Pop Swap – October 4, 2011

Pop Swap: October 4, 2011

We picked a great night to hold our “pop swap” at the Cloverleaf Tavern — Founder’s Tap Takeover night. The Founder’s line-up included:

Cerise
Blushing Monk
Centennial IPA
Pale Ale
Curmudgeon Old Ale
Imperial Stout
Double Trouble
Porter
Dirty Bastard
And of course the main event: Kentucky Breakfast Stout

Here’s what I had:

First up was Blushing Monk (9.2% ABV). This one is Founder’s first chapter in their “Backstage Series”. It is billed as a Belgian strong ale. I’d call it more of a fruit ale as the raspberry simply overpowers any yeast or biscuit that you might find in a typical Belgian strong ale. It pours as purple as a glass of Welch’s grape juice. I know I am critical of Cerise because it seemed like it was an odd combination of an ale and sour cherries. I also know I’m critical of fruit beers that use fake fruit flavors. This one is neither. It’s the real McCoy. The raspberry is strong and bittersweet. Mouthfeel was fantastic. They call it decadent – I’ll agree. I’ll call it 88 points.

Next was Founder’s Imperial Stout. This is a seasonal release that usually hits shelves in January. So it’s a moderate surprise here in October. Checks in with a 10.2% ABV. Funny, I just ordered this one when the bell rang for the KBS onslaught so I had a chance to do a side by side. This one is really a fantastic stout on its own and has a lot of common characteristics, but the KBS has that wonderful bourbon vanilla flavor. But I have a lot of respect — once again, I’ll call it a decadent offering from Founder’s. Easily 92 points.

KBS was next. The bell rang at 5:00 and only fifteen minutes later the Cloverleaf had poured as much as they had on hand — 80 cognac glasses full of the main event. Really a cool scene to see everyone with a KBS at the same time — all smiles — all different types of people. I did notice a few people that burst into the door feverishly looking around just minutes too late.

It didn’t change my opinion — really a classic. We had heard that they had a keg of Canadian Breakfast Stout as well – one of the manager confirmed that they did have a keg. I asked why they weren’t going to tap it? His response, “why? We can tap it on another Tuesday night and fill up the place”. Absolutely true — hopefully, I’ll be there when it happens again.

Next up Curmudgeon Old Ale. Just reviewed Curmudgeon and loved it. This one was a perfect accompaniment to my buffalo wings. Need something to eat with all these heavy and high ABV beers.

Last one of the night — after my mouth cooled off and my palate returned I had a Centennial IPA. This Centennial was put through the Randall with cascade hops and candied grapefruit. A Randall stores the next beer waiting to be poured in a tube with whatever they add to the tube. Wow. The Randall infusion lent a fresh hop flavor and the grapefruit complimented the hop characteristic with a punch of sweetness. Really nice. Sorry, John missed the swap, he would have really liked this one.

Our swap theme (as well as our website) comes from the kid’s book — Hop on Pop . There’s a line ‘have a snack with Brown and Black’. So for a fall offering, the theme is brown and black.

My offerings:
Otter Creek – 20th Anniversary
Oskar Blues – Ten Fidy
Troegs – Dead Reckoning
Paulaner – Oktoberfest

Craig’s offerings:
Weyerbacher – Old Heathen
21st Amendment – Back in Black
Lagunitas – Bavarian Doppelbock Weizen

John’s offerings:
Epic – Galloway Porter
Epic – 825 State Stout
Epic – Big Bad Baptist

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