The stars aligned to give me many beer-y things today.
I spent the morning in the brewery alternating between bottling and keg-cleaning until some of the boys were done with the mash. The project today was to make some of Alan Brown’s strong Scotch ale, Highland Gale Highland Ale, that won him this year’s Iron Brewer award.
Once the first mash was done, it was distributed to the kettles in the pilot system, and a second mash started. We had the chance to take home some of the copious quantities of extra wort, but alas, my extra carboy was in the dead car. I did see that there were several experiments going later in the day with ingredients from subtle to crazy.
After missing the last one, I was really looking forward to this winter warmer/Christmas ale edition. The catering staff at Benchmark set us up with a great turkey dinner to accompany it.
Nate, one of the professors, cracked open a bottle of Unibroue’s La Resolution for us early birds and helpers. I have to say that this was one of my top 3 of the night, filled with some well-balanced spice and caramel notes. It tasted like what my grandmother’s gingerbread would have tasted like if my grandmother had made gingerbread. The home brew followed, and Meag’s Tis The Saison Advent Brew really stood out for me, with some great flavours from the saison yeast, raspberries, cocoa nibs and vanilla. It tasted like a light raspberry truffle.
And then the main event:
All so very delicious. Especially the Adoration by Ommegang; complex with lots of dark fruit, caramels and orange, but not heavy or cloying. Might have to make a trip to Buffalo just to get more.
Beer Advent Calendar
When I asked my beloved to pack the beer, I asked him to keep the big bottles for weekends if at all possible. I should have asked him to look at the ABV as well. Day 2’s beer is a monster at 17%. I debated even opening the Mikkeller Black, but my housemate came home just at the right time and shared it with me. Or that was the plan.
The beer is so dark, it’s like a long dark teatime of the soul. There’s lots of molasses and smoke on the nose, and the taste is overwhelming like toffee with cigarette ashes. We wanted to take a second sip, but were frankly afraid. My housemate called it the Buckley’s of beer. I am tempted though to buy another bottle and cellar it for a few years to see how it mellows out. There’s still some at the LCBO, and I’ve spent more on crazier things.