Beerhunter Does Danse Macabre - Summer Session No. Two
17 July 2009
Convened at 7:50PM
Present: Caitin, Tom
Absent (excused): Ben, Dan
I’m joined tonight by Caitlin D., the Camille Paglia of revolutionary death theory, and a dear friend checkin’ in from the West Coast. We started out with the Altenmunster Maibock, a Beerhunter fail in every sense. Pour: Piss poor (quite lit’rly). Head: bald. Nose: “smells like a medieval charnel house, mildewed corpses.” Tongue: “tastes like the warm dregs of my father’s Bud Light from when I was 8 years old, representing everything I hate about beer” (Caitlin). As it warms, we’re picking up some over-ripe (or decaying) banana. All-in-all: a waste of time. Hardly drinkable. Stick with the Einbecker.
I find it interesting - or telling, perhaps - that it doesn’t carry the Reinheitsgebot typical of German-produced brews. In place of a quality promise the Altenmunster carries a lame two-word kicker: “Malt Liquor.”
Next, the Brunehaut Blonde:
The last brew set the bar pretty low; that said, this is a decent Pale Ale. Wet dog in the nose? Caitlin swears that isn’t bad necessarily. Maybe. Its (spiced?) hops bite more like a Flemish Red - a solid, uniform sour - than, say, an IPA. The bitterness quickly gives way to a toasty sweetness. The finish, a highlight of the Brunehaut, typifies Belgian Pale Ales in its crispness, rivalling that of good Pilsners. Caitlin’s summary judgment: “not extraordinary, but given the precedent [set by Altenmunster], it’s welcome like water after a five-day crawl through the desert.”
The Goose Island Sophie, a Belgian-style Ale stored in wine barrels carrying orange peel, is a must buy. And you better buy quick: the Chicago brewer has a production limit for this one, ruling out (sadly) the possibilities of bathin’ in it. As for its pour, think Triple Karmeliet - the see-right-through-ya pale yellow. But you’re not getting a Trippel out of Sophie - it immediately has IPA written all over it, of the most floral variety, which turns quickly turns to Papaya juice and “the familiar aroma of a Hawaiian breeze” (Caitlin = Ireland via Honolulu). If that weren’t enough already… biscuits! A papaya KFC biscuit sandwich! Whaaaa…. Incredible. But it’s not exhausted until you reach its final stage, the sourness of white grapes. What a trip.
La Merle faintly smells like cigarette smoke. Or that banana/clove-y aftermath of yeast attacking Belgian malts. In any case, it’s hoppy, bold, and pours the most beautiful, fluffy-headed amber known to the States. I had it on tap last night at the Map Room… the draft gave it a nectary intensity like apricots which is more subdued from the bottle. More bready this time around, especially in the finish.
By night’s end, I’m teen wolf.
3 years ago
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