Some of the most inventive and groundbreaking Craft breweries are right here in San Diego county! How lucky could a beer gal get?
Lost Abbey Angel's Share in Brandy barrels, 12% ABV: Their beloved and highly sought after barrel-aged beer found its way into Brandy casks? Yep!
I tasted this beer at Dr. Bill's pre-CBC party, and it was undoubtedly in every attendee's cup. In FACT, it was in what I like to call "the big-boy cup", seen in the picture here. Passed around along with the Port Barrel-Aged Farley, these were beers for people that were in it to win it.
Big heated notes of brandy with oak, vanilla, blackstrap molasses, dried black fruits, and dark chocolate. It had very low carbonation, which is a continuing issue with Lost Abbey and other reviews of this beer. I sipped on this like I would a brandy rather than a beer, so I wasn't bothered. And as the glasses drained dry, no one else seemed to be either.
Port Barrel-Aged Farley Barleywine, 13% ABV: This beer, like the Angel's Share, is a head-spinning doozy. I joked with fellow partiers that if had much of this, I wasn't making it to CBC at all....
Boozy notes of bourbon alongside telltale caramel, vanilla, dark fruit, molasses, & dark chocolate. Not for the faint of heart or palate, this can age for several more years.
Ballast Point 3 Sheets in Syrah barrels, 9% ABV: Dark red fruits, red wine and port notes on the nose and palate, along with substantial oak, caramel, and vanilla. This is definitely sweet, but there is a nice bitterness on the finish to cleanse the palate. I like this interesting entry from Ballast Point and that the alcohol is thankfully kept below 10%.
Stone Double Bastard in Oak, 10% ABV: This was one of the guys' favorites of Stone's Oakquinox in May. (the girls I spoke with weren't so enamored) Certainly a masculine beer with strong-edged bitterness, notes of charred oak, earth, and pine with firm caramel maltiness and a demanding presence. This is a heavy hitter in more ways than one. The name indeed fits the beer.