Saturday, April 16, 2011

Rosso e Marrone Release

Finally winding down from a long, but fun 24 hours. The release of Rosso e Marrone batch 3 was yet another great time at the Captain Lawrence Brewery. Jen and I actually arrived in Pleasantville, NY around 8 pm last night, so we could check out the town a bit. Turns out that Pleasantville has an excellent pastry bakery and some other fun attractions. After walking around for a bit we decided to check out Jane Eyre at the Jacob Burns Film Center. The movie theater was fairly small, but the chairs were probably the most comfortable I've ever sat in at a theater; and Jane Eyre wasn't half bad either. The story stayed fairly true to the book from what I've heard and the cinematography was well done. Worth checking out if you're a fan of Charlotte Brontë.

Jean Jacques Bakery

After the film ended Jen and I made our way back to the Captain Lawrence Brewery and picked up our tickets from the ticket dispenser outside (about 1 am if I recall correctly). With tickets in hand we jumped back into the car and crashed until about 5:30 am. Feeling somewhat refreshed with a few hours of sleep, we got up and drove to the Pleasantville Diner. I think this has been our goto place for breakfast the last couple of times we've been in Pleasantville. Pretty good food and the coffee is always strong.

Early morning @ Captain Lawrence

With food in our bellies, we headed back to the Captain Lawrence Brewery to meet up with some friends, meet some new beer enthusiasts, and of course, drink some quality brews. Here's a run down on a few of the beers Jen and I got to sample:

Firestone Walker - Abacus
Cantillon - '96 Gueuze
Hill Farmstead - Art
Captain Lawrence - Barrel Select
Kuhnhenn - Bourbon Barrel Fourth Dementia
Victory - Dark Intrigue
Minneapolis Town Hall - Port Frost
Hill Farmstead - Bourbon Barrel Earl
Goose Island - Rare Bourbon County Stout
Cantillon - '00 Vigneronne
The Bruery - Melange no. 1
Dogfish Head - Black & Red
and one sip of Chocolate Rain (Dave you should hold on to this!)

Free food!

In addition to these brews, Jen and I also got in on a Fifty Fifty Eclipse vertical tasting (huge thanks to Thorpe for sharing!), which included the following barrel variations from left to right: '08 Pappy Van Winkle, '09 Elijah Craig, '09 Heaven Hill, '10 Heaven Hill, '10 Four Roses, '10 Evan Williams and '10 Christian Brothers Brandy.

Eclipse vertical

All of the Fifty Fifty variations were excellent, but the Pappy Van Winkle vintage stole the show. One of the best, if not best, bourbon barrel imperial stouts I've ever had. After the Pappy I would rank the Elijah Craig as the clear second best variation and then the rest are a toss up, minus the '10 Heaven Hill, which was a bit rough and unbalanced.

Outside of the Eclipse vertical I was probably the most impressed with the Rare Bourbon County Stout and the '00 vintage of Cantillon's Vigneronne. I'd never gotten around to picking up a bottle of the Rare Bourbon County, because I figured it wasn't worth the $40 price tag, but damn it was tasty, and in my opinion, better than any of the other Bourbon County variations, including the regular Bourbon County. I guess Pappy Van Winkle barrels hold a lot of potential for barrel aging stouts, since both the Rare Bourbon County and PVW Eclipse used 23 year old Pappy barrels for aging.

'00 Vigneronne

As for non-stout beers, the '00 vintage Vigneronne that Chris (BearsOnAcid) shared had aged wonderfully. I actually thought it was much more enjoyable than the '96 Gueuze. The nose on the Vignerrone was filled with the classic Cantillon sour funkiness, except much more robust and developed than any fresh bottle you can buy off the shelf (note to self: cellar some Vigneronne). The taste was great as well. Quite complex, yet still well rounded and not going down hill at all. A really nice beer overall.

Rosso e Marrone b3

Oh yeah, and the Rosso e Marrone was plentiful. Jen and I each walked away with our 6 bottle limits and should be opening one soon side by side with a year old batch 2. From the small sample of Rosso I had today, it seems like this years batch is just as tasty and slightly more sour. Can't wait for the Cuvee de Castleton release later this year. Captain Lawrence knows how to work their bugs and barrels.

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