Friday, February 12, 2010

SF Beer Week: Lagunitas Night at Toronado (RR leftovers too)

February 10, 2010

Lagunitas Night

Location: Toronado, 547 Haight, San Francisco, California
Time(s): 6PM+
Admission: no charge

Dave and I went to Toronado for Lagunitas night, which just so happened to be the night after their Russian River 'tion Night. We were very excited with the leftovers from the night before that we only tried 1 beer from Lagunitas. Especially because they had some verticals of Supplication and Temptation, so we just had to try those together.  We went at 10pm on Wednesday and managed to get a seat at the bar, which is always a plus. 

We tried in order: Supplication 07 & 09, Temptation 08 & 09, Beatification, Mortification, Interlude by Allagash and Maximus IPA on cask by Lagunitas.

Supplication by RR is a brown Ale aged in French oak Pinot Noir barrels with three strains of BrettanomycesLactobacillus, Pediococcus and sour cherries. 7% abv. The Supplication 07 is a two year old aged version. It poured beautiful teak color. It smelled of fresh sour cherries, oak and Brett. It tasted sour on the sides and back of my tongue with some oak dryness. There is cherry fruit upfront but it is sour but not super pucker sour. The Supplication 09 looked pretty much the same except a shade lighter. It's nose was not as pungent at all compared to the 07. The taste is more fresh bing cherries,  more oak and less sour pucker. I got some pucker on the roof of my mouth, but it has much more fruit compared to the 07. If you are new to sours, this one would be a good one to try. It's not as full bodied as the 07 but it tastes more fruity and oak. Dave liked the 09 better, however I appreciated the more sourness you got out of the 07.

Temptation by RR is a blonde Ale aged in French oak chardonnay barrels with Brettanomyces and it's 7.25% abv. The Temptation 08 poured a clear deep marigold with a creamy white head. The 08 is a shade darker than the 09. The 08 had an incredible nose- chardonnay grapes, oak, fresh green grape juice. It tasted of fresh grapes, lemon peel, oak, chardonnay with a hint of honey. A very pretty beer. The 09 did not have a strong aroma compared to the 08. I had to smell it hard just to get some oak notes out of it. It tasted of citrus, pink grapefruit, honey, and a sour dry finish. It was good, but I hands down enjoyed the 08 better. It was almost like a completely different beer. Get your hands on some if you can.

Beatification by RR is a wild ale that is  100% spontaneously fermented beer using the oldest barrels that no longer have any wine flavor or oak flavor left in them. 5.5% abv. It poured a cloudy sun yellow. It smelled of sour, oak and Brett. It tasted sour! Lemon, lemon, lemon sour, Brett and super dry. It is one tart beer! Reminiscent of Isabelle Proximus, a one note incredibly sour beer.

Mortification is a quadrupel and 11% abv. It poured a nice dark chocolate with some red highlights. It smelled of sour malt, toffee, cherry, dried plums and vanilla. It tasted like roasted malt, plums, cherries with a hint of sour funk. Pretty tasty.

Interlude by Allagash is a wild ale aged in French Merlot and Sirah oak barrels. 9.5% abv. It poured a deep sienna orange brown without any head. It smelled of cherry, dark fruits, malt, toffee and some red wine. It tasted like lemons, malt, caramel, touch of vanilla, oak and a sour ending with a dry finish. It is very wine like but it seems a bit off. There's some astringency going on with some phenol and solvent characters- not a good sign.

Last but not least, and the only Lagunitas beer we tried of the evening (only because the ones offered we could get anytime and the RR beers were a bit more interesting and rare, though we did ask for the Brown Sugga on cask but it was just kicked):

Maximus on cask by Lagunitas is an Imperial IPA and 7.5% abv. What is a cask ale? Cask ale is often referred to as 'real ale' is unfiltered, unpasteurized beer that still contains live yeast. It is always served from a hand pulled from a handpump and without an extraneous gas, like beer from a keg. It is served warmer than keg beer, between 54-56 degrees, which is cool but not chilled like keg beer. This lets the aromas and flavors become more prevalent. It poured a orange copper with no head. It smelled of grapefruit, grass and sweet juicy hops. It tasted like bitter grapefruit peel, hint of sweet malt, hops and very wet. It was not too bitter at all. 

All in all, Toronado seems to be wining it for us for great beer, less crowds and good deals for this year's SF Beer Week. Did I mention that every brewery they feature each night is happy hour prices? I don't recommend going to RR night because it's insanely crowded but leftovers are usually ridiculous as well and way more accessible. Looking forward to Saturday!

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