Saturday, March 29, 2008

Head to Head Dogfish Burton Baton -vs- Oskar Blues Gordon

Just for fun, I decided this afternoon, to taste a couple of double IPA's against each other. For comparisons sake let's say....

Dogfish Head Burton Baton, this oak-aged double IPA from the occasionally wacky, often experimental Delaware Brewer DogfishHead, is very aromatic with spicy/piney hops, woody overtones, and sweet vanilla malt. The beer is amber colored verging on brown with a complex flavor profile consisting of caramel, peach, spicy oak, vanilla, and floral hops following through to a balanced, mildly bitter finish. For more info on the Burton Baton, see this article at the Beeradvocate.

Oskar Blues Gordon , serious big beer in a can from Lyons, Colorado Brewer Oskar Blues. More honeyish on the nose than the Dogfish, with a good smack of citrusy hops, and colored like burnished brass. Honey shows up again in the taste, with flavors of sweet malt and tropical fruit and pine/citrus hops. Oskar Blues has been hand canning their beer since 2002, and here's hoping that more brewers follow suit.

This is supposed to be the part where I rate the beers and say which one is better. I'll give that part a pass, but what I will say is that these are two very tasty beers that fans of full-flavored beer should seek out.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Weingut Baumann Oppenheimer Sackträger Riesling Auslese 1975

Older vintages, say pre-1995 are a rarity for me. Having been around wine for only the last 10 years, and serious about it the last six, the wines I know are typically younger wines. I do have a modest cellar, and there is a mish-mash of Bordeaux, Nebbiolo, Burgundies, and others hiding in it, that I look forward to enjoying as they age. I may never have the guts to let any of them go for too long, certainly not 33 years, as was the Riesling I enjoyed last friday. This wine had just recently been shipped to the U.S. from the cellers in Oppenheim where it has been slumbering for the past 30 years or so. Liquid amber in the glass, the nose was primarily of honey, though notes of lanolin and petrol were also present. The taste was of ripe fruits, peach and apricot, with spice, honey and a crystaline acidity that kept everything pure and surprisingly youthful. The flavors lingered for quite some time. Rather astonishing bit of drinking for a 33 year old white wine.

Kay Brothers Amery Block Six Shiraz 2004

I ended up with a touch less than half a bottle of this monster shiraz leftover from a tasting I was at this weekend. This wine comes from McLaren Vale vineyards planted in 1892, and is aged for 28 mos. in New American and Eastern European oak. You'd think that amount of time in new oak would overwhelm any wine, but the wine displayed surprising grace and elegance for all its richness. Smoky, spicy, and chock full of black fruit, with a sharp line of minerality running right down the middle. Rather tasty on its own, it made a great post dinner nightcap. Though I can imagine it going well with a tasty lamb shank, BBQ Beef Brisket, game sausages etc....