Archive for June, 2009

50 – Southern Tier Oak Aged Unearthly IPA

hdh50_southerntierOAunearthly

Sickpuppy and myself made a trip to Bocktown in the Robinson/North Fayette area of Pittsburgh for a Monday afternoon delight. OK that just sounded bad. We are actually going to be part of the Beer Dependence Day event on July 3rd and wanted to go scope out the area and see what we will be doing. The trip quickly turned from business to OMFG look at this sweet beer selection! MANY beers we have been unable to get were all in one place.

Southern Tier Oak Aged Unearthly IPA
brewery: Southern Tier – southerntierbrewing.com
style: Imperial IPA
abv:
11%
serving size: 22oz
glass used: snifter
price:
$15

Overview
At the Southern Tier Brewing Company, vigorously hopped beer is our standard and inspiration. We continue a commitment to innovation with an aggressive offering. Oak Aged Unearthly is a manifestation of the brewer’s craft; skillfully balancing art and the forces of nature to produce a divine liquid. Delicately pour a taste of this oak aged brew into a fluted glass. Smell the enchanting aromas of the hops waft forward as your first sip divulges this beer’s fervent soul. To underestimate Oak Aged Unearthly is to trifle with the mysteries of the universe, so please consume wisely. Consider it an immoral act to blacken an ale. We suggest they don’t rely on conventional standards. Allow the darkness to consume you. Cheers!

What I think
My eyes bugged out of my head when I saw this available. Not just a couple bottles but CASES. I haven’t been able to find this in stock anywhere else in Pittsburgh. I put my personal excitement aside since that has brought me to failure before. I admit that I think the original Unearthly is OK but I’ve had better IPAs. The bartender Kris poured the beverages for us and I had to compliment her skills as she managed to get the perfect head in a snifter. Right away from the aroma and first taste this reminded me of the mind blowing experience of the first time I had Southern Tier’s Gemini. Citrus and balanced hops with a smooth finish.

The hops were not as overpowering as I was expecting but this was a treat in oak aged goodness. I did get a hint from the oak aged but the smoothness just amazed me. To me I was damn close to reaching beervana again.

Buy this beer. Age this beer. Whatever you have to do, get some.

Spoon’s rating: A+

Comments (2)

49 – Brooklyn Black Ops

hdh49_BrroklynBlackOps

Last week there was no update. Penguins won game 6 the night before in the Stanley Cup Playoffs leaving me dead to the world on Wednesday. Friday they would win the Stanley Cup 2-1 in game 7 and it was time to celebrate. I had every intention on keeping BlackOps in the cellar but this is what craft beer is about. Celebration. I had every desire of releasing this yesterday but Mother Nature tried to wipe Pittsburgh off the map with tornadoes, floods and everything else up her sleeve. The spoon residence has been dealt the flood hand before and its never easy. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you whom suffered loss.

Brooklyn Black Ops
brewery: Brooklyn Brewing – www.brooklynbrewery.com
style: Russian Imperial Stout
abv:
10.7%
serving size: 750ml
glass used: snifter
price:
$27

Overview
Brooklyn Black Ops (2008 commercially available version) was aged for four months in bourbon barrels, bottled flat, and re-fermented in the bottle with Champagne yeast. 940 cases produced.

What I think
I admit that spending $27 on a single bottle of beer is steep but when it’s a reputable brewery sometimes it’s worth taking a risk. This one is such a beverage. The head poured a perfect 2 finger giving the sweet aroma of vanilla with slight coffee and bourbon. The taste was a mouthful of excellence. Started with coffee and slight chocolate then moved to a mild bourbon and finishes malty smooth. Honestly it felt like the ultimate milkshake. A 5 dollar milkshake . under the circumstances this was the best way to celebrate the Pens winning the Stanley Cup. Honestly, if you have a bottle of this I say sit on it a year because time aging will make this one of the greatest RIS ever!

Spoon’s rating: A+

Comments (2)

48 – Victory Wild Devil

hdh48_victorywilddevil

Victory Hop Devil is one of my favorite IPA’s of all time. Victory decided to take it one step further by messing with a good thing. The story behind this is a riot and I wish I had a recorder when, by chance, I met up with a sales rep. I’ve had it on tap but he insisted that the bottle was better. Time to find out.

Victory Wild Devil
brewery: Victory Brewing – www.victorybeer.com
style: India Pale Ale
abv:
6.7%
serving size: 22oz
glass used: tulip
price:
$10

Overview
Bold, spicy, menacingly delicious HopDevil takes on an entirely new dimension when subjected to a wild yeast fermentation. A sharp, sourish edge has been added by this fermentations that plays into the caramel sweet malt deliciously and creates complex interplay with citrus accented hops.
American IPA w/ Brettanomyces.

What I think
Sickpuppy bought this to share and tried to kill me with the cork (I will get you back) so I missed the initial pour and head. The appearance was slightly lighter than a HopDevil with a fruity, hoppy and funky aroma. Seriously, funky is the best word I can come up with. It truly was something haven’t come across before and the taste left me perplexed. It had more character than the draft and was smooth with a bit sour. I took a second drink and started to get citrus upfront that would start to mellow out. There was very little bite and then I would pucker. See what I mean, it was all over the palate road with a smooth and mellow finish. It felt like an extreme ride from Cedar Point.

Spoon’s rating: B+

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