As promised, here are the notes from the beer tasting I did over the weekend.
Friday night was the beers that Jim bought for National Beer Day, which we tasted along with my Session Lager Beer Bread. Jim had his buddy Eric in town this weekend, and my friend Melissa was over, so we all shared the La Trappe beers. Then on Saturday night we broke out a couple of Deschutes beers we had cellared. Because I'm breastfeeding, I only tried a couple ounces of each (sad face!), but it was awesome to try beers that have been aging for 3+ years, even if I couldn't fully indulge! *smile*
La Trappe Quadrupel Ale & La Trappe Oak Aged Quadrupel Ale
At 10% ABV, both of these are pretty heavy beers. The regular Quad had a sweet malt scent and was full of bubblegum, banana and sweet malt flavor. I know "bubblegum and banana" sounds weird for beer, but trust me, the fruity and sweet flavor characteristics make for an awesomely complex beer! The Oak Aged Quad had an oaky vanilla and banana scent and a boozy brandy flavor. It went down warm and slightly spicy. I wish I could have enjoyed more of it in front of a fire pit under the stars.
Deschutes Brewing - The Abyss (2007)
Oh wow. Deschutes is awesome. Period. Jim and I have had this cellared since 2008. It was worth the wait! The Abyss is an 11% ABV Imperial Stout brewed with licorice and molasses and aged in oak barrels. Doesn't that just sound heavenly? Look at that gorgeous deep black color - no light shines through this beer, and it makes me want to chew it like a big hunk of liquory licorice. It smells of dark roasty malt and molasses, and tastes of coffee and a really good quality bittersweet chocolate. Pure bliss. I wish we had cellared an entire case! I'd love to use this to make beer bread, and replace the recipe's white sugar with molasses or brown sugar... I bet it would be as mouthwatering as the beer itself!
Deschutes Brewing - The Dissident (2008)
This beautiful ruby brown 10.5% ABV Flanders Style Brown Ale has a distinct sour cherry flavor up front that catches your tastebuds off guard, but a nice lingering malty sweetness that entices you into another sip. I'll be honest, I am not a fan of Flanders Sours. At all. But The Dissident crept up on me and made me try sip after sip, and I had to renege on my offer to give up my tasting goblet to Eric after my initial taste.