Even though tasting rooms can’t stay open until midnight, that doesn’t mean that they can’t have some fun celebrating the new year. Some breweries decided to celebrate when it turned 2014 in other parts of the country, while Alesmith decided to bring out some fun barrel aged beers. I have to admit I mostly went to try the Peanut Butter Cup Speedway Stout but sadly it was already sold out by the time I got there. Thankfully, there were plenty of good specialty options available to keep me satisfied.
Thankfully they weren’t out of the Pino Noir Barrel Aged Grand Cru, Bourbon Barrel Aged Speedway Stout (both on tap and on cask), and Rye Whiskey Barrel Aged Old Numbskull. I’ve been a big fan of barrel-aged beers since the first one I tried. Until recently though, I hadn’t tried many that had been aged in wine barrels. Now I have decided that I don’t like wine barrel aged beers, though I will continue to try them when offered to see if I am proven wrong. While bourbon and whiskey barrels tend to give a nice sweet taste, wine barrels tend to give a sour taste. Unless you like sours then you might want to stick to the bourbon and whiskey barrel aged beers.
The wine barrel aged Grand Cru was about what I should have expected. The wine gives it a sour flavor that sadly kept me from enjoying it. Other people with me did enjoy the sour taste though. The two versions of bourbon barrel aged Speedway Stout were quite delicious. The cask was smoother and you could taste the bourbon a bit stronger. The tap had a bit more of a chocolate flavor in it. Both were quite enjoyable and should satisfy fans of the regular Speedway. The whiskey barrel aged Old Numbskull was quite delicious, and my favorite among the bunch. The whiskey flavors came through strong and were mellowed out by the beer.
I was quite glad I made it out to check out Alesmith for these special barrel-aged brews even though I missed the Peanut Buttercup Speedway Stout. Make sure you stop by your local brewery when they have some barrel aged beers but keep in mind that wine barrels tend to give the beers a sour flavor.
I live so close to Green Flash that I only stop in when there is a food truck I am interested in. I can pick up most of my favorite beers at the store so that is good enough for me. Tonight I stopped by Green Flash to taste the food from God Save the Cuisine and I was glad I did. While I was there, I figured I would re-visit some of the regular beers in taster format. The photos are a bit darker than usual because it was night and I hate flash.
I had tasted each of these beers before but it always helps to give them a fresh look after all the beers I’ve had since then. All four impressed me and later I added a taster of the Serrano Double Stout to round out the evening. I found the Imperial IPA to be nice and refreshing. It is best to compare it to the Le Freak. While both beers have characteristics of both Belgian style beers and IPAs, the Imperial IPA is more on the IPA side and Le Freak more on the Belgian side. Both have great flavor though the Le Freak is a little bit sweeter. Grand Cru has a lot of that Belgian flavor as well though it is more on the darker side. Grand Cru and Le Freak were both favorites of mine at different times. Last fall when they first put out the Grand Cru I was hooked on it for months.
I then went for the Green Bullet, which I have been a huge fan of from the start. This Tripple IPA is really hoppy and just blows you away with the pine flavors. It is in my top five beers of all time and is a true achievement for Green Flash. The Serrano Double Stout was decent but not very spicy. Though I do enjoy the double stout on occasion, the Serrano flavors were not particularly strong here, nor was the beer very spicy.
To go with these beers, I ordered the smoked salmon flatbread sandwich and my mom ordered the lamb. Both were quite tasty although the lamb was a bit more spicy than we expected. The salmon had some bitter greens in there, perhaps even arugula. The capers and cream cheese rounded out the salmon nicely, giving it a fantastic flavor. I will certainly be trying this food truck again soon.