Sunday, February 25, 2007
So, all in all, I am doing better than I anticipated. Because I paced myself way smarter this year, I am actually functional. I can concentrate on moving objects and not get ill. I can eat solid food without barfing. I can move around and do chores without getting queasy and having to sit down for a few.
But don't let the fact that I didn't wake up this morning blowing a .14 let you think I didn't have a riot. I did.
All in all, Founders took the show from my viewpoint. Mind ou, the fest is not a competition. But you taste a ton of beer, you get a good idea of who is awesome. And it was Founders. They rereleased their Kentucky Breakfast Stout, but toned down the bourbon-y taste this year so it was much smoother and less sickly-sweet. They also tried aging their Dirty Bastard (Scotch Ale) in bourbon casks and called it Backwoods Bastard. The result: amazing. The sweetness of the scotch ale was perfect in combination ith the residual bourbon sweetness. They alo brought their Devil Dancer TIPA, which is always a treat.
A close second this year was Darkhorse, out of Marshall. A great showing of 5 beers that ran the spectrum of tastes. Also crammed in the same corner was Dragonmead, which is a Michigan standard of brewing excellence.
The poorest showing this eyar was Bo's brewery's Total Eclipse Russian Imperial Stout. It weighed in at 20% abv, but had no malt or dark roasted malt to balance the juhe amount of alcohol. The result was a massive vodka-like alcoholic burn, the consistency of motor oil, and no other taste beyond that.
Also in a strong showing this year was smoked lager from Grizzley Peak in A2 and another from Rochester brewery. Great smoked malt flavor over the top of a sweet, dopplebock flavor from each of the showings. Great beers.
Not as many boubon-cask ales as last year; the trend must be slowing down a little as brewers are gtting back to some good basics and other beers not normally brewed but have fine traditions (like the smoked lager).
All in all, it was again a happy, congenial crowd full of people there to mock winter and celebrate beer!