Random Openings 004


Random Openings 004

Firestone Walker – Barrelworks
2015 La Piccola Virtuosa Dark Wild Saison
Bottled 3/5/15
6.2 ABV

Color – Deep ruby with brown highlights.
Aroma – Fruity sweet with some cherry, orange, oak, and funk.
Flavor – Tart with some stonefruit & cherry, lots of oak and as it warmed a bit of orange started to come in.

More Random Thoughts – Had this beer upon completion of my final homebrew for 2016. First off, the head dissipated really quite fast, but there was still a good amount of carbonation. I started drinking it right out of the fridge, which I liked the best.  Very refreshing at that temp. I also let the last few ounces come to room temperature. When warmed a bit, the fruit character was gone, the flavors were a bit muddled and it was not as enjoyable for me. The bottle description states cinnamon, clove, tangerine, and vanilla on the aroma. I got none of those, but the bottle is almost two years old.

All in all, this beer was very good. I think I should have drunk it a little sooner to enjoy more of the aromas, but no complaints.

Side Note – This beer was a collaboration with Agostino Arioli, owner/brewer of Birrificio Italiano and was released at the Firestone Walker Invitational in 2015.



Random Openings 003


Random Openings 003

Firestone Walker
2013 Sucaba Barley Wine
12.5 ABV

Color – Ruby/Brown
Aroma – Big chocolate with bourbon sweetness
Flavor – Bourbon infused chocolate. Vanilla and caramel.

More random thoughts – Yes, I’m a Firestone Walker fanboy, but for good reason. This beer was phenomenal. One of the best examples of a beer that ages perfectly, with flavors staying in proportion.  I didn’t check the drinking temperature, but I shared it with two other people over about 30-minutes. When cooler the chocolate was huge. The bourbon and vanilla came in as the beer warmed.

Random Openings 002


Random Openings 002

Alaskan Brewing
2013 Pilot Series Barley Wine Ale
10.7% ABV
Bottled 11/4/13

Color – Ruby red with a hint of brown 
Aroma – Sweet, malty and a bit raisiny. Very traditional barley wine aroma.
Flavor – Toffee, brown sugar with a significant level of hop bitterness. Still has some alcohol heat to it.

More random thoughts – Smooths out a bit with the rise in temperature. Has a lingering bitterness on the backend that stays with you a little too long after you drink. Not as much body as I would expect in the style of beer. Definitely a beer to share, I don’t think I can finish this in one sitting. Preferred drinking temperature 50-55 degrees.

Random Openings 001

I may spend more time arranging and rearranging my refrigerators (yes, I have more than one) than I do drinking…ok, probably not.  But, I’m always in search of just a little more space to store the next beer.

Problem #1 Most of the beers that I’ve actually “cellared” are either 22s or 750s

Problem #2 Most of the above mentioned beers are in the double digits when it comes to ABV.

Granted, these are not devastating problems, but I really do need to start diving into my collection, and maybe slow down on my future purchases (a bit).

My solution is pretty easy. Open the fridge, grab a beer and drink. That sounds easy, but there are some sentimental feelings towards a few beers, and others demand sharing…Black Tuesday. So with the exception of a few hold outs, I’m going to randomly pick a beer each week and drink. Maybe just a taster or maybe the whole damn thing…Random Openings!


Random Openings 001

50/50 Brewing
2014 Eclipse Imperial Stout, w/olive green wax; 30-year old Rum Barrel Aged
11.9% ABV
Color – Deep brown/black with a mocha head
Aroma – Brown sugar, vanilla and toffee.  A mild amount of alcohol heat.
Flavor – Rich chocolate taste, with a mild and smooth rum flavor. It has a good amount of roast qualities and a surprising amount of hop bitterness. Very (too) easy drinking for such a high ABV.

More random thoughts – Once in the glass the alcohol heat dissipates quickly. The warmer the beer got the smoother and more drinkable it got.  Preferred drinking temperature 55-60 degrees. Dessert in a glass!