My last article was reserved for whining (not “wining”) about New England Beers Gone BAD. http://ventwing.com/article/my-annual-beer-bashing-new-england-beers-gone-bad
It’s not easy writing bad things about beer, especially craft beers! But, writing about GREAT beers that are no longer with us is even more difficult…sniff…
sigh…Of all the beers we’ve loved before, there are but a few that linger deeply, etched in our memories with a certain “special 1st time” longing desire. We wish we could once again see their lovely amber bodies with their arousing, voluptuous heads. If we could just inhale their intoxicating fragrances, taste their luscious sweet nectars, roll her full velvety body around in the tongue and mouth once again, we could rise into the heavens, completed and satisfied…we’re still talking about beer here, right?
We are indeed lucky to live in New England where each of the four seasons beckons us with the anticipation of so many new seasonal beers to try, but with the joy, comes sorrow, when yet another beer we have become so involved with leaves us forever, only to torment and titillate our memories. We wish we could experience her (I mean them) just one more time.
Cambridge Brewing Company – Blunderbuss Barleywine 2011 Aged in Port & Sherry Barrels
Served in a snifter at Cambridge Brewing Company. Winter 2012
It poured a hazy leathery golden color with a thin beige head that was fading as the waitress carried it from the tap to the table.
Smells of ripe fruit and sherry rise to greet the nose at once. Mixed aromas of vanilla, fruit cake, figs, burnt caramel, along with whiffs of amber rum drift in and out. I’m almost afraid if I drink it too fast, I’ll lose the wonderful and complex smells.
The flavors are as inviting and complex as the aromas. The rich and creamy body carries flavors of rum cake, crème brule, figs, sweet berries, mild citrus, soft herbs, and sherry.
If you’re in need of a self-indulgent, decadent Barleywine to pleasure your mind, body and soul, this is the one to have experienced! Amazing!
The Tap Brewing Company – SuperShow 69. Summer 2004
On tap at Anam Cara (Publick House) Hop Throwdown.
First, you have to appreciate the golden Pilsner-like body and snow-white head of this unique Single Malt IPA.
A nice perfumy citrus peel aroma arises into the air. A smell of fresh bread is noticed in the background, along with just a hint of spruce.
The malt body is more substantial than it appears. Again, fresh bread comes to mind. The taste of caramel and a hint of herbs layer themselves discretely into the mix.
A sweet grapefruit bite along with a dash of orange zest make for pleasant and highly drinkable bitter ale.
The malty sweetness and potent, though mellow tartness are in a balanced harmony.
Dann Paquette’s rise in the brewing scene was largely due to his acute sense of what beer lovers want and his ability to deliver a high quality, tasty, and very drinkable personalized version of those conceptions. This SS 69 is another near perfect example of how Dann connects to his appreciative consumers. Note: Dann is now the master brewer/owner of Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project. BTW: He still knows a thing or two about brewing beers people are interested in drinking!
Boston Beer Company Samuel Adams, 3 Weiss Men Weizenbock – Fall 2003
Good News!!! This was an exceptionally well-crafted brew! Sad News – Only 8 barrels were made. I experienced this marvelous brew at BeerAdvocate’s Stammtisch (also discontinued), and while I was tempted to sample more than 1/2 glass, I knew my ability to effectively complete my volunteer shift at pouring German Pilsners would be greatly diminished. Then again, on the other hand, I could not resist a full pour. Jim Koch, himself, pouring next to me, in person, approved!
It poured a velvety and nearly oily dark chocolate. An off-white head bubbled up lightly, and then faded to a thin frost-like coating. The rich wheat malty body was crème Brule-like and smoky and sweet. Grapefruit, prunes, toffee, coffee, spices and hint of camphor provided a beautiful and flavorful variety of flavors. A warm alcoholic fuminess remained throughout to remind you that; this is a special treat and not to be overly indulged in. – Please, Jim Koch, if you are reading this, PLEASE, BRING IT BACK!
Harpoon 100 Barrel Series, Triticus – July 4th, 2005 – This is the original Triticus recipe, brewed with Jason and Todd Alström of BeerAdvocate
22oz dark brown bottle. Session 10.
Poured into my old Westy goblet.
It poured an orange-hued chestnut color with a smallish, but long-lasting beige head along with some sticky patchy lacing.
The first smell that arose (and aroused) was roasted and cracked grain. A smell reminiscent of Coco Puffs came to mind. Am I coo-coo? Slowly, and continually gaining in strength, was a nice rum-like alcohol fuminess.
From its rich oily body, I expected a bit more upfront caramel sweetness. The sweetness is indeed there, just subdued.
Tastes of edgy white grapefruit and orange zest provided a potent tart bitterness. The ample hoppiness, coupled with a slightly harsh alcohol bang gave this big brew a certain raw coarseness, but in a good strong ale sort of way.
I preferred the Bourbon barrel and Gerzt. aged versions I sampled at ABF, but this was a brew well worth cellaring. I did purchase 3 more bottles and opened one each 6 months. It mellowed a bit each time, in fact improved. I wish they’d revive this powerful liquid and I would buy at least 6 more!
Cisco Brewers Inc. Santa’s Beered ’10 – November 2010
16.6oz Dark brown bottle. No freshness date.
Sampled in a Sam Adams fluted glass.
Poured a deep ruby-hued amber color with a full 2″ beige head and some trailing and patchy lacing.
The initial smell is like an Imperial Red, with a big whiff of caramel malt and some spicy hop, along with citrus and mixed fruit cup. A faint smell of cinnamon and clove is noticed with some effort.
As in the aroma, the flavor profile resembles an Imperial Red. The big solid rustic malt body carries floral, citrus and resinous hops. A taste of molasses, spices, a touch of honey sweetness and a bit of a woody taste are all quite inviting. A warming alcohol presence blends and ties things together nicely. For some reason, I felt this brew would pair very well with warm apple cobbler and vanilla ice cream.
Those are just some of the excellent beers relegated to fond memories. It’s too sad to continue…What are some your favorite Beers we hardy knew?