Aug 3, 2008

Session 18 Round-up

The Session Logo

Update It looks like I did in fact miss a couple of post so far. Check them out at the bottom of the page

What better way to wrap up this month’s Session than with tall glass of tasty brew. Beer in hand, I spent a good while last night reading everyone’s contributions, reliving past moments, experiencing some of the finest vintage ales and learning a whole lot about a bunch of great folks.

Before we get into it, a big thanks to all those that participated this time around. So, enough of my jibbering, let’s see how everyone interpreted August’s “Happy Anniversary.”

Jasmine and crew at Beer At Joe’s had themselves a nice vertical tasting of Coastal Extreme Brewing’s Newport Storm, sampling bottles from ’05, ’06 and ’07. While not all of the beers were they’re favorite, it’s always a great occasion to sample several vintages of the same brew and see how it all turns out.

The Beer Nut found a way past a small bit of guilt in opening a Fuller’s Vintage 2007. It sounds as though I should head back to the store I spotted this one at a couple of months ago and snag myself a couple of bottles.

Participating in his first Session, Tom opened up a couple bottles of vintage Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine (’01 & ’02). If my few bottles of the ’07 vintage turn out half as good as Tom’s experience I’ll be a happy beer fool. Let’s hope I’m as steadfast and don’t open mine too quickly. Thanks and welcome to the Session, Tom.

David spent some time culling special events that he has already posted to his blog that showcased a couple of extraordinary beer and food pairings. After reading those moments, I’m going to have to figure out a way to get myself invited over for dinner.

Heath and I agree on at least one thing, “any day is a good day to break out that special beer…” Finding a little down time for himself, Heath opened up a very special bottle of Unibroue Edition 2004. After perusing a few of his older “Out of the Cellar” posts a twinge of jealousy is building as I finish up his summary.

Mario over at Brewed for Thought did his best to set himself apart from the Session crowd with a bottle of He’Brew Bittersweet Lenny’s R.I.P.A. Having had a few of the He’Brew’s products in the past, I’m certainly going to have to find a bottle of this one after Mario’s write up. Also, Happy Anniversary!

Making the choice to open one of only 200 bottles of a limited brew could cause any beer fan a little insanity. Lucky for us Ally was brave enough to open up bottle #141 of BrewDog’s Limited Edition Paradox.

The Scribe from A Dram of Brine celebrated a roommate’s 21st birthday with a bottle of Sierra Nevada’s 2007 Celebration Ale. I don’t know who to be jealous of more, The Scribe for enjoying a great beer or the roommate who was able to celebrate with such a good beer. I’m pretty sure I celebrated mine with too much Miller Lite.

Lew shares a few wonderfully crafted words reflecting on what very well may have been an epic road trip.. Reading his post, you can’t help but think back your own roads not taken. Thanks for sharing, Lew.

Rob, the host of last month’s Session, decided to change up the suggestion for this month. Instead of opening up a special brew from his favorite brewer, he instead dove into his stash to pull out a couple of vintage bottles (’06 and ’07) of his own home brewed spiced Belgian ale. They both sound exceptional.

Eric Delia at Relentless Thirst makes up for missing the last two Sessions by popping open a 2005 Flying Dog’s Gonzo Imperial Porter. I’ve had the general Gonzo Porter, but this oak aged variety sounds unbelievable.

Our second Fuller’s Vintage of the Session was enjoyed by Boak. The 2005 vintage that was opened only re-enforces my newly established goal to find a couple of bottles of this beer.

Alan at A Good Beer Blog unfortunately didn’t join us this time around. Instead he spent the evening watching Jason Bay’s first game as a Red Sox, as any die hard fan would do.

Thom decided to revisit a beer that initially did not go over well a few years ago. Even though it poured absolutely flat and smelled of “cow nuts”, his bottle of 2003 vintage Thomas Hardy’s Ale came across much better this time around.

Ray at Bathtub Brewery not only enjoyed a tasty anniversary brew, he enjoyed four of them — even one in float form. All of the brews sound amazing, but I am completely intrigued with the stout float. I’ve had a lambic float before, but a stout just sounds so natural… so obvious, I can’t believe I’ve never thought to make one.

Stephanie at wrote about her favorite annual brew, Dogfish Head’s Pumpkin Ale. Any beer that constantly brings back memories of good times is a truly special brew in my book.

The Hoosier Beer Geek, five months into fatherhood, has finally had an opportunity to enjoy the beer he originally bought to celebrate the birth of his daughter. Opening up a bottle of Port Brewing’s Older Viscosity, Matt spent some quality time reflecting on the last crazy five months of being a dad. Congrats.

Opening up a bottle of 1997 Gale’s Millenium Brew, the guys at Beer-O-Vision were more than pleasantly surprised at the beer’s characteristics. You know it’s a great beer when all you can say is “Wow.”

Rob takes on the one beer that my wife wishes she could celebrate with again in the future. Gouden Carolus Carolus D’Or – Cuvee Van De Keizer is one of Rob’s favorite brews and his “…perfect Belgian strong dark ale…”

Captain Hops at Beer Haiku Daily was not able to participate this time around due to “the joys of home ownership.” I know the feeling. I’ll probably be replacing our A/C system next summer.

Another new addition to the Session family, Jeff goes in a little different direction. Instead of opening a bottle he let’s us all in on his plans to have a special beer brewed for his wedding day. My wife and I were lucky enough to have her father brew a large batch of a wonderful Kolsch for our own wedding. Best of luck Jeff.

Keith at Brainard Brewing opened up a bottle of Avery’s Fourteen, even getting a positive reaction from his wife (usually an IPA fan). Be careful what you wish for, Keith. Not only does this open a world of new doors in terms of beer, but it also means that your favorite brews are now up for grabs.

Another new dad, Bryon celebrated the birth of his son with a 2006 vintage Chimay Grande Reserve. I’ve got a bottle from the same year sitting in my basement right now. If I have as good an experience with it as Bryon, it’ll be worth the wait.

The last entry for this month’s Session comes from Bill at Beerjanglin’. Telling a tale from October 2004, this story could have been a more appropriate way to round out a great selection of Session posts.

Thanks again to all those that participated this time around. If I missed anyone, my sincere apologies. Please send me an email with a link to your post and I’ll add as soon as possible.

Here are a few I missed the first time through.

Matt C. at A World of Brews tells of a beer after a hard day’s work. Sometimes you just need to not think about a potential brew, crack it open and enjoy.

Not one to generally celebrate with a particular beer, John at The Brew Site shares some thoughts on a few beers he’s had in the past including a home-brewed strawberry mead he made for his own wedding celebration.

Rick at Lyke 2 Drink enjoyed five separate anniversary beers of this month’s Session. Each one causes even more twinges of jealousy to race through me as I type out this brief summary.

Legal Beer’s Jonathon finally captured his own elusive white whale in the form of Rogue’s Imperial IPA. I’ve seen this one several times in the past but have always blown it off. That might not be the case the next time I see it on the shelves.

Buttle usually celebrates special occasions with wine or champagne, but made an exception this time around, opening up a bottle of He’Brew Jewbelation 11 — as in 11 malts, 11 hops and 11% ABV. I’ll have two please.

Our second He’Brew Bittersweet Lenny’s R.I.P.A. was enjoyed by Jay over at Brookston Beer Bulletin. In the process he sheds some light behind the motives of several of my favorite breweries and their anniversary beers.

The Beer Philospher out did my 16 with a Unibroue 15 for his contribution to the Session. Sounds like it aged well.

Be on the look out for next month’s Session hosted by Jim at lootcorp.