Holiday Ale Fest 2013 Day 3

6 Dec
A sea of people and its only 3pm

A sea of people and its only 3pm

Well over these three days I did not get to all the beers but over the last three days I manage to cover the vast majority of them.  Give them all as quick read, for a little planning your Holiday Ale Fest weekend because as you know beer fest in Portland are very crowded over the weekend. Cheers everybody.

Golden Valley Brewery.  Santa’s Smokin’ Bock. Let’s hope I didn’t mess up and the smoke malt, 60% of the grain bill, doesn’t wreck my palette for the day. Well, nose displays just a hint of the smokiness. Wow, this is good, the smoke malt is present but just adds to the notes of fruit, pear?, all the way to the crisp spicy hop finish. The smokiness increases as the beer warms a bit but In this weather you have nothing to worry about. This is a must try beer.

Mazama Brewing. Doppelbock. This is a new brewery, to me at least. The beer doesn’t start well, all brown sugar nose. Luckily, the sweetness in the beer does not taste of brown sugar. The sweet malt is nicely balanced by the hop that finishes out the beer. The 9.9% alcohol is well hidden in this tasty Doppelbock.

IMG_7434Viking Braggot Co. Winter Squash Braggot. Not too bad. Smells like pumpkin pie but tastes like a nice spiced ale. The squash, adds to the body without a cook vegetable flavor. For some this Braggot may have to much spice, it is boarder line for me, try it you like a winter spiced ale.

Migration Brewing.  Big Sipper. Slightly sweet and funky nose. I did not expect the hops to be so forward. The hops are right here from the start and share the finish with a bit of carmel malt. I am a little disappointed the Belgian yeast did not add more to the profile, the beer could use a dose of complexity that would bring.

Fish Brewing Co.  Gingerbread Ale. Too light of a beer for all the spice. The spices taste over extracted and harsh to me. Not a horrible beer but I can’t recommend it.

Bison Brewing Company.  Tangerine Trees & Marmalade Skies. Smells almost like fruit and fatty cottage cheese. Clearly barrel aged and there were some funky yeasties in that barrel. Starts out fruity sweet, like fruit juice that’s did not fully ferment was added. From there strong vanilla and tannins take over, with a mild funky finish. A lot of wild flavors that never seem to fully mesh. Unique, I will give it that.

Deschutes.  Jubel 2010. Caramel sweet nose. The flavor, is not much different in this, a huge bodied tasty winterIMG_7436 warmer. Nothing original, just a good strong ale. It is aging well and should continue to improve.

Laht Neppur Brewing Co.  St Dorothy’s Peach Cordial Ale. Smells like black pepper, peaches and again what I would describe as cottage cheese. Tastes like black pepper, peaches, black tea and cottage cheese. I have nothing more to say, this weirdness is up to you.

After that last beer I went back to the beer I enjoyed the most this year, Elysian’s Doom. Today even this beer tasted a bit harsh. This, in my opinion, was largely due to the very cold day we are having. So, if you find yourself at the Fest this Saturday or Sunday, drink slow let the beer warm a bit in your hands so you can enjoy all the flavors in each beer. The last sip of Doom was as tasty as I remembered.


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