31 August 2008

Drowning in One Ounce Pours of Ultra-rare Beer

It starts like this: a post on the RateBeer Calendar and Beer Advocate
Hello everyone! I thought I would go ahead and start a thread since I am leaving for my honeymoon and I just submitted this tasting for approval. Lots of great brews in the lineup already, BA Speedway, Black Albert, Cuvee De Castleton and much more. Cheers! Mike
Last night Gina, Chris, Claire and myself were lucky enough to join around 30+ other folks downtown for the latest Beer Advocate/Rate Beer tasting, hosted by Crown Liquors' Mike Sprinkle. This was the first BA/RB meeting for all of us, and to say the experience was a great one would be an understatement.

The beer lineup (50 Beers for those keeping count):
  • Boulevard Smokestack Series Saison
  • Lost Abbey Inferno
  • Russian River Damnation
  • Drie Fonteinen Doesjel
  • Captain Lawrence Brewing Co. Cuvee De Castleton
  • Lost Abbey Red Poppy Ale
  • New Belgium La Folie Wood Aged Beer*
  • Mikkeller It's Alive!
  • Firestone Pale Ale
  • Russian River Blind Pig
  • Russian River Piny the Elder
  • Marin Brewing Co White Knuckle Double IPA
  • Boulevard Smokestack Series Double Wide IPA
  • Ballast Point Dorado Double IPA
  • Dark Horse Double Crooked Tree*
  • Alesmith Yulesmith Holiday Ale (Summer)
  • Southern Tier Unearthly
  • New Glarus Wisconsin Belgian Red*
  • Unibroue Quelque Chose
  • Ommegang Chocolate Indulgence
  • New Glarus Raspberry Tart*
  • Founders Blushing Monk
  • Brother Adam's Bragget Honey Ale
  • Boulevard Smokestack Series Long Strange Tripel
  • Microbrasserie Charlevoix Lupulus Dominus Vobiscum (2007)
  • Springfield Brewing Company Muller Barrel Reserved 10th Anniversary
  • Boulevard Smokestack Series Sixth Glass
  • George Gale & Company Gales Prize Old Ale (1999)
  • George Gale $ Company Gales Prize Old Ale (1997)
  • Dark Horse 3 Guys Off The Scale Barleywine (2005)*
  • Alesmith Wee Heavy
  • Alesmith Barrel Aged Wee Heavy (2006)*
  • Lost Abbey Cuvee de Tomme
  • Alesmith Old Numbskull
  • Alesmith Barrel Aged Old Numbskull (2006, #128 of 208)
  • Alesmith Decadence English Old Ale (2005)
  • Alesmith Barrel Aged Decadence English Old Ale (2005, #215 of 280)
  • Brouwerij De Molen Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout (#327)
  • De Struise Black Albert Belgian Royal Stout (RIS)
  • Three Floyds DarkLord (2007)
  • Alesmith Speedway Stout
  • Alesmith Barrel Aged Speedway Stout (2006, #193 of 235)
  • Southern Tier Creme Broulee Imperial Milk Stout
  • Coast Brewing Co. Blackbeerd Imperial Stout
  • Bare Tree Weiss Wine (2005)*
  • Weyerbacher Heresy
  • St. Bernardus Prior 8
  • Duck Rabbit Rabid Duck Russian Imperial Stout*
  • Bar Harbor Cadillac Mtn. Stout
  • Eugene City Brewery 100 Meter Ale

At 30ish people and bomber-sized bottles (for the most part), that meant a roughly one ounce pour each. That worked out pretty well, I thought, though a crowd any larger would probably mean not enough beer to go around. I wouldn't be surprised if veterans of these events already thought the crowd was too large - I'd be interested to hear what those of you who attended and are reading thought. And while we're at it, what were your favorites? Any surprises? We'd love to hear your thoughts.

Lastly, I'd like to thank Mike Sprinkle for doing a fantastic job of guiding us through, our event hosts, and everyone else who attended for their great company. What an event!

* * * * *

*Beers marked with an asterisk stood out as my personal favorites


  1. Ok, I'll be honest... there would be comments here, but actually, I drank all that beer by myself.

  2. Ok Mike, I'll add a little commentary:

    New Glarus Raspberry Tart = Amazing.

    Gales Prize Old Ales = Second verse, same as the first. Still not a fan.

    Dark Horse Double Crooked Tree = AMAZING (like the Dark Horse Barleywine on the list, this one was also from 2005, aged 3 years)

    De Struise Black Albert Belgian Royal Stout = Very good, but I was expecting more.

    Southern Tier Creme Broulee Imperial Milk Stout = most "out there" beer of night. I really liked it but probably wouldn't want much more than the sample I got. Might be best shared as a dessert unto itself. Mike thought it tasting like cake icing (right?).

    My take away messages of the night:

    (1) Rarity does not necessarily mean a beer will be a flavor epiphany.
    (2) I'll take aged over rare any day.
    (3) VERY high BA/RB rankings do not necessarily mean anything (too often, I think it has more to do with rarity than taste)