Holy hangover, Batman! Yesterday my wife and I went to Athens, Ohio to visit Jackie O's Brewpub for a special bottle release. I'm not going to get detailed about it, because I'm saving that for an upcoming CincyVoices post, but suffice it to say that it was a blast. Thanks to a lot of generous folks at the release, not only did I get to try some great offerings from Jackie O's, but some of the most rare, amazing beers I've ever had the pleasure of tasting. Some of those included:
Jackie O's Brandy Barrel Superfly: The house amber fortified with extra hops and malts and then aged in brandy barrels. Didn't like this one a ton. The brandy was a bit too dominating and it was a bit sweet. (This was one of the bottles released this morning.)
Jackie O's Oil of Aphrodite: A very delicious imperial stout brewed with black walnuts. Only got a hint of the walnuts, but it was delicious regardless, especially when it warmed up. A little bit thin, supposedly because the old recipe was changed to make it less syrupy.
The Funky Buddha Lounge No Crust: This was easily one of the most amazing smelling beers I've ever experienced. It is a brown ale that is supposed to be like a peanut butter an jelly sandwich. I have no idea how they did it, but they nailed smell and, to a lesser degree, the taste of it. Definitely an experience, for sure.
Stone 2008 Imperial Russian Stout aged in bourbon barrels: This was from a growler since it has never been bottled before. It's on pretty much all top 100 beer lists and definitely deserves to be. Regular Stone IRS is probably one of my favorite beers to begin with and the barrel aging takes it to the next level. A substantial flavor without being overwhelming, the bourbon is integrated perfectly.
Russian River Perdition: A super, duper rare Bière de Garde. I have no idea why people pine for it other than the rarity, though. It's solid, but a little boring. Not close to the same level of some of the stuff I tasted last night.
Great Divide Belgian Style Yeti: Wasn't too memorable, but I had to drink it down quick to try something else that was opened. Would like to revisit.
Kern River Citra DIPA: This was one of the standouts of the night. An awesomely balanced DIPA that is still super hoppy, with a ton of pungency from the citra hops. This one was from a growler.
Half Acre Galactic Double Daisy Cutter: Sampled with the Kern River DIPA mentioned above. Didn't stack up to it in pretty much any way whatsoever, but I have a bottle of it that I would like to revisit. This was from a growler.
Bootlegger's Brewery Kuckle Sandwich DIPA: Not too memorable, but remember that it was better than the Galactic Double Daisy Cutter, but not quite as good as the Kern River.
Sun King Brewery Johan the Barleywine: This was one of my modest contributions to the epic tasting. It was a solid barleywine, but the smell was better than the taste. I could have used a little more of the caramel and breadiness of the smell to be in the flavor.
Sun King Brewery Timmie: Another beer that I brought. This was a pretty darn tasty imperial stout. It was pretty sweet, which is how I like my stouts so it definitely was appreciated. It wasn't at the level of some of these other beers opened, but it was cool to try a delicious brew that was never canned and sold publicly.
Trinity Brewing Company Old Growth: Literally the sourest beer I have ever tasted. It was so sour (not tart, but sour) that I didn't really enjoy it at all. The taster was definitely enough for me. Nothing but funky, overwhelming sour vinegar. Pretty nasty.
After this, it gets a bit hazy. It was late, I was inebriated thoroughly, and my record keeping on Untappd fell apart. I believe what is left was Territorial Reserve Oak Aged Imperial Stout, Westvleteren 12, Westvleteren 8, and Westvleteren Blonde. This morning I tried a couple of sips during the bottle release, but I was not feeling any more beer drinking.
I can not believe the generosity and kindness of everyone there who brought some amazing beers that I never had the chance to try before and probably never will again. The fact that someone sought me out to open Westvleteren 12 & 8 (two of the best beers in the world) just because I had never tried them before and he knew I wanted to is an amazing example of great beer advocacy. I probably overdid it a bit last night, but I wouldn't take it back at all. I can always get more sleep tonight, but I'd never got to have the fun I did if I didn't attend.
Keep an eye out for a more detailed post on the event itself on CincyVoices!