Finally it has returned: The Sierra Nevada Blind Tiger Extravaganza! One of The Beer Friends favorte breweries has come back to take over almost all of the Blind Tigers taps. This night started as just one Beer Friend headed down to one of his favorite NYC beer bars to sample some of Sierra Nevada's finest offerings. It quickly turned into something bigger. How could one man attempt to tackle so many fine offerings...by himself? The choices were tough, but they were made. Here's the best attempt by one man at recapping a truly epic event.
Numero One - Southern Hemisphere Harvest Ale 6.7%. - One of the rumors surrounding this event was that this will be one of the places that Sierra will unveil this years Harvest Ale. A fall brew from start to finish, this pour offers up hearty malts, seasonal spices reminiscent of October and a big hop character. I could definitely see myself drinking this one or the usual Harvest that comes to us New Yorkers throughout the fall season. It warms you, without taking away the drinkability or versatile flavors.
Number Dos - Chico IPA 7.2%. - Do not confuse this with the Pale. It is a different hop animal unto itself. Crisper brew with a lighter malt presence and a very interesting borderline herbal/citrus hop flavor and aroma. EASILY drinkable. I'd have three if I wasn't on a one man Sierra Nevada mission. Unfortunately this one is hard to find in the New York area. This is one of the brews that Sierra claims to have hardly made it to the East Coast.
The Third - Sierra Nevada & Rattle n' Hum's Black IPA 8.9% - And here's where things start to get interesting. I have to come clean. I've been toying with you up until now. Holding back the big ones. I needed to make sure you could handle it. Well, whether you like it or not we're here. This is a collaboration between the brewers at Sierra Nevada AND the owner of NYC's Rattle n' Hum, Patrick Donagher. In fact this keg is a relic donated by Mr. Donagher, from his own collection, for this event.
Let me be the first to say: Thank you Mr. Donagher. Thank you Sierra. Thank you beer.
Super hoppy - three different New Zealand hops and 'torpedoed' with a fourth. Super dark. Burnt and roasted malts to the max. Easily drinkable, wildly flavorful and an artistic masterpiece of a brew. This beer has so much flavor that you'll put the whole thing down without even noticing, it compels you to keep sipping. If it wasn't for the necessity to press on into Sierra's collection, I could see myself drinking this one all night.
Fourth Buck - Jack and Ken 30th Anniversary 1o.2%- This beer makes me nervous. I've been looking at it in front of me now for three minutes. Can't think how to approach it. It's rumored to be a barleywine/imperial stout mix. I don't even know who Jack is. Alright fine, I'll stop being a wimp. Here goes!
No one survived the last post. If you find this brew proceed with caution and have two. But really though, you couldn't handle two. Seriously though, I can't even begin to describe this one. The flavor range is so crazy that all I can say is if you have a chance to try Jack and Ken's 30th Anniversary, you try it. You try it good.
Since I'm only a one man army, and since the Jack and Ken's was so amazing, I decided to leave the jungle after those four before things started to get really hairy (like Predator hairy). However I did leave behind some good men. Here's a memorial to their honor:
Soldiers I left behind: Bigfoot 06' and 10', Best Bitter (never arrived), Tumbler, Kolsch, Limb and Life, Estate Harvest, Pilsner, Vienna Lager, Fritz and Ken 30th Ave Stout.