So I've got some time to kill this week before an Eagles concert, so why not have a quick fall draft beer tasting at a nearby micro-brew bar?
Lagunitas Maximus (a pale ale from the outstanding Lagunitas brewery, subject of another recent thread here:http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9205...).
Crown Valley Pumpkin Smash
Founder's Breakfast Stout
North Coast Old Rasputin Stout
Chimay Cinq Cents
Stone Suede Imperial Porter.
So the bartender goes to make these pours and comes back with a substitute for the Suede: Gulden Draak, a strong belgian ale.
With the exception of NCORS I had not previously had any of these beers on tap that I can recall. I have had NCORS and FBS in bottles... so this is largely a "new" tasting adventure.
Actual tasting notes follow:
LM: Nice, a bit dry... I'm craving some sweetness that isn't here. [Note: my opinion of this beer faded as the tasting progressed, there just wasn't enough complexity, just straight dry pale ale
CVPS: Great spicy nose. Beautiful scent. Insanely nice nose... I could just sniff this and be happy
FBS: Quite "portery" for a stout... mild, tarry, nothing to love.
NCORS: Creamy, nice texture. Note sure this batch quite reaches "imperial" status. Somehow I think of this stout as better in the bottle than it is on tap, at least tonight.
GD: Mild fruity nose. Love the flavor... nice, semi-oily texture.
CCC: Sort of watery... doesn't remotely stand up next to the GD...
Heads-Up Showdown.... (actual notes follow).
The stars of this tasting are clearly CVPS and GD:
1. The CV is just unique... never tasted anything like this... crazy nose.
2. The GD is smooth, just the right amount of sweetness in a complex flavor profile.
The winner: While I love all the "parts" of the CV, the GD narrowly wins for total composition. This is everything a draft beer should be, and immediately earns a place on my long-term beer rotation.