Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Best Things We Drank: January 16-22

Last week was a BUSY one over here - talking about beer events, attending beer events and then over the weekend judging beers in Bend. With all that going on the Best Things fell by the wayside. To make up for that we'll double up starting off with the middle of January.

This was an exceptionally good week for beer with the highest notes all coming from Oregon breweries. Some of these are more readily available than others but with a little looking any of them should be available.

Culmination Oregon Kara Sakura - Brewed for the Japanese market, specifically the Cherry Blossom Festival, most of it was shipped to Japan with the remaining, limited supply available in their tap room. It was brewed with wild yeast, Oregon cherries and rose hips from Jasmine Pearl Tea Company (just down the street from Culmination) with the result being a delicious, mild sourness.

Burnside Gin & Joose - Saisons aren't generally at the top of our list but put them in gin barrels and ta-da, magic! This French Saison aged in Ransom gin barrels with peaches, strawberries and lavender is a complex beer that is both imminently drinkable and something to covet.

Crux Stout - Dark as one would expect from a stout, Crux puts their own twist on this style with a beer that has great body and mouthfeel to compliment the dark coffee-chocolate-caramel flavors. The simple name belies the obvious craftsmanship that went into the brewing of this beer.

Saison Facile behind, dry hop in front
de Garde Saison Facile and the Dry Hop Cuvee version - de Garde is a bit of a polarizing brewery both in terms of their beers and their availability. One may recall that when they started very little was distributed; to get it meant a trip to Tillamook or friends who would bring some back. These days the supply is more abundant although the most special beers still require a trip. This rings a sour note for some. For others the sour notes in their beers, which we're a fan of, come across as one-dimensional. To each their own. This beer, or rather these two beers, that Chris shared with us were a fun back-to-back comparison. Both were great tart beers but the Dry Hop Cuvee slightly edged out the other providing stronger citrus notes and less effervescence.

Ordnance Of Chimpanzees Porter - Ordnance makes an appearance on the list for the second consecutive week with a coffee beer that uses Home Town Coffee Roasters coffee and has the aroma and flavor of cold brew. The name is a bit weird but has a great story. Coffee fiends will want to swap out their morning brew for this! And at a drinkable 5.3% perhaps you can.

Style preferences, at opposite ends of the color and flavor spectrum, once again showed themselves this week. Dark and coffee anchored one end with light, fruity and sour at the other. We might be somewhat predictable but we do keep it diverse.

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