Well, after Massive Monday I was happy to keep a low profile for Tuesday. Recovery and catching up with my new flatmate to explain what is happening this week, and warn her of the Russian Imperial Stout tasting I am having here on Saturday was about all I was capable of.
After a journey out to Seddon that took me 3 trains and 2 hours to do, I ended up being half an hour late to the chocolate and beer tasting at Sabroso. Not only was I late for my favourite event of the week and annoyed at the metropolitan train system, I was tired and still feeling the effects for the big session on Monday. Also, Jarrod was crook, so ended up heading to the event by myself again, and to top it off, I had missed the first round of tasting. However, with there being some left over beer from the first round still available, a plate of chocolate put in front of me, a table of people that let me sit with them, and a room full of people consuming and discussing chocolate and beer, I somehow got my frazzled self into it.
The first beer was the Grand Ridge Vintaged Hatlifter Stout, but seeing I was late I started on the Holgate Double Trouble Belgian Abbey Ale. It definitely did not look much like a Dubbel, and while the smell had some classic yeast and alcohol, the dark malt character did not come through for me. It looked more like a triple, and probably tasted more like one too. Still, the style of beer did got ok with the chocolate and blue cheese. The chocolate tasted like easter egg, and the blue cheese centre twisted your taste bubs about. In combo it also brought almost a salty character, so the beer was almost like a cleanser to it, however, as it warmed, the beer became a bit more watery which didn't help.
I didn't have any chocolate to go with the Hatlifter, but have to say I didn't mind the beer by itself. I have had a Hatlifter before, but there seemed to be a more even and deeper flavour to it than I remember. There was nice chocolate and dark malt smell and taste, and was actually happy to have had this second, as it was a real boost to the taste buds after the Double Trouble. I am not sure if this beer normally comes as vintaged, but could definitely taste that sort of aspect from it.
The Holgate Tempress was meant to be had with a nut covered chocolate, but for me the nut took away a bit from the combo, and so the beer was used to more to wash the nut pieces stuck between my teeth and nut taste off my tongue. I find many Grand Ridge beers have a naturally nutty character in the malt (Well, they have the Nut Brown Ale), so I may have liked this more with the Hatlifter. Still, once the chalky coldness in the Temptress had warmed out I liked sipping on this one for a bit, even if I am looking a bit worse for wear in the photo.
The last one was a bit of a surprise for me. I may have wanted the Holgate Empress to make a showing, but was impressed to see the Rogue Mocha Porter come around the tables, a beer I had only a few weeks ago at The Wheaty in Adelaide. Then we had been drinking it with easter eggs, and finding a more bitter choc went well with the sweet coffee of the beer. Here we had it with a coffee cake, and I have to say, this was probably the best combo of the night in terms of complimenting each other. Both seemed to have a similar taste profile but the beer was a little stronger in flavour. Still, the flavours did not become overbearing, so the cake did well to keep, but subdue the flavour so you could go back for another sip of the beer quite easily.
While I was finishing this one off and before I started falling asleep at the table, I managed to get Ian from Holgate to sit down for a chat about their beers (especially the Empress!), leading me into chocolate beers in general, and how things are going at the Woodend brewpub. I am sure I came off a little weird in my sleepy excitement, but it was good to have the opportunity to talk and shake his hand at the end of the night. Luckily the trip home went much better and so now feeling much better to get into day 3. Am hoping to hit The Local Taphouse for the Moondog beer they have on, and would like to try the Dog's Breakfast at Cookie, as I hear it will be coming out on the growlers at Slowbeer this week. Then to my old stomping ground of Mountain Goat to finally try a Wig and Pen beer along with the collaboration Dubbel brew Mountain Goat were involved in. I had a try of it the other week while it was being filtered, so wanna see if a couple of weeks have helped it come along some. Then maybe a cheeky visit to the Royston to continue tasting the Crafty Taps I started on Monday.
Thanks to the staff of Sabroso and Ian Morgan from Holgate for putting on the best event of the week for sweet toothed beer drinkers like me, and I hope my boss continues not to call me to come into work for the rest of the week (Thanks Tim).
Alright, back on the horse...or is that dog (moon/breakfast), or maybe mountain goat...