By Iron Chef Leftovers
Chuck’s Hop Shop in Greenwood recently hosted a bottle swap night. What is that you ask? Well, 24 people brought in at least 22 oz. of something rare/vintage/can’t get it in Seattle and shared it with a group of strangers. The group was split into 2 tables of 12 people each with the intention of that each table would get to taste 12 beers. Well, there was a lot of passing of bottles between tables and Chuck kept bringing out bottles from his personal stash, so, needless to say, I tasted way more than 12 beers that evening. It was an amazing opportunity to taste some stuff that I probably would not have gotten to try otherwise and there were some great conversations about the beers going on at our end of the table. It would have been nicer with a slightly smaller crowd, but based on some conversations I had with some new friends, I think we will try a CSE bottle share with fewer people at some point in the near future.
I took some brief notes on the beers, so here is an incomplete list of what I had:
Terrapin Moo-Hoo Chocolate Stout – Brought to the tasting by yours truly, so there will be a full review of this beer forthcoming.
Surly Abrasive Ale – A giant hop bomb, lots of citrus; exactly what I love in a hoppy beer.
Score : 4 out of 5 Brillo Pads
Dogfish Head Faithful – Disappointing; some currant flavor but it seemed flat. Had a weird lavender finish.
Score: 2 out of 5 Pearl Jams
Jester King RU55 – Not a fan favorite. Funky sour (but not in a good way) with hints of wood (like chewing on a 2×4, not aged in a barrel). I am wondering if the bottle was bad.
Score: 1 out of 5 Comedians
Breuery Melange– Loved this beer. Major oak with lots of vanilla and malt character. Reminded me of a fine sherry
Score: 5 out of 5 Mash-ups
Breuery Black Tuesday – More mellow oak than Melange (Melange is a component of this beer), but harsher. I think it needs to age to mellow out a bit before being fantastic.
Score: 3 out of 5 Mondays
Big Sky Ivan the Terrible – I had been looking forward to trying this one. Lots of malt, chocolate and coffee. Delicious.
Score: 4 out of 5 Czarist Swine
Troeges Nugget Nectar – lots of hops and citrus but it seemed overly fizzy, would love to retry it though.
Score: 3 out of 5 Hummingbirds
Goose Island Bourbon Country Cherry Rye Stout – very complex beer. Rye barrel and cherry dominate but there were lots of subtle character too. Would love to retry on a clean palate.
Score: 4 out of 5 Covered Bridges
Sam Adams Utopias Anniversary Edition – had Utopias once before, but this blend was even better. Not really a beer and more like a high end cognac or port.
Score: 5 out of 5 Sir Thomas More’s
Hill’s Farmstead – was looking forward to trying this one also, but it was like drinking an ashtray – smoky with no balance. Tasted like someone was burning down the Farmstead.
Score: 1 out of 5 Barns
Three Floyds Rye ‘da Tiger – gets a bonus point for the name, but was a delicious rye hop bomb. Would love to put it up against Laughing Dog, Reuben’s and Anacortes to see who would win in a blind tasting.
Score: 5 out of 5 Survivors
Cascade Bourbonic Plague – Lots of oak with a mild sour finish. Have to pick one of these up for the cellar.
Score: 4 out of 5 Bring Out Your Deads
Stone Double Bastard 2008 – the bottle was gone and tasted like wet cardboard. That is the danger of aging beer; you never know how it will turn out.
Score: 1 out of 5 Inglorious Basterds
Arcadia Big Dick’s Old Ale 2010 – Was too light for the end of the night, reminded me of an Imperial Pilsner.
Score: 3 out of 5 Too Easy, I Won’t Even Go There
I want to thank Chuck and his staff again for hosting such a wonderful evening and look forward to doing it again.