Friday, April 25, 2008

A HANDFUL OF DO-OVERS

Sometimes one has to wonder about his own capacity for taste, description and perception. I often get a totally different vibe from a beer I've either summarily dismissed in the past or praised to the rafters. Recently I imbibed 3 beers for the second time, all of which have very distinct & unique features. I believe you'll find the results highly illuminating!

1. UNIBROUE'S LA FIN DU MONDE - Consumed from a bottle at The Salt House restaurant, San Francisco. I thought this light, complex, Belgian-style knockout was one of the finest beers I'd ever had last year, and now I know it was. We'll up that score from 9/10 to a big 10/10. La Fin Du Monde is now my standard-bearing strong Belgian ale of the golden variety. You have one of those? No? Well why not make it this one, because it's amazing. Delicate fruits mixed with heavy yeastiness - even from a bottle, it tastes like it was brewed this morning.

2. SONOMA FARMHOUSE's HOP STOOPID - Consumed from a 22-oz. bottle at my house. Not sure what happened with this one. I was ranting & raving about how stunning this big-ass double IPA was a few months ago, and perhaps because I'd had that version on "draught". This time I was less than impressed. A perfectly mediocre hoppy IPA, with a little too much bitterness when it counted, and not enough of that juicy just-bit-into-a-grapefruit feel that makes this my second or third favorite beer style. I'm taking this one down to a respectable but pedestrian 7/10. Totally different take than last go-round. You're forgiven if you never believe anything I say ever again.

3. DOGFISH HEAD's APRIHOP - Consumed on tap at The Gate in Brooklyn, NY. I'm actually in New York City right now on vacation, enjoying all manner of wonderful beers that I'll write about after the weekend. This was one of them - something I didn't really like out of the bottle when I got it in a beer trade, but loved on draft @ this great bar in Brooklyn. Bursting with fresh apricot taste, totally smelled of it too, and a generous dose of hops & yeasts. Great spring/summer beer, and robust enough to be worthy of study - not just a sissy fruit beer. Wow. 9/10. Dogfish Head started distribution in my hometown of San Francisco this week!!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

You must check out Bierkraft if you haven't already!

tedo said...

Jay,
I agree with upgrading Aprihop. Last time you reviewed it, I agreed with the lower score, however when I recently tried it again, I enjoyed it much more than the first time. It makes me wonder if they didn't tweak the recipe a bit.