Tasting: June 24, 2015
Style: Imperial IPA
Beer # 764
There is no surprise to hear a group of beer geeks bragging about their beer trophies. It happens while waiting on line for rare beer releases; it happens at bottle shares and it even happens at craft beer stores. I’m guilty too, as many times I view this blog like my own collection of pelts on the wall. Each beer seems to have a back story and if you read my blog regularly, you know I share the back story in many of my entries. Fair Maiden – why should this be any different? It was a trophy mentioned by another geek at a bottle share. He mentioned it in the same breath as other Vermont IPA legends like Heady Topper, Second Fiddle and Sip of Sunshine. I made a mental note and even went so far as to add Fair Maiden to my in search of list later that night.
I did have a trade offer but that offer turned out to be more joke than legitimate. I was offered two bottles of Fair Maiden (a limited shelf-life imperial IPA) for a Parabola, Sucaba, Sticky Monkee and two KBS. That’s about $70 of hard to find gems for $20 worth of Vermont shelf beer. I knew at some point I would find a more reasonable way to acquire some Fair Maiden and a co-worker’s visit to Burlington was just the ticket.
I gave him a shopping list in order of preference…Heady Topper, Sip of Sunshine, Mastermind, Second Fiddle, Tribute and then Fair Maiden. They laughed at him about Heady Topper and the rest but I was happy to finally have a bottle of Fair Maiden without paying a ransom – just the $10 for the bottle.
Like Heady Topper, Fair Maiden urges you to drink fresh yet offers no freshness or born on date on the bottle. Delivers lemongrass, some peach and strong rind-like bitterness. A tad bit too astringent and the bitterness is a bit muddy. I’m not sure this bottle is fresh as I wouldn’t call this world-class. I have to call it as I have it and this is a very good – but disappointing 91 points.