I decided to bring up two beers for ’22…
Deuce, anniversary 2012 beer from Eagle Rock Brewery and Fruet, also from 2012, from The Bruery.
I started with the firmer, an imperialized version of the famed Eagle Rock Solidarity Mild. After ten years, this 10% ABV beer has held up quite well. There is a note of milk chocolate, a little cherry in there as well. Makes me think that I am having a proper aged English beer. It is not heavy at all and held up quite well.
Fruet also held up well. It helped that I opened it and let it breathe for a longer than usual spell. It wasn’t as syrupy sweet or barrel-y as I thought. It had dried out a bit in a good way. No big ABV burn either for a 15% plus beer. It was a nice blend of sugar and malty backbone.
2021 (and 2020) has been the Year + of the Strata hop, so my choice is….
…a fancy bottle of The Frais from de Garde Brewing in Oregon.
Got to practice my cork removal skills. Pours a bright orange / yellow color. Brett wild funk is quite evident. That just opened the barn door smell. Tart punch of acidity. Fairly simple past that. Some barrel wood. There is a navel orange note underneath the barnyard that is quite pleasant.
Yes, this here blog is California centered due to my LA living. But this month, we will kick it up a notch since California Craft Beer Week is taking over the SF Beer Week slot this year. Plus a hush-hush secret beer review is coming too
~ e-visits to (3) breweries here in California
~ special featured reviews of beers of (4) special beers from The Bruery
~Heads-Up on Los Angeles Beer Events (Far in the future events)
~ Three suggested beers to buy this month. One light, one medium and one dark
~ A Book & A Beer reads Deacon King Kong by James McBride
~ A Podcast & A Beer listens to KingCast
~ Great Beer names and Best Beers of the Month
~ I will tap the Firkin and give my no holds barred opinion on the craft beer world.
Slowly going through the cellar stash. Don’t think it will ever truly be emptied. May start collecting again but the thrill of pulling out a bottle for a special occasion is real. For the 50, I went to Firestone Walker and their Oatmeal Stout from 2014, Velvet Merkin. This is the Proprietor’s Vintage aged in Bourbon barrels.
There is a little residual bourbon smell on the nose of this almost black beer. True to Oatmeal Stout, it is only 8.5% in this amplified version and probably should not have been held for 5+ years but it overall is quite nice. I get the bourbon, surprisingly a bit of cola caramel and even more surprising is a bit of wood character notes as well at the end. Still has a bit of fizz to it as well. Some alcohol burn but it is minor and comes across more as warming.
A proper way to celebrate.
Each year on the 22nd, I pick a special beer to mark another year rotating around the sun. Seeing as how, me and missus were out in DTLA, I suggested Mikkeller which lead me to their menu and this choice….
…and it came in a wine glass. A Mikkeller fancy sleight of hand to draw attention away from the smaller pour size. The beer itself was properly hazy with a medium citrus aroma to it. It drank easily for the style which can sometimes scrape the tongue to me. And at $8 it was one of the cheaper beers on offer.
Earlier this year, I made mention of two beers in the pipeline from Cismontane Brewing in Rancho Santa Margarita. And one of them, Oso (bear in Spanish) is my birthday beer for 2013. A singular honor bestowed yearly that is on par with getting an Oscar or a GABF medal.
All hyperbole aside, here is what the brewers behind Oso have to say about it: “The English yeast imparted a symphony of dark fruity esters which compliment the tasty vanilla/ caramel notes, graciously donated by the Rye Whiskey barrels.”
I certainly liked the smoothness of this beer. Plus the 10% abv displayed no heat at all. I got lot’s of vanilla notes and also some baking bread aromas. You could really taste the underlying porter underneath the whiskey which some barrel aged beers just can’t do. As it the beer warmed up, I detected some spice notes underneath as well. Between this big beer and the light Holy Jim Falls XPA, Cismontane has the beer style gamut covered.
I also have a second birthday beer in mind. It is the release of a collaboration between Ohana and the in Kickstarter phase L.A. Aleworks. It will debut at Beer Belly tomorrow night and you should check it out!
Each year on this very blog on this auspicious day, I make a note, so to speak, of the special beer that I decide to have to celebrate another year in the life.
Last year it was North Coast Old Stock Cellar Ale 2009 which was a great beer but super thick and huge ABV that almost made me wish the bottle was smaller.
This year, even though I am celebrating at Golden Road Brewery. My featured beer is a home brew from my brother in law. It is the enigmatic BP11.
It took my poor, enfeebled with age brain a while to figure out that BP more than likely stands for Baltic Porter. I will add the review to the bottom of this post later, so for now, cheers and may you all have as good a beer on your birthday too!