Beer Soaked Erik was good to me this Christmas and gifted me a Russian River Blind Pig and 2 of those fancy Sam Adams glasses made just for beer. They’re both firsts for me so it’s a good way to start the evening. For starters, the glass is as advertised; continuous bubbles from the bottom rising to the top always keeping a head on the beer. And maybe it’s just me, but I really do think the shape lends to more aroma. As for the Pig, WOW. I like my IPAs and it’s another to add to my list of favorites. It starts hoppy and floral with a good bitter tang, and finishes almost citrusy. Citrusy – my new word. Not as good as a Pliny the Elder from Russian River, but a definite keeper. It will become a regular in my rotation, and it just so happens that I found a new place today that is on the Russian River distribution route here in SoCal. More on that in a later post. What a great way to start the evening. Oh, thanks again Erik. I’ve got a little something for you as well. Time to toss the wings, stay tuned…
It’s kind of become a tradition to ring in the new year @ home with family and friends. We spend the evening eating, drinking and playing cards. Always a good time and we’re not out dealing with all of the amateurs. We’re doing the same tonight, but I’m adding something new. I’m going to attempt to write a few notes about the beers I’m enjoying as the evening progresses. It should be interesting to see what happens to my already limited writing skills as we get closer to midnight. Who knows, maybe this turns into a tradition as well. And so it begins…
The Beer: Russian River Pliny the Elder
Pliny the Elder was a Roman naturalist, scholar, historian, traveler, officer, and writer. Although not considered his most important work, Pliny and his contemporaries created the botanical name for hops, “Lupus salictarius”, meaning wolf among scrubs.” Hops at that time grew wild among willows, much like a wolf in the forest. Later the current botanical name, Humulus lupulus, was adopted. Pliny died in 79 AD while observing the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. He was immortalized by his nephew, Pliny the Younger, who continued his uncle’s legacy by documenting much of what he observed during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.
8.0%ABV, 1.071 O.G
Gold Medal, 2006 World Beer Cup (Double IPA Category)
Knee Deep Brewing Company
A full-bodied India style Pale Ale, Knee Deep IPA is brewed with six malts and four hop varieties, delivering a smooth finish and mild bitterness, balanced with an intense piney and floral aroma.
7.5% ABV, 75 IBU
Remember the movie “Rock Star” a few years back starring Marky Mark (Mark Wahlberg to you kids)? Not a bad movie, but nothing I’d watch more than once either. I think HopStar is in the same class, and that’s unfortunate because I wanted it to be good with a name like that. It’s really not a bad beer, but for my tastes, it’s just not enough. I like beers to have at least one thing that stands out and makes me want to drink it again, but I didn’t find that here. Hops and malt were there, but not in abundance. I didn’t find a distinct hop note either; be it pine, citrus or floral. Maybe I set Hopstar up for failure by drinking a couple Ballast Point Sculpins earlier in the day while grilling dinner (salmon and veggies), but I don’t think so. Again, it’s not a bad beer, just not enough to pull me away from a good game to head to the man fridge (and that Eagles/Falcons game was good). Just like Marky Mark’s musical prowess, Hopstar didn’t leave me with good vibrations. Beer Soaked Scott says…
I finally finished Erik’s novella below and thought I’d give the Cliff Notes version for our ADD friends in attendance. There was beer, it was good. Not enough? Read on for my personal favorites from the event…
Best Beer – I tasted many and disliked few, so this was a tough call. When it came down to it though, I couldn’t decide between the Ballast Point Sculpin and the Craft Brewing Co. Raven Stout. Completely different beers obviously, and each @ the top of their class.
Best Tchotchke – Maybe I missed a booth or two (a crime if so), but Sierra Nevada was offering up a nice looking key ring bottle opener that takes the prize. That being said, there were way to many business cards and stickers and not enough “useful” freebies. My beer glass doesn’t fit on your business card, gimme’ a bar coaster with your logo! Continue reading