26 February 2007

Oaken Barrel's Snake Pit Porter...and a scholarly discussion of The Beastmaster

What's your favorite cheesy 1980's fantasy flick? That was a prime topic of conversation at our latest roundtable, which, as Jason noted, took place at the pride of Greenwood, Indiana: Oaken Barrel Brewing Company. Joining us in this conversation of worldwide importance were Mike of the Indianapolis blog ridehorsey and his better half, Gina. After a brief debate, The Beastmaster was named as the king of all cheesy 1980's fantasy movies. Dar, after all, is everyone's hero.

So what about the Oaken Barrel Brewing Company itself, you ask? Well, this fine establishment has been providing Indy with fine beers since 1994. The Razz-Wheat, which is, not surprisingly, a raspberry wheat ale, seems to be a favorite among locals. You can find it on tap at many Indianapolis-area establishments. But we Knights decided to go for some of Oaken Barrel's heftier offerings. I began with a Superfly, which was an excellent dry IPA.

Then, it was on to the feature beer: the Snake Pit Porter. I've been drinking so much hoppy beer lately that I've forgotten what a pleasure a dark, chewy beer can be. And the Snake Pit was certainly a pleasure to drink. As you might expect, this porter pours with a thick, tan head. It has a dark brown body with a little bit of a reddish tinge. It also has a smoky nose. I got sweet hickory notes, along with a bit of caramel and molasses. The flavor is coffeeish without being overpowering. There is a hint of sweetness that follows on the back of the tongue. This sweetness is enticing, inviting the drinker to finish quickly and order another. It was hard for me to resist quaffing a second Snake Pit after finishing the first, but I had to pass because the next day was chock full of work for me.

My rating: 4 mugs. This is definitely a beer that you should put toward the top of your selection list should you pay the Oaken Barrel a visit.

Pork barbeque in a bottle...and I mean it in a good way

It's been over a month since our last beer review. Certainly, it is well overdue. At this particular review, we were honored with the presence of guests Mike and Gina, friends of Jim, who was also in attendance. Chris joined as usual. And we sat at the bar in the brew house area of the Oaken Barrel Restaurant and Brewery in Greenwood.

It is always interesting to hear what people initially think of a beer. When Jim took a sniff of Oaken Barrel's Snake Pit Porter, his initial response was "Hickory". Which I thought was humorous.

Until I took a sniff. It wasn't just hickory. It was the smell of hickory smoke used to roast a pig for a big party. Seriously. In scent and taste, the Snake Pit Porter makes me think of really good slow roasted pork topped with a nice, spicy sauce.

Certainly this comes from the malts used that lend to hints of molasses as well as some slight chocolate and coffee notes. Smokey. Roasted. And tasty. It's a smooth porter with a robust bite. I will be bringing this beer out for some of my summer cookouts.

The porter looks like it tastes: very dark with an almost dark amber or ruby tint to it. It pours with a dark, tan head.

I'm going to give this beer 3.5 mugs. It's a good beer, but it's not one that I would drink regularly. Only in the months of May through September when the propane or charcoal grill is a roaring.

14 February 2007

And yet another postponement

This lovely wintry weather is slowing everybody down, including the Hoosier Beer Geeks. We are postponing yet again our beer tasting at the Oaken Barrel. Look for the Knights of the Beer Round Table next Thursday at the OB.

After being stuck inside for this long, I'm planning on doing A LOT of reviewing next week.

06 February 2007

Our priorities were elsewhere . . .

I must apologize for the glaring lack of posting lately. As with anyone else in this great city and in most parts of the state, we have been engrossed with Super Bowl XLI, and for the last 48 hours, engrossed in the WORLD CHAMPION INDIANAPOLIS COLTS!!!!!!! Hell yeah! God, I love saying and writing that. WORLD CHAMPION INDINAPOLIS COLTS!!!!!!!!!!!

Now that our obsession with football comes to a close until April (Draft Day), we can start to again focus on our other true love - good beer!

We are, however, postponing this Thursday's scheduled Roundtable at Oaken Barrel, and will most likely reschedule it for next Thursday, same Bat Time, same Bat Channel.