Monday, December 14, 2009

Jug Shop "Prestige" Holiday Beer Tasting

Being a female and liking beer can definitely be intimidating- no matter what your beer knowledge. So the idea of going to a "prestige'" tasting without my husband and solo wasn't quite the top event on my list, but once I read what we were tasting, I decided to brave the crappy rainy weather and the  'going out to eat in a restaurant solo' factor.

I was not disappointed.

It was at the Jug Shop and it was the 2nd in their 3rd round of Holiday Beer Tastings this month. We tried 12 beers for $40 and some expensive ones at that:
1- Scaldis Prestige de Nuits- $50 for 750ml- caramel, port flavors
2- Scaldis Noel Premium 2009- 13%, $18.99 for 750ml- raisin, pine nuts, currants, sweet malt
3- Scaldis Noel Premium 2008-13%, $18.99 for 750ml -way more pungent than the 2009, maltier and way better in my opinion
4- Fantome Hiver- 8%, $15.99/750ml- lightest of the night, a little spicy, not my favorite
5-Fantome Noel 2008- 10%, $17.99 for 750ml -hoppy yet light, leathery finnish
6- Struisse Tsjeeses, 10%, $8.49 for 330ml- banana clove, hoppy, a bit bitter and dry
7-Mikkeller To:/From:, 8%, $13.99 for  a750ml- heavy, malty, it tasted way off balanced, my least favorite of the night!
8-Mikkeller Santa's Little Helper 2009, 11% $13.99 for a 750ml- hoppy nose, citrus, pine with malt undertones
9- Norrebro Julebryg, 7%, $11.99 for a 660ml- malty nose, spiciest body of the evening, cinnamon too predominant for my taste
10- Howling Wolf Weizenbock, 8% $14.99 for 1 L- apple cider, currants, sweet malty toffee, yum!
11-Glazen Toren Winter Canaster, 9.5%, $15.99/750ml -winter scotch ale, rich malt with vanilla and cinammon
12- Samichlaus Bier- 14%, $119.99 for 3 L, dark dried fruit, sweet malt.

My personal top 3 were:

The Scaldis Prestige de Nuits by Brasserie Dubuisson.
The Scaldis Prestigede Nuits is Scaldis Noel beer aged for 6 months in burgundy barrels from the St. George Vineyard.  It was a pretty fantastic beer, although I didn't think it was worth $50 a bottle, or $45, with the 10% off any beer that was offered to us at the tasting.  I would buy it if it was in the mid twenties price range though, as there are in my opinion really great beers for around that price on the market.  It tasted a bit wild, a hint of sourness (mmm Brett!) with port flavors that lingered on the tongue with a great balance of caramel- not too overwhelmingly sweet.

Howling Wolf Weizenbock
This beer is a bavarian weizen beer, in which they use authentic Bavarian top-fermenting ale yeast. It is modeled after a centuries-old Bavarian style and, like all of their 2009 Cellar Reserve Beers, brewed in strict compliance with the German Beer Purity Law, or Reinheitsgebot.
This beer smelled like spicy bananas and toffee malt.  It tasted like apple cider, currants, sweet caramel and malt. It was a bit on the sweeter side of things for the evening but a sweet caramel weizen beer?
I had never had anything like this style before and I truly enjoyed it!

Samichlaus Bier
This beer is brewed once a year on December 6th for St. Nicholas Day and at a whopping 14%, it is said that it is the strongest lager beer in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records. This beer smells like caramelized malts, honey, eggnog, dates, and a high alcohol nose. It tastes sweet more toffee than honey, with a hint of hops, raisins, plums and a hint of molasses. It definitely goes down dangerously smooth for 14%! Now, I have had this beer before, I even served it at my own Holiday Tastings because I like it so much. But to have it served out of a 3L? That's pretty amazing. Not to mention how much smoother it smelled and tasted.

I also had a great time. I met some great folks- Brian Yaeger of,  Rich Higgins, the brewer in the works at the soon to open spot that used to be Eldo's in the Sunset, along with some other great beer drinking geeks like myself. All in all, not a bad night!

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