There's nothing like taking your wife to an appointment close to a great microbrew bar :) With an hour or so to kill I order sampler flights of 8 beers; a few I've had before (but not on tap), but mostly new ones.
Not tasted blind, I knew the identities of the beers ahead of time, and which was in which glass. In no particular order:
STONE XOCOVECA "Mocha Stout": This was a dry-ish stout. Not offensive. Somewhat reminiscent of Old Rasputin. Had to really swirl and re-pour this to decant it and bring out faint mocha hints. Overall just fair. Kind of a letdown because I'm cellaring a couple bottles of this and had fairly high hopes for it. Based on the draft flavor I'm thinking this might soften up and improve with 1-2 years in the bottle.
ODELL MYRCENARY IPA: Just killer. Benchmark stuff. I love this in the bottle and if anything even better on tap. It's got a semi-dry backbone with nicely contrasting sweetness in the complex range of flavors. Don't have enough superlatives for this...
BOULEVARD TANK 7 SAISON: Just fair, kind of bland compared to the OM.
ROGUE 7-HOP (On tap no less!): This is really great. Gives Myrcennary a run for it's money. Think of it as Myrcennary with a bit less sweetness and slightly more dryness. Very well made.
OSKAR BLUES DALE'S PA: Nothing not to like. Not exceptional either. "Pales" vs. OM and R7-H.
BOULDER SHAKE CHOCOLATE PORTER: Hello. This is great stuff. Delivers the "mocha" that Stone Xocoveca promises. Very complex lingering and pleasant flavors.
LEFT HAND MILK STOUT: Pretty nice. Just not quite up to BSCP,
LEFT COAST HOP JUICE: Another really nice IPA. Initial notes read: "bright, delicious. Stands up to R-7-Hop, not as sweet as Myrcennary.
****************** IPA TASTE OFF ********************
So the stars here were the BSCP 3 IPAs, with honorable mention to LHMS. So let's do a tasteoff between the IPAs:
HOP JUICE: Brighter than Rogue 7, but more bitter... prefer Rogue 7.
ROGUE 7-HOP: Delicious, complex mild bitter to bittersweet flavor range.
MYRCENNARY: Great attention-getting flavor. Would like to declare it the winner but Rogue 7 is right up there too, just a different flavor profile.
1st Place is a tie: Rogue 7-Hop and Odell Myrcennary. Two awesome IPAs for your enjoyment.
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