- The highly innovative and evolving craft beer industry has created issues with traditional nomenclature and taxonomy of which…
- The Brewers Association and Beer Judge Certification Program are unable or unwilling to keep pace, but…
- Whatever we deign label it, what we have on our hands is a dark and sour offering quite unlike the excellent stout and IPA varieties we’ve previously had the pleasure to experience from Cigar City.
NOTES: Slouch’s Cave and the Hordeum Ranch (Via Skype)
STYLE: Dark Farmhouse Ale
Slouch: Very dark and murky amber; extremely high turbidity
Hordeum: Pours a dark reddish brown, quite turbid.
Slouch: It’s basically a lava lamp- lots of chunky sediment floating about.
Hordeum: The sediment is strange and black; Some floating, some bottom-feeding in the snifter.
Slouch: Crazy beige head. Very carbonated. Oh shit! Sea Bass has breached the glassware!
Hordeum: Party foul! I would hate to shake this thing and see what happens. I poured as slowly as I possibly could, and got three fingers of head. Then again, I poured it into a Cigar City snifter, so maybe that is the key.
Slouch: I was clearly too aggressive with the pour, but I’m taken aback at the carbonization… I’ve got 3 fingers of beer and about 7 fingers of head. Any more of the fluffy stuff and I’d have to start using toes.
Hordeum: Once the head finally dissapates, it really leaves nothing.
Slouch: Agreed- despite the massive initial foam we’re missing the “Belgian Lace” one might expect to find in a Saison/ Farmhouse. Just slight flecking here and there.
Slouch: Hey-oh! This is potent stuff- I’m thinking you could waft this under the nostrils of a concussed footballer to decent effect. Notes of Balsamic vinaigrette, maple syrup and brown sugar.
Hordeum: I was going to say vinegar as well, but adding balsamic sounds fancy. I can’t put my finger on the other smells, but I kind of want to marinate some meat in it. This should have gone into a cooking conundrum.
Hordeum: I think it’s going to be weird.
Slouch: I think you’re right… wow, extremely sour, lactic. Distinctly vinegar flavor as implied by the nose.
Hordeum: Mom told me she bought it because she liked the fish on the bottle.
Slouch: A classic misstep first noted in The Art of War: “He who chooses his beer by moniker and label risks his money, his palate, and his pride.” (Also known in some circles as “The Skullsplitter Zugzwang”).
Hordeum: Careful, if we come down too hard on her she won’t send anymore.
Slouch: Dried cherries, Dr. Pepper? Currants. Watermelon Jolly Ranchers. I’m clearly reaching here.
Hordeum: Ok, just started eating dinner (T-bone cooked rare by the fabulous Lady Jay, and some side dishes I’m ignoring because I’m a bad person), and I’m really coming around on this beer. I get more of the cherry, and less of the acid with the food. It cuts through the grease like a knife.
Slouch: Belgian yeast starting to come through as the beer warms. Maybe I served it too cold.
Hordeum: This post has gone waaaaaaay to long without mentioning a horse blanket.
Slouch: Reminding me of an uber-tart lambic. This beer is sour, folks. Wishing I had a steak… or at the very least a Bloomin’ Onion.
Hordeum: A ton of carbonation. Medium body. A lot of warming booze in the aftertaste.
Slouch: Too much booze coming through on this one, especially at 8% ABV. A little tingle of hops on the finish, but to say this beer is balanced would be factually incorrect. I can’t even pick out the toasted malts. If I was blindfolded no way I’d be able to guess the color of this beer.
Slouch: Very low.
Slouch: Even as a Cigar City fanboy, having a hard time talking myself into this beer. Help me out.
Hordeum: I’ve never had anything like it; food (steaks) helps a ton. Barbecue conundra… plus the sour and tart side dishes that go with BBQ.
Slouch: This thing would make the base of a really solid marinade. Just make sure you drink the bloody beer after taking out the steaks.
Hordeum: This is the first beer that Aleheads will give two ratings in one tasting. Alone, we award 2.5 Hops. This beer is difficult and unapproachable, and not for the faint of heart. If you gave it to a teenager, they would never want to drink again (keep this in mind, parents). Kind of like how mom and dad gave us 7up when we were little, and it completely turned us off of pop, which we deemed “gross.” That said, this beer is now without its merits.With steak, I award three hops. The acid bite and tart cherries compliment a delicious cut of grilled meat. However, I shudder at the thought of polishing off the rest of the bottle.
Slouch: Well send a shudder my way, Hordeum. I’ve no steak or Aleheads to help me finish this badboy, but I’m damned if any Cigar City brew goes to waste on my watch. Say your prayers, Sea Bass.