An enormous THANK YOU to everyone who attended the Pints for Parkinson's event at Pacific Beach Ale House. It was a great success! Getting to drink delicious beers AND have it benefit charity? It's a glorious and satisfying no-brainer! Featured were the beers of Brewmaster Erik Jensen, along with Carnevale from Lost Abbey and Ommegang's Abbey Ale. For vittles, chef Carl prepared delicious Mussels with fries and a garlic-herb aioli. Mmmm. It was a veritable Belgian love fest. Onto the beers tasted:
PB Ale House Belgian IPA: This brew is a lovely new addition to the PB Ale House's lineup. I was extra curious to taste this after a recent tasting of Flying Dog's Raging Bitch, also a Belgian IPA, which showed very little Belgian characteristics at all. Would Eric's be similar, more IPA than Belgian? Your beer girl was more than happy to find out! Lots of pretty floral and grassy hoppy notes on the nose. Mark one down for IPA. But there were also notes of candy, light caramel, yeast, grain, and interestingly a hint of mint. So it was an interesting juxtaposition. The finish was both toasty and bitter. Nice work Erik!
PB Ale House Tourmaline Tripel, 9% ABV: Heaps of dried, lighter fruit (apricot, date, pineapple), with notes of caramel, light brown sugar, candy, toasted marshmallow, spice and freshly soaked grain. There is indeed a fresh vibrancy to this Tripel that I enjoy. It is not weighted down by heavy, sugary aromas, but gives you a little pop. Along with a nice, lingering bit o' bitterness on the finish, this Tripel is a keeper.
2008 St. Sideburn Vintage Ale (Belgian Brown aged in barrel): Aged 10 months in a whiskey barrel, St. Sideburn is one to try. Dark dried fruit of fig and cherry, baking spice, dark caramel, and dried cocoa on the nose and palate. It has the smoothness of a brown with a nice sideways punch of whiskey from the barrel. This was an extra-special treat, as it was pulled just for the Pints for Parkinson's event!
Now some of you may be asking, "Where are the reviews for the Golden and the Blonde?" Well, my friends, I am saving those for a project I am planning for the summer, so stay tuned!
Rodenbach Grand Cru (Flanders Red) 6% ABV: For me, one of the greatest beers ever created. I love, love, love this beer. Did I say love? To me, much like how I feel about Lost Abbey's Duck Duck Gooze, is beer at the perfection level. Everything is EXACTLY where it should be. Meaning, all aromas, flavors, appearance, and finish are seamlessly meshed into an exemplary liquid experience. I feel like I should be raising a toasting glass.
Cherries abound, with notes of oak, vanilla, grape, and sweet balsamic vinegar. On the palate, both sweet and sour. The tartness of the cherries are your most dominate note, with an underlying oak presence. It is utterly delicious, and if you have not had the opportunity to try this beer, make it your new mission. I have turned many a beer drinker onto sours with Rodenbach Grand Cru. With its dual sweet and sour component, is a wonderful cross-over beer to introduce the intensely wonderful and more sour world of gueuzes and lambics.
FYI: The Grand Cru is young beer (33%) blended with older beer aged in oak vats(67%). The young beer provides the vibrant cherry and sour notes, while the older lends mellow notes of oak and round, sweet smoothness.
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