The Beer Friends lucked out big-time yesterday. The Good Beer Seal, who are the beloved organizers of NYC Good Beer Month, reported that Rattle n' Hum would be having an Allagash event on Tuesday, July 20th. However, they were mistaken, and what a great mistake it was. They were actually having a Southern Tier night! Not that we don't like Allagash (we very much like Allagash) but we LOVE Southern Tier and their hopheaded creations. That being said, here's a recap of the (several) brews we enjoyed! Graham's Account:
I arrived a bit before Paul did (this happens often) to check out the scene. As with Blind Tiger, Rattle n' Hum is a fantastic later-in-the-night bar. It thins out a bit, leaving a good crowd of beer lovers while allowing one to still snatch up a table for which to imbibe several craft beer creations. The music here, in my opinion, is also pretty quality leading one to many hazily, beer fueled inspirations. As I looked at the Southern Tier menu for the event I started getting very excited for Paul to arrive. The selection was amazing, featuring many rare and legendary Southern Tier concoctions. I went right to starting a list of the beers I would experience and experience them I did. Check it out:
IPA - the hops in this one are earthy and aromatic. Bringing you an easy drinkable, frothy headed, herbal IPA. A standard IPA for any hop head.
Pale Ale - I originally chose the pale ale out of the collection of the other much more eccentric brews to fulfill my intense craving for grapefruit yielding hops, of which it was described to contain. And it did not disappoint but it also did not go over the top, which I kind of wanted it to do. The aroma gives you an impression that you will be knocked away. The brew starts that way but ends with a clean finish, leaving little of the grapefruit hop flavor to enjoy. I enjoyed the beer, but would've been happier if that grapefruit flavor that it starts with stayed with you to the end and beyond.
Iniquity Black Imperial IPA - Southern Tier references how some consider it an 'immoral' act to blacken an ale. Well, my thoughts on morality aside I think it's a fantastic idea. The Iniquity is a solid black ale. It sniffs with strong scents of burnt malts and tastes the same. The hops are a bit lacking though and by lacking I mean lost in the woods. Put in another few pounds of hops and give me another. Good potential, not as good showing.
Gemini Imperial IPA - hoppy! Hoppy! Hoppy! What a brew! From first aroma to the finishing flavor it is pleasing, citrus and pine hops. It pours with a fluffy, floral head that accents the first sip. Imperial means it is higher alcohol (9% ABV) which would prevent one from drinking more than...three? However it is so flavorful and easily drinkable that if you were unaware of the abv you could have quite a few. And enjoy every last drop...
Unearthly Imperial IPA - Paul and I tag-teamed the Unearthly series of which Southern Tier shared two brews with us: The regular Unearthly Imperial IPA and the Oak-Aged Unearthly. I went with the regular and Paul had the Oak Aged. The regular Unearthly is hoppy and delicious. Definitely imperial, it is strong in the hop flavor and there is a subtle alcohol taste. However it is surprisingly easily drinkable. The aroma, body and flavor are all exceptionally pleasing. This is a rare find (although not as pleasing as the oak-aged) and should be imbibed wherever found.
Paul's Take On Things:
Paul’s 1st Round- Phin & Matt's Extraordinary Ale: this ale is flatter than I expected it to be; not on taste, but carbonation. This beer tastes like what I would expect something called “English Ale” to taste like. When I think of the bar scene at the beginning of "Hitchhikes Guide to the Galaxy" this is beer I imagine them drinking.
Paul’s 2nd Round - Farmers Tan: The hops jumped out at the beginning, which is not what I would expect from a lager. It tastes like it should be classified an IPA at first, but it settles nicely as it warms. The overbearing hops cool down and it finishes smooth and sweet. This is a dangerously delicious beer for an ABV of 9%.
Paul’s 3rd Round- Oak Aged Unearthly: I am a big fan of IPA, and I am a big fan of oak aged; so this is a match made heaven for me. First thing I will say is I need another one. This beer must be tried again; I hope I get the chance to have it again. The Unearthly is a good imperial IPA on its own, but the oak takes this beer to another level. There is no hop smell to this beer. In the flavor though, the hops come out right away but are subdued by a vanilla flavor. The after taste stings the tongue like an IPA but rolls over the back of the tongue and through the nose with sweet vanilla. This beer is delicious; if you are a fan of beer I suggest you get over to Rattle N Hum and try this one.