A trip to Colorado isn't complete without a trip to the liquor stores of Colorado. Our recent trip to Great American Beer Festival and the breweries around Denver has led to a kitchen overflowing with craft beer; Not a problem, but an opportunity.
Believe it or not, calling together the Knights for a Saturday sampling of all sorts of unavailable-in-Indiana beer doesn't guarantee a crowd. But four of us are truly dedicated, so we met at my current home (a van on the banks of the White River on Indy's southside) for a revisit of the GABF experience.
Deschutes The Dissident 2008 Reserve Flanders Style Brown Ale
Mike: With the tart sour nose on this beer, my first instinct was to think "get ready to pucker". But the "brown" elements of this beer keep it from going off the super-tart deep end. Creamy and chewy, this is a beer that works the back third of the tongue. 4.25 Mugs
Chris: Sour lemon nose, sour patch kids hit, but only center of tongue. Sour apple, sour lemon - not normally the biggest fan of sour, but this is GOOD. 4.33 mugs
Matt: Much thanks to Mike and Gina for letting me try this brew.
Appearance: Dissident pours a mahogany brown color with tons of tiny carbonation bubbles, and a small thin head.
Smell: Cherries and blackberries and other orchard fruit with plenty of wild scents coming from the brett, but not quite "horsebarn" in smell
Taste: Tart cherries and blackberries come out very strong with a certain grape quality lingering in the background. I get more apples in the flavor profile as the beer warms a bit. This is delicious.
I loved this beer and was imagining how to pair this beer with food. I would love to get ahold of more of this beer. This is my highest rating ever as a KOTBR, and I stand by it! 4.7 Mugs
Gina: Tart and appple. GOOD GOOD GOOD. 4.5 Mugs
Deschutes The Dissident Total Score: 4.44 Mugs
Lagunitas Brewing Co. We're Only In It For the Money 40th Anniversary Zappa beer
Mike: Trying to figure out the name of this beer was almost more rewarding that drinking it. A Belgian Tripel with a burnt sugar candied fruit nose, the first drink wasn't rewarding enough to warrant a return to the glass. It wasn't that the beer was particularly bad, it just wasn't good. I couldn't get that burnt sugar taste out of my mouth/head. 2.43 Mugs
Chris: Buttery, butterscotch up front, cotton candy, bubblegum, burned sugar. 3.2 Mugs
Matt: Appearance: Pours and Amber orange with decent staying power
Smell: Overpowering of bubblegum and Candy sugar sweetness
Taste: The sweetness carries over in the taste with more orchard fruit like apples and grapes, but the syrupy sugar sweetness is quite overpowering in this offering.
I love a good tripel, but this doesn't cross the threshold into my favorite tripel territory. 2.5 Mugs (+.1%)
Gina: I got more hints of pine than candy or fruit from this. 3 Mugs
Lagunitas We're Only In It For The Money Total Score: 2.78 Mugs
Ska Brewing Decadent Imperial IPA
Mike: A wax sealed bottle that once opened gave an earthy sort of dirty taste. Oddly enough, this beer seemed almost freezer burnt. Although the bottle says "Imperial IPA", we didn't get an IPA elements. Weird. And a letdown. 1.75 Mugs.
Chris: Apricot, piney (subtle) smell, tastes fruitier than any DIPA I've had. Sweet, almost too sweet, hops not present enough for DIPA. 2.33 Mugs
Matt: Appearance: Pours a deep and very clear golden hue with a minimal head
Smell: There wasn't really much in the way of hop aroma for an imperial IPA, but I do get some slight apricot and apples with only a touch of caramel malt
Taste: I was looking for a hop explosion that never came on this beer, and this doesn't represent what a IIPA should taste like. I get apricot and hot fussel alcohol in the flavor profile, some fruity esters and only a small touch of piney hop bite on the back end.
I don't know if this was a bad bottle, but there wasn't anything really to speak of in the hop department, and the hot fussel alcohol didn't jive with me or my palate. 2.8 Mugs
Gina: Something about this reminded me of pizza. Maybe like basil or rosemary? It didn't pack quite the punch I would expect from an IIPA. 2.6 Mugs
Ska Decadent Imperial IPA Total Score: 2.37 Mugs
Russian River Blind Pig
Mike: I broke all sorts of Russian River laws getting this one home - I took it from a cooler and put it in a box in a warm car. The bottle specifically notes that heat and light are the enemies of hops - though I've had plenty of beers that have survived worse. A peppery and hoppy nose, a golden body, bitter, peppery, soapy. Considering Russian River's reputation, I expected more. 3.2 Mugs
Chris: Very piney smell, pine hops taste with a nice touch of citrus. I love the hops, but is this balanced? Hoppity hops...seriously, only for hopheads. 3.6 Mugs
Matt: Appearance: Nice clear golden hue with a rather fluffy white head
Smell: Lots of ripe citrus fruit and pink grapefruit rind with a good shot of pine stickiness. Daddy likey!
Taste: Citrus fruit are again center stage with ripe tangerines, oranges, and lemon zest. There is a slight "soapy" quality to this beer as well that isn't really doing it for me at the moment.
If the "soapy" quality I was tasting could be taken away this would be one of my favorite IPAs to drink. The nose was very nice and the flavor profile started out really nice, but really lost points once I picked up those other flavors. 3.3 Mugs
Gina: I mostly get the aforementioned soap and pine flavors, which usually would be a negative. This time, however, they work well together and I quite like it. 3.22 Mugs.
Russian River Blind Pig Total Score: 3.33 Mugs