Sunday, March 6, 2011

2011 Lucky Lab Barleywine & Big Beer fest

Yesterday I went to Lucky Lab for their annual Barleywine and Big Beer Festival. My friends and I walked out to the fest in the morning to beat the crowds and be there by the time the doors opened. I spent a long time at the fest last year, but list year there were fewer beers available (at least during the time we were around) that I really wanted to try, so I kept my list small and focused, and we were in and out before there were any lines. The beers I sampled this year were:

Of the beers I tried last year, I remember son of old yeller and 2006 old foghorn being among the best of the batch for my tastes, so I was glad to revisit vintages of each. The 2007 old foghorn was significantly different then my recollection of the 2006 last year. Last year I said the 2006:

"was a model for how well some beers age. All the flavors of the beer were perfectly melded and softened, and it definitely drank better than a beer that clocks in with that ABV should."

This year my experience with an equally old version of the old foghorn was quite a bit different. While it was enjoyable, I felt like it was more sharp and tart than mellow and melded. It was one of the beers that I tried at this years fest that immediately drew a strong contrast from to my other samplings.

The son of old yeller was great again. The vintage Old Stock and Old Crustacean were as good as expected as well. A big surprise for me was the Emelisse Barleywine. I'd never tried this beer before, but the temptation to try the only 2-ticket beer of the fest proved too much for me to overcome, and I guess I'm pretty glad it was. It certainly had the flavors I associate with common belgian yeasts, but it was unmistakeably a barleywine. I think a lot of the time when you get the barley wine strength using belgian yeast, you end up with something strong triple or quad-like, but this was pretty unique from those styles for sure. Besides the surprise the 2007 Old Foghorn provided, the only other miss for me was the Ninkasi. It wasn't bad; it just wanted suited for my tastes. I should have expected what I got though, as it was decidedly "Ninkasi".

After we went through our samplings, we walked over to Henry's for their Happy Hour lunch. I got a cheap burger and some Gorgonzola fries, along with a Goose Island Matilda on tap.

From Henry's, it was on to the Rialto to shoot some pool. I had a Widmer KGB followed by a Widmer Drop Top, and reigned victorious over the table.

Another good day in Portland!

EDIT: It should be noted that while I love how dog friendly the lucky lab is, and I'd love to take mine there; Daisy spent the day asleep in her custom made bed, due to the fact that she hopelessly tries to eviscerate any canine she senses in her presence.

1 comment:

  1. I hear what you're saying on the 2009 Critical Hit, but the 2010 was sterling, in my opinion.

    My table unanimously panned the 2009 Son of Old Yeller. But the 2007 Old Yeller was a knockout.

    Yeah, something funky was going on with the 2007 Old Foghorn. Part of me wonders if half the keg was emptied last year, and there got to be enough air in the keg to allow for a little spoilage in the rest.