This KOTBR took place on the night of Rock Bottom's Pumpkin Ale tapping. We had decided to organize on this night and review a few more beers at the downtown Rock Bottom location. This decision was made after realizing that even though we're all fans of their beers, the only beer we had reviewed to date was the Pumpkin Ale and we all know how most of these jerks feel about pumpkin beers. That's when all of the excuses started pouring in. Jason's son was sick. Jim's cat died. Chris was sick. Mike and Gina were in Denver. Matt R had to work. Matt and Kelly mysteriously disappeared. YEAH RIGHT GUYS.
Actually Chris came out despite his sickness and Claire's previous work shift of like 30 hours in the OR. We had a few pumpkin beers and observed what was probably the largest tapping crowd we had ever seen. The basement was literally filled. Luckily we got there early and were seated at the bar. After enjoying our pumpkin beers (that's right, enjoying) we decided we would review the Brickway Brown and their Seasonal IPA. Jerry brought us a pitcher of the IPA from upstairs since it wasn't on tap in the basement. Thanks Jerry!
Nose - roasted malt nose with a baked bread smell
Color - nice head with a bit of lacing from the foam, dark brown color but can still see light through it
Taste - roasty, coffee, tastes like chocolate covered coffee beans, bitter with a coffee aftertaste.
Body - dark opaque brown, reddish hue, light brown head
Nose - cocoa, milk, chicory, toasted coconut, caramel, warm sugar
Taste - creamy mouthfeel, coffee porter, bitter coffee notes, milk chocolate, hazelnuts, roasted malts, plum-like sugar?
awesome porter and very drinkable, this is one of my go-to session beers
Did I actually drink this? Apparently. Did I taste it? No (see Foggy, flu). Did I take notes? My wife says yes. Did I save them? Apparently not. Trying to taste something through a flu-haze doesn't really do a beer justice anyway. Luckily, I've had this beer many times and I always enjoy it. A nice roasted malt smell and a very creamy mouthfeel are the characteristics that stick out to me. Add some nice chocolate and subtle coffee notes in the flavor and you've got yourself a very nice porter.
Final score for Rock Bottom's Brickway Brown: 3.96 Mugs
Nose - pine needles, spice, very hoppy, very deliciously grapefruit
Appearance - Darker golden color, pours nice foamy head, almost pillowy
Taste - big hops bite with a bit of grapefruit, juicy fruit sweetness
Body - reddish-orange, semi-transparent, creamy off-white head
Nose - grapefruit and pine hops, oregano, mint, caramel malt
Taste - pink grapefruit, balanced bitterness, lemon zest, caramel sugar, apricot
I'm not huge on IPAs, but this is one I could drink quite a bit of. Very well balanced.
Even tasting with the flu, this was one damn fine IPA. I could smell the strong citrusy/piney hops aroma on this beer through a stuffy nose and the strong citrus carried over to the flavor where it met up with just a touch of sweetness. Reminded me a bit of Clipper City's Loose Cannon. I love IPAs and, again, this was a damn fine example.
Final score for Rock Bottom's Seasonal IPA: 4.03 Mugs.
As a footnote, the next Rock Bottom brewer's dinner will be November 11. These are an excellent intro into the world of beer and food pairings and are a great deal at $35/person for 4 courses and 4 beers. Jess and I have been going to these for a couple years now, maybe we'll see you there?