After a day of walking around Charlottetown, PEI and eating delicious sushi, Emily and I ventured to the provincially run liquor store. Here, we stumbled upon some amazing finds: Fuller's Porter and ESB in tallboy cans and a trappist ale, Orval. With great beer in hand, we left with an excited feeling, ready to begin tasting session number two.
After a long day of work, the old man was definitely ready to sit down and enjoy some full-flavored beer. Since Emily also wanted to take part, we decided to introduce Chuck to the Aprihop from Dogfish Head. He very succinctly stated that Aprihop for him had two very distinct tasting phases: an initial and final. During the initial phase, pine overwhelmed his palate. Being from the east coast of Canada, english-style IPAs overwhelm the market, so any beer that is hop forward may seem extravagant in comparison to these malty IPAs. As we conversed, while cooking supper, the beer had the opportunity to warm and open up leading to the final phase of tasting. The three of us were able to detect a very aromatic and fruity smell, which translated into a very pleasant tasting beer. Although this ale wasn't one of Chuck's favorites from week, he truly appreciated the innovative approach Dogfish employs to brewing their beer.
Next, I wanted to show my old man what a hoppy red ale could be, so I opened, Lagunitas Imperial Red. Upon Chuck's first sniff he exclaimed, "HOLY CRAP!" Moving past this initial wow-factor, the old man described the aroma of this red ale as if, "I was walking through a pine forest, immersed in underbrush when someone dumped grapefruit juice on me." All-in-all, a uniquely interesting, but somewhat accurate description of this extremely hoppy red ale.
Since my wife has discovered the great card game, Cribbage (one of last visits home), it has become a tradition that we play with my folks during each visit. For the first couple of hands, we enjoyed Oskar Blues' Old Chub. Instantly, Chuck picked up on a "grapey" quality that morphed into a caramel or butterscotch aroma as the beer warmed. The taste profile was much different than the aroma. We both discussed how the beer contained a slightly burnt quality, almost reminiscent of bitter coffee that contained virtually no aftertaste, which Chuck really enjoyed. During the last few sips, we both were able to detect a nuttiness that wasn't present during the first couple hands of Cribbage. Delicious!
Saint Bernardus from Watou, a small Belgian town on the Belgium-France border. Here, the brewmasters create exquisitely crafted ales, most notably the Abt 12, a quad with a whopping 10.0% ABV. I knew from the sip that Chuck absolutely loved this beer. After setting down his glass, almost in a state of "beer shock" he said, "Wow that's smooth, WOW!" I showed him the bottle and he was amazed that the beer contained 10.0% ABV because there was no detectable booziness or "heat." Upon learning this information, Chuck enthusiastically sighed, "It is sneaky good, it will sneak right up on you if you aren't careful." He went on to describe how the aftertaste was very pleasant, lingering on his palate creating connection between each individual sip. This quad a must-try for all beer geeks, especially those who love authentic Belgian ales.
I'm proud of Pop for experimenting with the fruity, the hoppy, and the sneaky.