I know I’m mega-late to the party with these tasting notes. My palette really had to trudge forward to get through all of these 12 beers in the hour we had. Would have loved to catch-up with any one of the representatives more, but the bells tolled too quickly for most of us. Check out some photos where I’m in the background from @Brewgasm here.
1) Deschutes Hop Trip
Available in kegs and 22oz bottles
Fresh Hop Beer 100% crystal 3 hours to kettle – 15 minutes from tuck to kettle
Bond Street Series – 3 a year from Bend, Oregon
3 different hop fields with different maturity levels -> handpicked by brewery
6 pounds of hops per barrel
Nose: Intense orange note from the hops, with nice lacing and freshness. Incredibly balanced, though the hop character shines through…literally. It’s bright and exciting on the palette, and not cloying.
2) New Belgium 2010 La Folie
Sour brown ale in 22oz bottles,
Aged from 1-3 years in French oak wine barrels
Nice lacing, beautiful dark mahogany-like color with an incredibly rich, sour note on the nose, with ester as well.
Oak character accentuates the intense sour note and adds great body and mouthfeel. Great flow throughout the palette.
3) Breckenridge Christmas Ale
Since 1993! Now in 1 liter and six packs (all done by hand)
6 weeks to produce because of conditioning
Mahogany in color with great lacing. Caramel notes also reveal spice notes -> from the Chinook and Mt. Hood hops.
Full-bodied and very food-friendly, for sure.
4) New Planet 3R Raspberry Ale
Gluten-free beer for all celiacs out there!
Won Bronze at GABF 2010
Small head with a dark bronze color
Sweetness comes through on the nose, likely from the corn/sorghum combo, with the raspberry adding a nice complement.
Light on the palette, very food friendly for lighter foods. Raspberry fruit element is natural and not overpowering.
Great message on environment -> built in CSR and consumer awareness.
5) 2006 Dogfish Head World Wide Stout
Built in response to Utopias, hence 18% ABV since 1999!
Rich, deep, brown/black in color with nice legs/lacing on the glass from Mariah’s pour.
On the nose, dark chocolate, raw cacao notes, roasty, with rich, dark chocolate and roastiness continuing on the palette, though the malts provide incredible sweetness. The alcohol is not prevalent, despite it’s high-level. Delicious, and great with dessert!
6) Great Lakes Ed Fitzgerald Porter
Prior GABF winner.
Roasty with a nice malt back and complexity on the nose. Mouthfeel is full and warming, with a nice hop presence from the mid-palette through the finish following roasty coffee and chocolate notes.
7) AC Golden Colorado Native
5.5ABV American Amber ale with Cascade, Centennial, and Chinook hops
Medium amber in color, with a reactive head and good legs for an amber. A “bright” nose with hints of citrus, and sweet/roasty malt. Clean, balanced amber with almost no residual bitterness. Probably very approachable for non-beer drinkers even.
8) Karl Strauss Full Suit (seasonal)
Belgian-style Brown Ale
Saaz hops – aged on French oak for 2 weeks – phenolic fermentation
Light brown in color with nice Belgian lacing. Rich and lush nose, continuing through taste. A nice sweetness accentuates the luscious mouthfeel. A sessionable and really potentially food-friendly ale. Wish I had some to go with it. Rarely-seen style in the US.
9) Widmer Brothers’ Reserve Limited Release #3 – Barrel-Aged Brrrbon
Clear dark amber in color, great evergreen-like nose (from the Cascade). Nice mouthfeel with great caramel and vanilla notes with roasty and nutty finish from the oak. Great balance between the hops, malt, and oak.
10) Rogue Chocolate Stout
Based on the Shakespeare Stout, this “flavor bomb” poured by the bottle’s model, Sebbie Buhler. Light brown and rich head with a deep dark black color. Incredible dark cocoa nib nose, but still smells sweet. Full-bodied and rich mouthfeel, with a bittersweet chocolate on the mid to back palette with hints of oats.
11) Great Divide Oak-Aged Yeti
100/100 on RateBeer
All in bottle or on-site
Really well-pronounced legs, tan head, deep brown/black in color. Powerful and rich oakiness on nose, with hints of dark chocolate, roastiness, and on the palette is a flavorful richness with vanilla and chocolate.
12) Odell Brewing Mountain Standard Reserve
Hop-forward Double BlackIPA with dark malts
Organic-Colorado Cascade is used in the brew from Rising Sun Organics
Off-white head with a nice Cascade (citrus) and roasted malt backbone. Well-drinking and balanced black DIPA with excellent mouthfeel and bitterness, and sooo well -hidden alcohol.