Bee Yotch

I finally bought a bottle of Flying Dog's Raging Bitch. As are most of their bottles, this one is Gonzo and unique. It's all their style and nothing less. Can't wait to see what is contained inside.

From the pop of the top, you know this is something different. The citrus smell of hops is very noticeable, even before the pour. It pours golden and clear, with a nice white head. The citrus smell grows stronger as the pour continues, mixed with subtle yeast of Belgian yeast. The first sip gives delights of hops and some malt mellowness as only an IPA can. The finish is clean and again subtle hints of a Belgian yeast.

A swirl after warming a bit gives release of hops and malt. The mild tones of this Belgian style IPA make it very drinkable. This is not just an IPA with Belgian yeast thrown in. This is an IPA designed around the ideas of hops and a complimenting yeast. The planning and care can be tasted in each sampling. The hops and malt dance around the tongue in a well written waltz. The clean finish leaves one linger for the next sip. Well done, Flying Dog, well done.

Monday, February 1, 2010

A Time of Craziness

Finally finishing this post...

The 2010 Cincy Winter Beer Fest is nearly 2 days behind us and my ears are still ringing. What a fun time it was! Crazy too! I'm not sure of the total official numbers, but 1,800 people bought VIP tickets and at least 800 additional people bought main session tickets. The event was sold out before hand and they ran out of volunteer t-shirts and commerative tasting glasses (including leftovers from the summer event).

The VIP session started at 5, while Rock Bottom started serving beer to waiting participants at 4. The Hyatt Regency in Cincinnati didn't know what hit them. Machinery failed. Toilets had issues. And people were everywhere.

I took pictures of the 2009 Cincy Summer Beer Fest and Craig asked me to do likewise for this event. Since I had quite a bit of fun doing so before, I was quite willing to do it again.

It was a long, hot day, but well worth it. The pictures can be found on Shutterfly.