I got a good sized group together Saturday night which made it easy to have a sip of many things. We all stuck with getting the full pint glass ($5) and just ordering ½ pints, which often came out to be two-thirds of a pint. In the case of the more attractive females who were with me, they seemed to get extremely generous half and quarter pints, which were closer to 3/4 of a pint and 1/2 pint respectively. Ahh well.
The Otter Creek Stovepipe porter might have been my favorite. It was the only one I went back for a full pint of, the coffee with a bit of licorice taste gave a nice mouthfeel. I also really enjoyed the Bru Rm Raven Haired Beauty. Sometimes the lower alcohol content of session beer seemed to make the beer taste a little lacking, but in the case of the Bru Rm, it was a pleasant mild, like you could read a good book or play some chess while enjoying some. Not being a beer nerd, I dont know the ideal for a cask ale session beer, but in my relatively uninformed estimation, Id guess this was the closest.
Sam Adams Titanium Porter had a strong espresso taste to it which was good, but the Steampipe was the smoother porter overall. It reminded me of their double bock a lot.
The Shaws Dukinfield Best Bitter was just that. Ive got a high tolerance for bitter and this was almost right at my threshold to where it wasnt enjoyable anymore. After a few swallows you got a nice, full nearly-floral mouthfeel. Well-rounded and what not.
Camerons Strongarm was my first beer of the night and decent, nothing spectacular. As it was my first beer I really noticed the lower alcohol content and it did make it taste sort of off.
Gritty McDuffs smoked porter was good, but I dont think the notion of smoked fits in well here as the literature they passed out talks up cask ale as being ideal for long, drawn out drinking sessions. The smoke adds a harshness that probably isnt ideal for gentle quaffing. I like it and I think it has a place, but Id say its more a food beer (like a food wine) and would go really well with a grilled burger or something but on its own I dunno.
The Berkshire Brewery Lost Sailor IPA was WAY too sweet, almost as if they had added sugar. It had sort of an iced tea taste to it.
I had a taste of one porter that was not nearly ready. It basically tasted like soap. A friend was drinking it and I forget its name. I think it might have been from Vermont. I also had something from the folks at Paper City brewery, but looking back today over the info, I dont see their listings.
Redbones catering was a bit blah. My pulled pork sandwich was, as predicted, better than NO pork sandwich, but it was watery and not as good as the Blue Ribbon I had a few weeks ago. The non-redmeat eating wife found that her portabella mushroom sandwich tasted remarkably like a large mushroom in a bun, unsurprising yet bland.