Monday, March 28, 2011

Basement Breweries Homebrew Shindig

Another tasting shindig at Basement Breweries is in the books and we had a great turnout this time around. After the success of last year's tasting party I was looking forward to holding another gathering and putting up my new beers for general review. This time there were nine beers to try ranging from an easy drinking saison to a heavy-duty Imperial stout. We got more organised about it and printed up scoring cards so everyone could rate the beers and leave comments on their impressions. Many thanks go out to all those who helped make this night come together.

The scores from the judging were incredibly close and the results held some surprises for me. The top spot taken by The Half Pounder and The Beard of Zeus was no surprise, but the high marks received by the Saison du Cornwall and the Beast of Burden were a bit unexpected. The extreme and unusual beers seemed to steal the show leaving the drinking beers behind. The following is the full list after all the points were tallied. Thanks to everyone who came out to this event and gave me great feedback on the beers, I'm looking forward to seeing everyone next time.

Basement Breweries Tasting Scores (ascending order)

9th Place - Overcast Island Ale  162 points
sample comments - Great all around beer. Love the "California Common"
                                and hops style
                              - Sweet apple
                              - Tad on the sweet side

8th Place - Rye Revival Roggenbier  165 points
sample comments - Like a whisky shot, strong at 1st and then good earthy
                              - Lacking in punch and flavour. I'd go for more rye malt
                              - Nice crisp finish

7th Place - The Harvester Belgian Saison  166 points
sample comments - Early pm sunny day brew, champagne like. I could
                               drink a lot of this
                              - Surprised (happily) Nice clean finish
                              - Could drink all day

5th Place (Tie) - Woodsplitter Espresso Stout  169 points
sample comments - The roasted flavours really jump out
                              - I'd go easier on the espresso, but not much.
                              - Such great palette impact with not much alcohol

5th Place (Tie) - Frontiersman Pale Ale  169 points
sample comments - Great hop flavour. Totally drinkable for 6.4%. Nice body
                              - Excellent Pale Ale. Not my favourite style but this is
                                 good, right hops/malt balance
                              - Nice homage to Cascadia

4th place - Saison du Cornwall  172 points
sample comments - Peppery. I can taste the herbs, awesome refreshment
                             - I like the herb/spice, but a bit less would be nice
                             - Tasty, but couldn't drink a whole pint

3rd place - Beast of Burden Brown Porter  178 points
sample comments - I really love this style. Does anyone do a commercial
                               offering? Bonus points for doing this style
                              - Not into the licorice taste so much
                              - Like rich flavours of homemade candy, carmelised

1st place  (Tie) - The Half Pounder  190 points
sample comments - Gorgeous floral nose; nice and sharp on tongue;
                               wonderful colour
                             - Oh my God!! Like a casked double IPA. Hoppy!
                             - This is excellent. Fully competitive with commercial

1st place (Tie) - The Beard of Zeus Imperial Stout  190 points
sample comments - Zounds, I feel the thunder!
                             - Big, thick n' chewy. Think it needs a tad more hops
                             - Great evening beer

Check in with Basement Breweries again soon when I'll post my personal tasting notes for these beers and my plans for recipe changes based on this and all the awesome feedback from the shindig.

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