Friday, February 01, 2008

The Session #12 Barleywines

This session being sponsored/hosted/thunk up by The Brewsite.

Well, it's been a while since we participated in the Session. Updates on the blog as a whole are a little down too. Sometimes those kinds of things happen because nothing is going on out of the ordinary and there isn't much to talk about. Other times, like the last few weeks, it's because there is a ton of stuff going on and there isn't time to sit in front of the computer and knock it all out. (The few brewers who happen to read this I'm sure are feeling little sympathy. ("The 643 bbl brewpub with two brewers....boohoo right?)) Prep for the bottling project is taking up a lot of our time right now, which is the reason that I'm here full time now and not commuting all over the greater Chicago-land area to clean things. We are trying to work in a trip to St. Louis to Schlafly to see how their bottler works, because we just happen to be getting the same one. In order for the two brewhouse members to take off across state for a day and a half to two days, you need to get your ducks in a row in-house before you walk away.

So what does any of this have to do with Barleywines? Glad you asked, because just this past Tuesday, we were invited over to Three Floyds to participate in their Barleywine and Strong Ale tasting. We brought our Englishy style Sheol to pour and hung out while Barnaby walked the crowd through the list.

It was a particularly nasty night whether wise, with cold winds and sideways snow. A perfect night really for trying a bunch of strong warming beers. There were some very good ones on the list. To the best of my recollection there was Anchor's Old Foghorn, Sierra Nevada's Bigfoot, FFF's Behemoth from last year,FFF's Behemoth from this year, FFF's barrel aged Behemoth with cherries, The FFF/Mikkeller Hvedegoop wheatwine, Mikkeller's Big Worse, Our Sheol, and Bell's Third Coast Old Ale.

And if those beers weren't enough for you the kitchen had plates of outstanding cheeses, grilled bread, radishes and green onions, and locally made sausages that were made with Robert the Bruce. The cheese that really knocked my socks off was the Maytag blue from Maytag Dairy Farms. I had a hard time not eating it by the handfulls. It was salty, incredibly creamy, and paired perfectly with the barleywines we were drinking. Really killer cheese.

I also thought that I would point out that with us brewing Sheol we have filled two Woodford Reserve bourbon barrels to make Wooden Hell again. Wooden Hell is the #16 best barleywine in the world according to Take that for what it's worth.

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