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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tuesday Tasting: 18 Beers from the Cellar

Tuesday Tasting is a regular feature of Lyke2Drink that explores some of the best beers, wines and spirits on the market. This week we join a group of guys in pulling some great beers from the back of our refrigerator for a friendly tasting.

A few weeks back a group of beer fans gathered at the Grapevine in Fort Mill, S.C., with a simple set of guidelines. Bring two interesting beers (bomber-size bottles or larger)to share that you have either been storing for awhile or are extremely hard to find in the Charlotte, N.C., area. People reached pretty deep into their collections and everyone agreed it was one of the best non-festival collections of beer they had ever enjoyed.

Here are the tasting notes for the evening in the order the beers were consumed:

Troegs Troegenator: This Pennsylvania doppelbock is 8.2 percent alcohol by volume. Thin head and amber brown color. Nice caramelized malt flavor. Slight tang of fruit in the finish.

Dogfish Head Theobroma: This 9.0 percent alcohol by volume ale is brewed with honey, cocoa nibs, cocoa powder, ancho chile and ground annatto. It was created based on analysis of residue in pottery found in Honduras. There was a nice chocolate nose to this beer. Chocolate and honey base flavor, but balanced by the chili heat in a long aftertaste.

Rogue Captain Sig's Northwestern Ale: Nice firm head from this 6.2 percent alcohol by volume beer. Upfront hop nose. Strong hop character with a subtle hint of pine.

Three Floyds Alpha King: Glowing amber color and floral herbal nose. Hops surround your taste buds with this beer. Dry citrus peels and grapefruit in the finish.

Stone Double Bastard 2005: Starts with a firm head that slowly dissipates. Raisin nose. Good hop base that fades to fig, pineapple and pine notes.

Dogfish Head 120 Minute Imperial IPA: A 21 percent alcohol by volume heavyweight, the first nose on this beer is a little like spray paint. Tarnished bronze color. Maple syrup is forward, rich and round beer. Hops fight the way through and a balancing act dances across your tongue.

Three Floyds Dreadnaught Ale: Golden color and a thin head open the experience with this 9.5 percent alcohol by volume beer. Grapefruit nose and a clean, crisp hop bitterness.

Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter: Chocolate colored head and dark reddish brown color. Slight maple nose in this 9.2 percent alcohol by volume beer. Nice chocolate notes and strong flavor.

Pugsley's Signature Series Shipyard Imperial Porter: Creamy tan head and almost toffee-like nose. Bittersweet chocolate flavor in background and nice malt notes. A bit thinner than expected.

Avery Samael's Oak Aged Ale 2007: This 14.9 percent alcohol by volume beer has a red color and a very thin head. Oak and malty nose. Wonderful figs, raisins and malt come through in the flavor.

Upstream Oak Aged Ebenezer: This ale was brewed in August 2007. Dark brown color, thick head and sweet nose. Sour burnt chocolate taste.

Deschutes 2009 Reserve Mirror Mirror Oak Aged Barleywine: Nice firm head and red color. Slight bubblegum nose and a nice malty flavor, touch of fruitiness with good woody notes showing through.

Firestone 11th Anniversary Ale 2007: Reddish brown color and brown bread nose. Sweet, enticing flavor with rounded malt, cinnamon, fudge and dates.

Bell's Expedition Stout 2007: Thick head with a black purple color. Roasty goodness from the start. Rich and thick brew that has a touch of espresso in the finish.

Stone Russian Imperial Stout 2004: Malt house nose with a touch of chocolate. Dark black color. Rich flavor of chocolate, mocha and dark skin berries.

Rogue Imperial Stout 2006: Thick, chocolate colored head. Bitter notes up front that rolls forward with a thick mocha flavor. Hint of roasted malt.

Founders KBS: This "Kentucky Breakfast Stout" is 11.2 percent alcohol by volume and has a used coffee grounds aroma. There is a ton a cereal notes, coffee, vanilla and wood.

Three Floyds Dark Lord Russian Imperial Stout 2008: The head leaves this beer pretty quickly. It is a thick black color with red around the edges. Amazing combinations of flavors. Molasses, cocoa, malt and dark berries. Chewy, coating and long lasting.

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