Random Openings 004
Firestone Walker – Barrelworks
2015 La Piccola Virtuosa Dark Wild Saison
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
2013 Sucaba Barley Wine
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
2013 Pilot Series Barley Wine Ale
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.
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
2014 Eclipse Imperial Stout, w/olive green wax; 30-year old Rum Barrel Aged
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!