Thursday, September 1, 2011

End of Winter Warmers/Wedding Bells Wednesday

I was all set to try out a new stout last night to help celebrate the end of winter, when I get a call from Stass saying he is 5 mins away and can we go out for a beer. Of course, answering in the affirmative, and having seen the Royston had just put on some great beers, we headed down there. There was only one font we needed, the one with both Holgate Temptress and Red Hill Imperial Stout on it. Two of my favourite winter beer, and a great way to end the winter on. The chocolate porter went down a dream as usual, and with me looking at the menu board, and seeing again the Milk Chocolate Creme Brulee, I would have loved to combine them similar to how I did the week before.
The warmth coming off the back of the imperial stout was also great, so could not think of two better aussie beers to be had together at this time of the year. This combo had Stass and I looking forward to putting on our second batch of russian imperial stout tomorrow, and had me rethinking the Milo beer I want to try again.
Then to get into the swing of spring, we headed across the road to Mountain Goat, only to find they had the Double IPA going through the hop infuser with (you guessed it) more cascade and galaxy hops in it. The hope flavours really come out quite well, and personally I am happy to have to bitterness not to be overbearing (mind you, I had just had a chocolate porter and imperial stout to dull the taste buds a bit). I think there is a bit of sweetness in it that helps keep the bitterness a bit diminished, so of course I liked it. Still, it is definitely big, and had me thinking of some of the hoppy beers I had in the US, Portland especially.

Actually, this reminds me of last Wednesday when I first tried the DIPA at Mountain Goat, and I suppose now I can tell the story from this day.
Having started at Mountain Goat at 6am to finish off the labelling of the Coffee IPA (which I hear has just made it to stores, and is best fresh, so get in a try it now!), I didn't stop til 1pm, when the last bottle went through. With the weather so good (it has been a long hard winter this year), instead of having a lie down I went to the park to enjoy the sun with a good book, and then headed back to Goat in t-shirt, shorts and thongs for the DIPA, Big Foot Stout and their latest Bubble and Squeak - Oaky Porter, with vanilla beans in the Randy. The vanilla came through pretty strong in the porter, but the beer is big enough the carry it, and melded together well. The Bigfoot is a nice upgrade to the Surefoot stout, so of course I really liked it. The alcohol is a little strong tasting, but expected at 7.3%. Funnily enough though, there is less of the alcohol flavour in the DIPA, even though it is 8.8%, but I guess with the amount of hops it has, this is understandable. The DIPA also has a good body on it, which I think helps carry the alcohol without stinging the tongue too much.
By now I was starting to feel a bit tired but knew I had dinner with my brother and his girlfriend planned. My brother being the wino, we tried a couple of these as I caught up with both of them. Then, as we sat down to have dinner, they told me they are going to get married at the end of the year. Of course this news woke me up, and we excitedly spoke about it for a number of hours. During which, we cracked open two Moo Brew Barrel Aged Vintage Stouts, an '09 and '10. After a number of disappointments with the '09, this one happened to be the best of this vintage we have ever had. The carbonation issue was not in this bottle, and to be honest, with it's additional year of aging, it came out better than the '10, with a deeper malt and better integration of flavours. Still, the '10 is still quite good, and think it may even be comparatively better after another year in the bottle. However, it was finally having a successful tasting of the '09 that really made the taste off, and having good conversation to enjoy it over. Seeing they were still waiting to tell more of the family before letting everyone know, I have had to hold off putting it up here until now...well, I hope it is now ok to put up here. But then knowing not many people look at this blog means it should be alright to put up here anyway.

So as we head into spring, and I prepare myself for a big weekend, today is the day I left for Belgium, and had 26 hours straight of travel to get there.

Cheers to my brother and soon-to-be sister-in-law, the continuing journey life brings in general, and the beers we have through it all.


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