Weekend Holiday Beer Haul!

It’s been quite the week for your favorite Beer Intern! I’m typing this up a little later than expected (it’s still technically Thursday, right?) because I’m still recovering from the incredible weekend I had. Last Saturday, I joined my family in celebrating the wedding of my cousin Ally and her now-husband Jason at the gorgeous Mont Tremblant in Quebec.

We spent the weekend drinking, dancing and eating too much – basically, all the things you’re supposed to do at a wedding.

Such a beautiful wedding!
Such a beautiful wedding!

But before we kicked off the wedding weekend, Beer Nerd Boyfriend and I had a day to dive into our stash of tasty treats. Some of these beers were leftovers from our Michigan trip, and some I had just picked up at Prospect Heights Beer Works, my go-to bottle shopping spot. Without further ado, here are some short reviews of what turned out to be a very excellent beer night. 20151016_210124

2015 Le Terroir Dry Hopped Sour Ale, New Belgium

We started off with a sour we picked up as we left Kalamazoo. This dry hopped sour ale is a yearly release, and each batch is aged for three years in giant wooden barrels called foeders. The result is a beer that hits some citrus and grass notes on the nose, but undeniably stars some serious sour cherry. The taste is tart and funky, like a good sour should be. The cherry builds slowly, and the finish is sour, bitter and sweet all at once. Those citrus notes from the hops are there too. Yum!20151016_213237Chocolate Sombrero, Clown Shoes (brewed by the Mercury Brewing Company)

This one was a complete surprise. Neither of us had ever heard of Clown Shoes or Mercury Brewing from Ipswich, Massachusetts. We just bought it because – well, c’mon, look at that label! How could you not? Especially when the beer in question is a chocolate stout brewed to be reminiscent of Mexican hot chocolate. I think I’ll let Clown Shoes describe the beer, because I don’t think I can do any better than this:

Roasted dark malts plus extra chocolate malts plus ancho chile plus cinnamon plus vanilla extract plus a chocolate loving, beer drinking, Clown Shoes wearing, multi-limbed, gorgeous and glorious Mexican wrestler on the label. That’s the recipe for a Chocolate Sombrero!

All of that is right there, both in the aroma and the taste (including the wrestler). The mouthfeel is beautifully thick, and intensely chocolatey. The spice and vanilla build gently, and the cinnamon is both very present and very delicious. This is just such a fun beer!20151016_223233

Forgotten Tales of the Last Gypsy Blender: Series 1 Vol 1, Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

Once again we returned to our beloved sours for this saison brewed with tamarind and mango. This is a collaboration between Jolly Pumpkin, one of our favorite makers of sour beers and a stop on our Michigan tour, and Celina Tio, chef/owner of JULIAN and The Belfry in Kansas City. This brew is definitely mango-like in its orange hue, and gives off an aroma of tartness, peachy funk, citrus sweetness and a lot of orange. The taste is like a fresh, tart glass of orange juice; fairly sweet across but with bright citrus, a ton of mango and a pineapple funk near the end that builds to a grapefruit bitterness. In the words of Beer Nerd Boyfriend, “it’s citrus salad in a glass.”20151016_234359

Granny’s Apple Pie, Odd Side Ales

The last beer on our list was from Odd Side Ales, a brewery we didn’t have time to check out on our travels through Michigan. It’s an ale with cider, milk sugar and spices. The color is murky brown, exactly like fresh cider. It smells like a lot of apple, cinnamon and booze. To me, it tasted about the same. Strong on the apple, a little floral, lots of spices and vanilla, some crust-like stuff in the middle along with an astringent finish. Not my favorite beer of the night, but then again I’m not a huge apple pie fan. It did a fine job of replicating all the right flavors of a fall favorite pie. If you love apple pie, you’ll probably like this. 20151017_003012

There you have it, an evening’s worth of delicious beers! And now I’m off to nurse my still hurting legs – that DJ was serious business. Trust me, dancing was mandatory at this wedding.

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