Monday, March 31, 2008

Barleywine Tasting '08

Ah, barleywine! That most favored nectar of the gods!

Last Saturday, a few of us got together for the annual barleywine tasting. It's been a tradition for me since '99 at The Abbey. In those days, I would put 15 of them on tap with 20 or 30 different bottles over a 3 day period. Things are slimmed down in that we don't have the draft offerings but somehow, the bottle selection has grown until it's bigger and better than ever.

After The Abbey closed, we continued to have an annual barleywine and strong ale festival over at my buddies Chris & Nicole's house on the weekend closest to my birthday (yes, today is my birthday). We had to skip last year due to a new future beer lover being on the way. This year, Toby stepped up with the idea of doing a strictly BW tasting at his place and who were we to say no? It just happened to coincide with the traditional weekend too. Score!

We all dug into our cellars and met over at Toby's at 6pm. I think there were only 12 of us but we did manage to get through almost the entire list of offerings. We had plenty of appetizers on hand to lessen the impact and much water was consumed in between for hydration. Nobody did any ratings, we just enjoyed each one and talked about them. I had a great time and I hope we can organize more events like this one. This one even topped the RIS Tasting last December!

(Note to those who were invited but couldn't make it: just wait for next year!)

Things finished up around midnight or so. Cabs were called or significant others summoned. It was only a 6 block stumble for me and the fresh air felt good during the short walk.

The picture above and list below are the dead soldiers from the evening.

  • Real Ale Sisyphus '07
  • Dogfish Head Olde School '06
  • Central Waters Y2K Kosmyk Charlie's
  • Full Sail Old Boardhead '99
  • Full Sail Old Boardhead '06
  • Full Sail Old Boardhead ''07
  • North Coast Old Stock '05
  • North Coast Old Stock '05 (Bourbon Barrel)
  • North Coast Old Stock '05 (Brandy Barrel)
  • Pike Old Bawdy '97
  • Thomas Hardy '06
  • JW Lees '98
  • Old Knucklehead Batch 10 '99
  • Old Knucklehead Batch 12 '07 (Boubon Barrel Aged)
  • Fish 10 Squared
  • Fish Leviathan Batch 4 '02 (Cabernet Barrel Aged)
  • Fish Leviathan Batch 5 '04
  • Brooklyn Monster '07
  • Troeg's Scratch #4
  • Flying Dog Horn Dog '02
  • HOTD Doggie Claws '02
  • HOTD Doggie Claws '07
  • Weyerbacher Blithering Idiot
  • Weyerbacher Insanity
  • Speakeasy Old Godfather '06
  • Duck Rabbit
  • Moylan's Old Blarney '05
  • Midnight Sun Arctic Devil '07
  • Rogue Old Crusty '03
  • Rogue Old Crusty '07
  • Green Flash
  • Sockeye Devil's Tooth '05
  • Santa Fe Brewing Chicken Killer
  • 3 Floyd's Blond Behemoth (yellow wax)
  • Upstream Batch 1000
  • Sacramento Babylon '06
  • Sweetwater Donkey Punch
  • Stone Old Guardian '08
  • Mendocino Old Talon '07
  • No Such Place Brewing Old Snaggletooth '06
It was hard to pick a favorite with so many tasty offerings. The ones that stand out the most in my mind were the Brandy Aged Old Stock, the '02 Leviathan, the '99 Full Sail, the Brooklyn and the Troegs. Only one showed any signs of oxidation ('02 Horn Dog). And we didn't even make it to the '97 Bigfoot and Old Crusty! They were all yummy though. I can't wait for next year!

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