Feb 23 2009 1:22 pm

that's Grand Pew-bah to you

I feel bad for Chris and Emily at most tastings because they are vegetarians and we usually eat a large piece of pork or mussels and prosciutto.  But yesterday it was their turn and they took the opportunity to feed us a large bowl of fruit, cheese, and a very fine vegetarian barley “stew,” though I’m reluctant to use that term to describe anything without meat in it.

The beers were stouts and they were good.  Unfortunately I had to cut out early. 

Hitachino Nest Sweet Stout- lacto sourness in the nose with a veritable parade of palate pleasing floats, tractors, and marching bands.  Sweet caramel, roasty chocolate, cedar, metallic sourness, all finishing with a pleasant dryness.  The Grand Pew-bah didn’t approve because it was hard for him to BJCP it. 

De Dolle Export Stout- several years old, really showed what a properly aged beer should be like.  It’s not for everyone, but I quite liked it.  Big wine/sherry oxidation with caramel in the nose, quite rich and satisfying, the blend of warm, sweet smells and the sharp oxidized notes.  A bit more aggressive than the Hitachino Nest on the palate, a rollercoaster of flavors.  Starts pretty normal with some nice malt character but quickly transitions to a tight, sharp, winey mid palate before trailing off to soft malts laced with a few pin pricks of licorice. 

Hitachinos Nest Espresso- tasted like coffee.  A bit tart.
Haand Bryggeriet Dark Force- “Double Extreme Wheat Stout”- really thick and dark, a little winey in the nose with big rich malts and roasted character on the palate.  Well done big stout.

Three Floyd’s Black Sun Stout- quite hoppy.  Shocker.

O’Hanlon’s The Original Ruby Stout- “Enriched with Port”- kind of smells like port, but this poor little beer couldn’t compete with the big ones that came before.  Didn’t really taste like anything to me.  My palate was already worn out. 

Three Floyd’s Dark Lord Russian Imperial Stout- this beer could compete.  It’s good.  Damn good.  Worth the hype?  Probably not.  But it is really freaking good.  I’ve had it a few times before and this was the best bottle by far.  Last year’s release so it’s fresh-esque but still had some time to mellow out.  So big.  So sweet.  So hoppy.  Like eating a piece of the richest chocolate cake you could imagine.  Decadent. There has to be 20,000 calories in each bottle.  You could dilute a bottle of this in 5 gallons of water and brew a mild.  Stained my glass and Chris’ teeth.    


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