It can be easy to just forget all but are local breweries with so much choices available. Happens to me all the time which I how I missed two beers from Gulden Draak that look mighty special. Under the Cuvée Prestige moniker they have a straight bourbon barrel-aged beer and they also have a Laphroaig barrel-aged version. I found you spot them, you might want to grab for a special occasion.
One of my favorite beers from last year was a Belgian dry hopped Saison from the experts in Saison, Dupont. Sadly, that particular beer will not be coming this year because…..”Every year Dupont’s Master Brewer, Olivier Dedeycker, makes a special dry-hopped version of the brewery’s world famous Saison Dupont. This lets him take advantage of different hop varieties each season. For 2014, he chose the famous English hop, CHALLENGER, renowned for its balance of bittering and aromatic qualities. Importantly, they were cultivated in Belgium by the farm that supplies Olivier’s Golding hops. Using only hop flowers (no pellets, please), he added them to the late boil and dry hopped in cold maturation. The result is “a super refreshing Saison with accentuated floral, spice and citrus hop notes.”
I have a feeling this might be one of the top beers of 2014.
How could Saison Dupont get better?
“After 5 years of making Belgians extremely happy with their special seasonal release a dry-hop version of SAISON DUPONT, Vanberg & DeWulf and Brasserie Dupont are now able to make American drinkers equally happy. Saison Dupont Cuvee Dry Hopping 2013 will be available this May only featuring the famous TRISKEL hop varietal from Alsace.
Triskel is bred from the French Strissespalt and English Yeoman hops. Dupont’s master brewer Oliver Dedeycker describes it as “combining the aromatic notes, mainly floral, of Strisselspalt with the fruity character of Yeoman.” The unusual name, Triskel, was apparently inspired by triskelion, the symbol of the Gauls, those beer drinking ancestors of the French, which represents the three elements: Earth, Air and Water.”
Oh, that’s how.
Now that I have fully recovered from the awesome amount of Belgian beers (25 on tap, 117 total) Here are some photos and commentary….
As you can see, a beautiful day in Carslbad, California.
The first beer of the day! Craftsman’s La Luz. Great way to start. Light but with a punch of flavor. Really excellent beer for a sunny day.
The second beer was # 16 on the list. The infamous Lost Abbey, Cuvee de Tomme. A super sour beer that is still way drinkable. My first sip was way sour but it mellows and is just excellent. Top beer of the day for me.
I was back at the taps for beers 3 and 4. A Dubbel and a Quad. The Dubbel from Hollister in Santa Barbara was good. Strong taste. Made with raisin puree. The even stronger quad was the Russian River Mortification. 11% alcohol and really good. Both are excellent choices.
I was four for four. Then I chose the only boring beer I had. The Pizza Port Faceplant from the San Clemente location. Not bad but the description said coriander and orange zest. Didn’t taste it. The alcohol must have obliterated the spicing.
Onto beers 6 and 7. I left the draft list and for my last two beers chose European beers. First was Baladin’s Al-Ikser. Very complex. A sipping beer not a “guzzling” beer for sure. Had a great smell and almost too many flavors maybe due to the fact it was made with whiskey yeast. The final beer was Boon’s Marriage Parfait. A vintage gueze. The 2nd best beer of the day. Sour but delicate. Easy to drink which is saying something for gueze. This was the 2003 vintage.
So Cuvee de Tomme, Marriage Parfait and La Luz are the top 3 but there were so many I didn’t try. Among them the Saison de Lente from the Bruery, Cascade Sour Fruit Ale, Nogne Saison and Ommegang’s Chocolate Indulgence. There is always next year.