Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Gents Holiday Party

Lava lamp
McCoy's Ursa Major 2008 and 2010, Ommegang Three Philosophers, Deschutes Inversion IPA, Weston Drop Kick Ale, Alaskan Amber, Port Santa's Helper, Schlafly Raspberry Coffee Stout, Delirium Noel, Goose Island Sophie, Boulevard Dubbel (test brew), Summit Pumpkin Porter, Sierra Nevada Porter, Left Hand Porter, Pliny the Elder, Cigar City Guava Grove, Stone Vertical Epic 2010, Voodoo Love Child, Bruery 3 French Hens, Pretty Things Once Upon a Time KK, Fantome Choklat, Boulevard Saison-Brett 2008, Dogfish Head Sah'tea, Duchesse de Bourgnonne, New Belgium La Folie 2008, Cigar City Sea Bass, Sam Adams Infinium, Victory Dark Intrigue.

What do these beers have in common? They were all poured at the Gents holiday party. All the regular Gents were there including Original Gent, Weston, all the way from his new outpost of China. We also welcomed Mrs. JJSKCK, Chambord and Mrs. Yeti to the mix. We were also joined by my friend Lee from I Love Beer and his wife Margaret. They were up from Austin for Christmas and were able to peel away from the family for an evening. We partied it up in The Foundry's upstairs party room which is like a cool retro beer lover's basement. It was the perfect room for our get together which was just going to be a beer drinking fiesta. Everyone was to bring whatever they wanted and we got quite the variety of beers.

Beef  O' Brady Bowl and Fireplace
Tobias, a brewer at McCoy's joined us for a beer at the beginning when we are all still drinking our Ursa Major verticals, a 2008 and 2010 pour of Ursa Major. The 2008 was nice and smooth, but the 2010 could use a little aging to mellow out, it was just a little too in your face for me. Tobias shared a McCoy's Toddy Stout with us that was just wonderful, the secret is cold pressing the coffee. It reminded me of the Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout (now available in Kansas for a limited time) with its non bitter coffee flavor.

Then the party started with a little Beef O'Brady Bowl on the tv in the background we popped open all the beers above. I'm not going to make this a 35,000 word post by writing my impression of each beer for a couple of reasons. First, I don't remember more than one or two things about each one. Two, I'd like to publish this thing only a week late rather than February. Three, Not many people would care. But, I can share a couple of highlights and lowlights.

Ursa Major 2008 and 2010
The first beer we popped open was the Victory Dark Intrigue which is a bourbon barrel aged beer. It was a nice example of bourbon barrel aging should do to a beer as it was a complementary flavor rather than the dominant flavor. Another of the early beers was quite intriguing because I knew absolutely nothing of its existence, Pretty Little Things Once Upon a Time, KK. It's brewed by Buzzard's Bay Brewing that is doing a Dogfish Head like project of recreating old recipes. This recipe was from 1901 and was interesting, but had a real bitter finish. I'm glad I got to try it, but I don't think I will again. Hell, I'll probably never run across it again. But, I hope to run across other offerings from this series of beers. Cigar City Sea Bass was a real sour beer that tasted an awful lot like grape Big League Chew, not exactly the flavor I'm looking for. The Cigar City Guava Grove had a lot of fans in the room, but I was not one of them, it was just too sour for me.
The view from above The Foundry

At some point in the evening the Nightlife KC cameraman came up to the party room and got some action shots of some of us. I'd like to think I did everything I could to show up on Party People KC, it's my New Year's wish.

The Bruery's 3 French Hens, a Belgian Dark Ale, was very good. The Bruery would be a nice addition to KC. Duchesse de Bourgnonne was a nice sour beer and one of the few I got seconds on. I really loved Voodoo Love Child, it had a great raspberry flavor. I may have been a bit selfish with it as I carried the bottle around and had at least 2 glasses of it. Fantome Choklat was the disappointment of the evening, I thought it smelled like a St. Pauli Girl initially, but when Yeti said it smelled like Worlds of Fun, I had to concur. It didn't taste much better than either of those 2 smells. I really liked the Dogfish Head Sah'tea which Paul A. Ner has described as a gingerry Tank 7. Again, I have to concur. It was really good to me, several people felt the opposite. I think your judgment of Sah'tea would have to depend on your stance on ginger (the root, not the people, I think we can all agree that gingers are the devil's people). Pliny the Elder was indeed sublime.
Gents glassware

Overall, it was a great night. I had no idea that when I invited Chimpotle, Yeti and Weston over to try a sample bottle of Boulevard Rye on Rye along with a blind porter tasting that it would eventually turn into something like the Gents we did last week. Most of it wouldn't have happened without Chimpotle scheduling things, Yeti doing blind pours, McCoy getting us rooms at McCoy's, Paul A. Ner giving us someone to ridicule, Fancy Pants bringing great beers, J for documenting all the beers from that night, a couple of drivers etc. Gents night is about the best night of every month and next month's might be the best one yet. Stay tuned.

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