A few less beers than last year, but that was probably for the best. I wanted to finish all the beers, but clearly it was not possible.
1) Brother’s Reserve Prickly Pear Braggot
This weighs in at 10% ABV with 20 IBUS. They use Montana Knapweed Honey and Red Prickly Pear Juice with 2-Row Pale Malt and Alchemy hops for bittering. The honey and tropical aroma is unmistakable. The juice clearly bonded with the honey to give a great array of sweetness. This is only the 2nd braggot I’ve ever had. I only wish I could get more of it!
2) Karl Strauss Coastal Reserve Boardwalk Black Rye
Cara Rye and Black Rye Malt and Ahtanum hops…weighs in at 8%ABV.
Dark roasty and chocolate nose with rye punch..mouthfeel is velvety with a nice suptle body. Ryan recommended milk or hazelnut chocolate with chile pepper as well as pumpernickel and rye-based sandwiches.
3) Blue Moon Brewing Company: Vintage Blonde Ale
Got a hint of tropicality along with the apple on the nose. Interesting mouthfeel, and the alcohol is well-hidden. Aftertaste gives a bit of a pucker note….probably from the Chardonnay barrels. No hop notes to speak of. Would be a good way to introduce non-craft beer drinkers to barrel-aging.
4) New Planet Off Grid Pale Ale
Interesting aroma…likely getting the tapioca, though it’s more like caraway seeds. Brown rice extract and sorghum are used instead of the normal malt build. Mouthfeel is light-to medium body with a nice hop mid-palette aftertaste.
5) Ninkasi Total Domination IPA
65 IBUs with Summit and Amarillo crystal hops leading the charge. Weighs in at 6.5% ABV with pale, munich, and kara helles malt for the build.
Great floral aroma, with a great balanced taste of hops. Last year: 30,000BBLs (50k or more for this year). This is the #1 IPA in Oregon.
6) Deschutes Jubelale: A festive winter ale
Great body on this. The caramel note on here is unmistakable and makes me want to enjoy this by the fireplace. By allowing it to come to room temperature will reveal more complex flavors. This is definitely malt-forward and reminds me of the heartiness of Quelque Chose.
7) Oakshire Espresso Stout Oatmeal
Weighs in at 5.8% ABV. They brew the stout first. The coffee gets roasted and sourced from Wandering Goat (their Chupacabra blend). Grinded in house and makes coffee. Incredible nose of coffee. The roast has hints of dark chocolate and the taste is reminiscient of a strong-brewed coffee, and the mouthfeel is luscious and consistent with a strong cup of joe.
8) Breakside Gin Barrel Sour Double Wit
Lacto culture 7.1% ABV…poured hazy…unfiltered clearly. House Belgian Wheat is first suped up to 6.8% before aging in the gin barrels. Nose is intriguing, as the lacto has taken over and re-assumed the nose. Hints of juniper and spices on the finish. If you like gin, you must try it.