This past weekend the girlfriend and I took a trip to NYC for her 30th and my 32th birthday. While I promised her tickets to a broadway play, I promised myself some drinking in the city that never sleeps. It also happens that the Vice Blogger lives in NYC so I made a little trip to his girl friends house for some pre NYC bar drinking.
The Vice Bloggers number one want of all time is Cantillon Blåbær Lambik. A blueberry lambic brewed exclusively with/for Ølbutikken, Copenhagen, Denmark. It comes out yearly but it’s a pain in the ass to get since it’s only available from the one store in Denmark. A while back I bit the bullet and picked up a bottle off Ebay. It’s a rare treat.
Cantillon Blabær Lambik pours cloudy purple and pink color. It’s a color I’ve never seen in a beer before. Beautiful. Pink head laces the glass. Right off the bat you’ll notice the fantastic aroma this beer gives off. Oaky up front with a beautiful mixture of blueberry, leather, and funk. The Vice Blogger thought it was one of the more sour noses and tastes he had ever had. While I thought it was nice and sour and was actually pretty tame. The taste is amazing. The berries come out more here. Everything is balanced perfectly. Sourness, tartness, oak, funk. Nothing got in the way of another ingredient. The mouthfeel was one of the best qualities of this beer. Smooth and velvety. Medium bodied but more on the full side.
Bottom line is this beer is a real treat. So drinkable. Of course the sourness adds up over time but it’s not huge. After the Blabaer we hit up something else that was just excellent. Of by the way, this beer gets an A++
Next up was a brewery I got to try at the GABF, Nebraska Brewing. The VB bought out their Melange A Trois Reserve Series aged in French Oak Chardonnay Barrels. Wow! I loved this beer. I kept on mentioning that it was unique and amazing. Nebraska can you please send some beer to Virginia!
Trois poured a golden orangish color with a fluffy white head. Spotty lacing is left throughout the glass. The smell on this beer is fantastic. Belgian yeast, apples, pear, grapes, and oranges. The oak chardonnay barrels give off a nice grape aroma. Lovely.
The taste is just as good if not better. Spicy yeasty bite up front. The fruits explode and the oak barrel does it’s thing. Slight taste of alcohol but it doesn’t interfere at all. A mixture of sweet fruit and tartness. The mouthfeel is nicely carbonated and light. I was sad to see this beer go. I would of loved to had another bottle of this stuff. It might of crept up in my top 10 of this year. A+ rating.
Before you knew it, the beer was gone and it was time to hit up Rattle n Hum. One of the best beer bars in NYC. After a 10 dollar cab ride we were there. We took a seat in the back and ordered some flights. First off this is a great idea. They had so many beers on tap, mostly thanks to the left overs that had from the Stone night they had the weekend before.
My first flight consisted of:
Bear Republic Ryevalry: I had this brew when I went to GABF but when you mix a million other beers it’s hard to really enjoy a beer. This time around though I really got to enjoy the greatness of this brew and it turned out to be one of the highlights of my day. This is a great rye ipa. I thought it was so good I bought a pint of it after. A one time brewed IPA that needs to be tried.
Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ Wild!: If you’re had A Little Sumpin Sumpin than you have an idea how this tastes. Mix in a little bit of sourness and tartness and you have Wild. A very nice beer.
Stone Old Guardian Belgo-Barleywine 2010: This year the boys from Stone decided to change the recipe of Old Guardian. Bring the old stuff back guys. This beer just didn’t do it for it. It had a very candy like taste that I just couldn’t get over. The VB agreed.
Sixpoint Pumpkin Brewster: Hard to find a decent pumpkin ale. This one has a C+ rating on BA but I tell you what, I really enjoyed it. If I had to grade it I might give it a B or B+. Highly drinkable and not overly spiced.
Second flight went a little something like this:
Lagunitas Fusion III: Here we have a one off Imperial Stout from Lagunitas. It’s actually 2-year old bourbon barrel-aged Gnarlywine – blended with an imperial stout (3 x stout, 1 x barleywine), aged on cacao nibs and habaneros. Love that I got to try this beer. The cacao nibs came through nice. The Barleywine flavors came through nicely to but I really don’t remember picking up the habaneros. Still I really enjoyed this one.
Stone 06.06.06: If you have this beer and you are planning on saving it until 12.12.12 you might want to have second thoughts. I think this beer is falling apart a tad. It’s flat and tastes a lot like soy sauce. It’s not a drain pour but it might be soon.
Ballast Point Sextant Coffee Oatmeal Stout: Another one off. Did I mention that I love getting the chance to try one off beers. Anyway, this isn’t a fantastic beer but it’s a decent stout. Nice amount of coffee in this one. I’d give it a B+.
Stone Double Bastard 2006: Lastly another treat. A four year old DB. Still great and still packs a huge alcoholic punch. Loved it.
After all that it was time for the VB to go home. The others left for The Ginger Man. I had the chance to have Cigar City Jai Alai IPA again, this time on draft. Way better than bottled. My beer journey was pretty much over after that. Bottom line, if I lived in NYC, I’d be in deep trouble.