Ali's Extreme Beer Fest Post

Thom and I attended the Extreme Beer Fest last night at the Cyclorama in Boston's Back Bay. Upon arriving at the building, we joined a huge line towards the entrance, but only had to wait about 20 minutes, with annoying slut girl behind us and ridiculous middle-aged men in front of us, before being allowed entrance. We got our IDs checked, our wrists braceleted, and our official 4 oz. plastic cups and 5 drink tickets (we bought 5 more for a dollar each). The place was packed, but it was a friendly crowd.

For food, Sunset Grill and Tap had a small setup in the back. After Beer #2, Thom bought a Sausage and I had a Chicken Fajita Wrap, both delicious. Later on, after the buzz set in, we bought a very tasty Belgian waffle from Waffle Haus.

Beer 1: Brooklyn Monster Ale, English Barleywine

Unfortunately Garrett Oliver was not present at this booth, but the pourer was friendly and smiled at me.

Appearance: Beer was a hazy orange-red. It had a thin, beige, bubbly head.

Smell: No surprise here, the beer smelled like a wine, grapey and sweet.

Taste: Very sweet and vinuous with some tingle up front. Ended with a wonderful malty, but not bitter warming alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Lightbodied, with carbonation at the beginning, but not at the end.

Drinkability: This was delicious! I could drink a lot of it.

Beer 2:
Allagash Curieux, Tripel

Served on draught, from a cooler.

Appearance: Pours a hazy dark golden with a creamy head that slowly diminishes.

Smell: I smelled a pretzely sweetness. After Thom suggested dill, I smelled that too.

Taste: I tasted dill and green bell peppers in the middle, then some sourdough, and a little bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Light- to mediumbodied with not too much carbonation.

Drinkability: Light and tasty, easy to drink a lot of, but the dill flavor?

Final Notes: Beer Advocate reviews find this Tripel to have vanilla and woody notes; most remark on tasting the whiskey from being aged in bourbon casks. I couldn't taste any of this, but I have a pretty undeveloped palate, so take my notes with a grain of salt!

Beer 3:
Boston Beerworks Peanut Butter Porter, American Porter

Appearance: This beer is dark dark dark with a thin head that disappears except around the edges of the cup.

Smell: Peanut butter!

Taste: The peanut butter taste in the middle faded to a sweet nuttiness. There was both some roasted as well as hoppy bitterness at the end.

Mouthfeel: Lightbodied with mild carbonation.

Drinkability: I could drink 1 or 2, my typical max for porters. I liked this because the PB was a fine replacement for the usual bitter chocolates I taste in Porters.

Beer 4:
The Reverend, Quadrupel

This is where my notes start to get illegible, ie this is where I start to get drunk

Appearance: Clear orange-bronze, no head.

Smell: My most complex nose so far, I smelled fried plantains, caramel, maple syrup, and iced tea.

Taste: Tasted sweet like candy and maple syrup.

Mouthfeel: This was lightbodied but also choppy with carbonation.

Drinkability: My notes say "Could drink a lot. Don't love it."

Beer 5: Harpoon Varius Strong Ale

Brewed exclusively for the Extreme Beer Fest. According to
Harpoon Varius Strong Ale
Named "Harpoon Varius" because many different Harpoon brewers contributed to making this beer, which is brewed exclusively for the BeerAdvocate Extreme Beer Fest. Brewed in 10 10-gallon batches, Harpoon Varius is an experimental strong ale. Unfiltered, slightly cloudy, DANGEROUS! Rich alcohol notes mixing with earthy floral hop, thick malty sweetness in the nose. It starts off with a slight honey sweetness and transitions to a pronounced higher alcohol warmth and complex ester character. Finishes with a distinct smooth, bitter finish. Brewing with Pale Ale malt (90%), Caramel, and Victory. Hopped with Northern Brewer, East Kent Goldings, Fuggle, and Magnum. Dry-hopped with Willamette. Fermented with a Dry English Ale yeast.
Appearance: Thick creamy head reduces to nothing. Clear dark golden.

Smell: Sweet, with pineapple and berries.

Taste: Tropical fruit sweetness, then bready malts. Finishes with a slight bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Lightbodied and quite carbonated.

Drinkability: Very refreshing, but couldn't drink too much because of the hoppy bitterness.

Beer 6:
Three Philosophers, Quadrupel

I went to Ommegang to get their Rodenbach, a Flemish Sour Ale, but they were out! I tried this since I know Thom really likes it. This is my last beer, I had to cut myself off due to extreme tipsyness! Thom had to take my notes for me.

Appearance: Hazy, orange-red-brown. Thin beige ring of head.

Smell: Sweet raisins, cherries.

Taste: Sour-bitter fruit with mild carbonation. Thom transcribed my words which were the following: "Tarty-tart-tart in the middle, fig. Chomp chomp chomp, raisin."

Mouthfeel: Tingly and mediumbodied.

Drinkability: "I can't drink so much of this. It's so high in alcohol!"

I had a great time at this Beer Fest and got to try some awesome beers. I really like the beer fests because it brings so many beer lovers together, and also we scored some freebies, like my bottle opener, plenty of coasters, a red devil glass ornament, and some hops!

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