Thursday, September 10, 2009

Epic Vist to the Blind Lady

My part of town is not getting its shipment of Stone's Vertical Epic 09.09.09 until tomorrow. We decided to pay a visit to the Blind Lady Ale House late this afternoon to get a sneak preview of this anticipated beer. We arrived at the Blind Lady just after it opened and I ordered a VE09.09.09. It poured a deep ebony, with a mocha foam. It was surely a porter and the roasted malt and chocolate were prominent. The Belgian yeast was noticeable, but secondary and hidden behind the chocolate and malt. I did not detect any citrus or vanilla, either, but the beer had a sweetness to it. The alcohol was noticeable in the aroma, but not so much in the taste. It is a very good, drinkable beer, and I imagine that it will be solid into 2012.

The tap list tonight at the Blind Lady was outstanding. I could have spent all evening drinking amazing beers. I did not take a picture of the beer list or write down all the beers, but the selection included, Alpine's Nelson and Duet, The Lost Abbey's Devotion, Russian River's Pliny the Elder, the aforementioned Stone VE09.09.09, Ballast Point's Longfin Lager, La Chouffe's Golden Belgian Ale, Chimay's Tripel, and The Blind Lady's own Belgian single, Automatic No. 1.

After the VE09.09.09, we tried a Nelson and Automatic No.1. Nelson, as usual, was outstanding with its hoppy, woodsy flavor. It is a great IPA. The Blind Lady serves Alpine's beers in 25cl glasses, not because of the alcohol levels, but because they are so popular that 50cl glasses would drain the kegs too fast.

I found Automatic No. 1 most intriguing. It was served in The Blind Lady's new (since the last time I visited) 50cl glass. It poured a cloudy yellow with a solid foam. It had a sharp distinct taste that quickly mellowed. It was complex while being approachable and drinkable. I could not place the flavors in Automatic, despite their prominence. The Beer Rovette thought grapefruit, but I was not sure. I asked the bartender and was told Automatic was made with ginger and coriander and aged in oak. He said that the oak flavor was gone and the ginger and coriander now dominated. I think they had melded into their own unique flavor. The bartender said that there are only three more kegs of Automatic and the exact recipe will likely not be repeated. If you are able, it is worth getting to Blind Lady to try this beer.

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