Sunday, January 25, 2009

Chunks O'McCoy

Stella and I went out for a night on the town last night. We saw "Revolutionary Road" at the Rio in downtown Overland Park which was a laugh riot. Then we meandered over to McCoy's for dessert and beer.

Amazingly, we were seated at the accordion table again. I would guess that of the 30 or so times we've been to McCoy's together, we've sat at the accordion table 25 of those times. It was to the point last night we tried to pick out the other places in the restaurant we had sat at and could only locate 2 other places. We didn't count the times that we've been to McCoy's with other people because we obviously couldn't sit at the accordion table on those occasions. I think it may be where they sit the undesirables.

On to the beer. I asked our stoned out of his mind waiter (he was very nice, just stoned) what the seasonals were. He named off 2 that sounded good. A cask conditioned brown (I always go with the cask) and an oak aged porter (the most underrated beer style, the porter). I started with the cask conditioned brown. Stella got a raspberry wheat and a creme brulee cheesecake.

The brown arrived and was pretty good. It was colder than I expected, usually cask beers are cellar temp, this one seemed cooler temp. I wasn't that impressed with it. The brown ale at McCoy's is one of their better beers and I always enjoy them, but this one was decidedly worse than the regular brown ale. I kind of hurried through drinking it because I wanted to get to the oak aged porter. As it turned out I hurried too much because I drank the last little bit which contained a huge amount of sediment. It wasn't a yeasty, grainy sediment either, it was more like little pinky toe toenail clipping sediment. I spit it back in my glass and tried to avoid the temptation to vomit. I told our stoned waiter about it and he said it's just a hazard of an unfiltered beer. Maybe I'm a novice, but I know one thing, I don't ever want chunks of inedibles in my beer. This beer was a fail.

I got the oaked porter and didn't like it much at all. Usually beers that are aged in oak are aged in old bourbon or wine barrels which has softened some of the oak flavors and given the oak a unique flavor. This porter tasted as though they had bought some oak 2x4's from Home Depot and steeped them in the conditioning tanks with the beer. What I'm trying to say is that the porter tasted very similar to licking an oak tree. Although, now that I write that, licking an oak tree seems appealing to me because it was still a drinkable beer. The oak was just overbearing.

All in all, Stella got the best end of the McCoy's deal by getting the creme brulee cheescake which was very good and the raspberry wheat. As for me, I think I may not give McCoy's the benefit of the doubt anymore and asked for a sampler of their seasonals before I get a whole pint.


  1. I got the cask brown on Tuesday and thought it was horrible. It smelled of tequila to me, and didn't taste a whole lot better. Our conclusion was that it's been sitting there WAY too long. John recalled that one sign of oxidation is a sherry-like quality. I almost told the bartender that we thought it was oxidized, but for whatever reason did not. After reading your post, I don't think it would have mattered anyway. That is NOT a risk of an unfiltered beer. It's a risk of poor beer handling and storage. We tend to stick to the Foundry side of the business & do enjoy the selection of commercial brews there.

  2. I had the cask brown ale last summer and thought it was quit good. Maybe the firkin had not been cared for well. As a whole I find McCoy's beer to be be very average if not below average. The food, oddly, is phenomenal!

  3. I had the cask brown ale about a month ago and it was fantastic, so I think it has gone bad since then maybe? Something is definitely funky with it because it was great when I had it and I'm not usually head over heels when it comes to brown ales. Mine was served at the right temp, too.

    I had the imperial stout, too, I think, and that was also pretty good. Sounds like you guys went on the wrong nights or something! lol

    I've had consistently good experiences with McCoy's beer. In the fall we stopped in during Westport Days or whatever on a nice, sunny (but windy) afternoon for a snack. I had a pilsener or lager of some sort and it was nicely done, too. Maybe their lines have an infection right now or something.

  4. The problem with casks is that the beer begins to oxidize once the cask is opened and almost everyone agrees that it is bad by 72 hours. I'm not sure what McCoy's practices are but that brown at Foundry a week ago was extremely oxidized. I've noticed that 75th street seems to never have their open cask available about 24 hours after they open it. Whether or not they just happen to always serve it that fast or they are actively taking it off line at a certain point, I have never had a cask beer at 75th street that was stale.