Beer Class at The Porter: Uber-Crazy Beer Geek Goodness
So glad you could make it! This evening’s Beer Class features a rainbow of very rare and magical elixirs, many of them bottled over a thousand days ago. It’s as if we’re touring the tiny beer cellar of a gnome with impeccable and eccentric taste. An Impeccentric Imp, if you will… let’s get on with it.*
The Cantillon Cuvee des Champions is a non-traditional geuze created in honor of the Belgian football team Union St. Gilles. It strays from geuze tradition in that it is made from only 2-year-old lambic, as opposed to a blend of older and younger lambics. It’s also dry-hopped for 3 weeks and then undergoes re-fermentation in the bottle due to the addition of candi sugar. The beer is 5% ABV.
The George Gale & Co. Festival Mild Ale is just that in many ways— mild in its alcohol level (4.8% ABV), hop character, and carbonation. It has hints of dark fruit flavors and nice roasted malt notes, a mellow but interesting brew. This old bottle is from 1997! The first South Park episode aired that year. This is a damn old bottle.
Orval is unique among trappist beers for two reasons. Firstly, it undergoes a dry-hopping phase which gives it a dry, crisply bitter flavor. Secondly, it is made using a Brettanomyces yeast strain that contributes to its earthy, slightly funky character. Tonight we’re trying Orval from 2005. ABV is between 6% and 7% upon bottling but increases over time.
Time for a refreshing little palate cleanser, nay? The Cantillon Fou’ Foune is made with fresh apricots which, once pitted, are soaked in 2-year-old lambic. The sour beer becomes infused with the flavors and aroma of the fruit, leaving it tart and funky but with a fresh juicy note. ABV is 5%.
The Left Hand Smoked Goosinator is a doppelbock with smoked malts, and this tasty specimen was bottled in 2007. Caramel and toffee malt flavors are complemented by a smooth smokiness. ABV is 7.7%.
Local, luscious, festive as heck– Sweetwater Festive Ale is made using cinnamon and mace, which complement the dark fruit notes and roasted malt flavors of this seasonal offering. As complex as it is fresh, wouldn’t it be cool to see what past years have tasted like? Let’s try vintages 2007, ’08 and ’09. Festive is 8.6% when bottled…
*Some beers are omitted due to the mouth watering jealousy they may have caused!