On a recent trip to Las Vegas, I had the opportunity to taste-sample the entire current line offerings of both the Triple 7 (777) Brewery at Main Street Station and the Chicago Brewing Company at the Four Queens. Tasting notes follow:
CHICAGO BREWING COMPANY (Four Queens Hotel)
Weizenheimer Hefe-Weiss. This is in an interesting "sweet" style. Could almost be a "honey wheat". Banana overtones. Luscious aftertaste that lingers for what seems like minutes. A delicious gourmet beer and my favorite at CBC.
Hardway India Pale Ale. Fair, dry style. Nice nose, which is misleading because so many great nose beers and whiskies fail to deliver in the tasting. This is a bitter-spectrum IPA without much complexity to it.
Ramblin' Reck Amber Ale ("Red"). Tasteless. Nothing to dislike or like. There's no "grab" here.
Old Town Brown Ale. Pleasant. Like a mild stout actually. Good, light lingering flavors. My 2nd favorite brew here. I would order this.
Black Star Stout. A "dry style" stout. Uninspiring. Mild tar flavor notes. Very little flavor distinction. Good creamy texture.
Of all the offerings at CBC, the Weizenheimer and Old Town Brown were standouts. The Weizenheimer particularly I would consider a great beer, and a somewhat unique brew at that.
TRIPLE 7 BREWERY (at Main Street Station Casino)
High Roller Gold. This beer was poured very tight and needed a 2nd hard pour to open up the flavors (as did most of these beers). This is a "fair" wheat. Smooth, very mild flavor impressions. Not as interesting as the Chicago offering by a wide margin.
Marker Pale Ale. Nothing remarkable, pro or con here.
Royal Red Lager (a "Vienna style lager"). Probably my favorite at Triple 7 to this point, but another very mild, indistinct brew actually.
Blackchip Porter. Fair. Flavors dominate towards the bitter/coffee side of the porter spectrum. There's nothing in the cherry range here. Unremarkable.
Strawberry Cream Ale (the Special Brew on tap). Lovely strawberry nose. Nice texture. Fruit is pleasant, on the understated side. Not something I'd want to drink glass-after-glass of, but pleasant enough and probably the new favorite to this point.
Omen Barleywine. Easily my favorite at Triple 7. 12% ABV, just a first-class barleywine. Great nose, texture, and taste. Good lingering flavors.
Overall I was not overwhelmed by either of these vendors. The Chicago Wheat, Chicago Brown, and the Triple 7 Barleywine were easily the Top 3 and most memorable of all the brews. On the positive side there were no brews that were "bad" to any extent, as we often find at microbreweries.