Thursday, March 15, 2012

Wednesday Night Idle Hands Bar Tasting: Diandra's Conversion Therapy

Hello, two or three people who read this blog! Bienvenidos!

Yesterday was Wednesday, which means Idle Hands Bar was having their $10 tasting. I made damn sure I was there, because I feel like that's just the only way to get through the middle of the week. It just is, isn't it?

Well, that's the only way I get through it.

However, there was an ulterior motive tonight. I had my darling dear Diandra with me, who was willing to convert to the barley side of the force. Diandra, say hello.


I figured a cheap but good tasting was the best way to go on that front. Usually, the weekly Idle Hands tastings involve a particular brewery being featured with representatives on site to enthuse about the beers and tell you their success story, which is my favorite part, personally. The whole package involves two full eight ounce pours of the featured beers on tap (!!), three tasting flights of the bottles, cans, or growlers that the reps have, a jigger of bourbon that may or may not come with a rep from the distillery to talk about its background there AND...

Tots from Billy Hurricane's upstairs with spiked sauce.

Seriously. Tater tots. YUM.

Unfortunately, this week didn't have a featured brewery, much to my disappointment. So the executive decision from the lovely Rob behind the bar was that we just got three (!!!) full eight ounces of whatever they had on tap. So I felt just a sliiiiight bit less disappointed, but what the hey.

Each one of these beers will get their own post later on, but for now I'm just going to give you a general overview of how they tasted for me and for Diandra. The more extensive reviews will go up soon, I promise!

Their taps for the evening: Bolded if tasted and in descending order of tasting.

Uinta Hop Notch Anniversary Seasonal: (our third pour)

Something I actually could not find on their website; may have been an error on the bar's part or just not listed yet. The Hop Notch I could find is an IPA. Now, I found this light-bodied one to be a bit confused on the tongue: like a malty beer that was overhopped as an aside. The citrusy, grassy flavor felt out of place here. 
Diandra agreed with me, finding it too strange for her and I ended up downing the rest of hers. Which was basically all of it.

Lagunitas Lil' Sumptin' Ale (our second pour)

This one I found airy and light with a high drinkability. Or at least high in compared to Self-Righteous. This was grassy and crisp, but a bit one-dimensional. 
Diandra liked the Stone one better, and actually found that one easier to drink. so down my gullet half of this one went. 

Stone Sublimely Self Righteous Ale (our first pour)

Diandre's favorite from the tasting last night, and a pretty decent one for it. This one had a much heavier body than the others, with a bitter baste that lingers  on the tongue but doesn't overpower the consumer with harsh bitteness. There is a deep roasted maltiness that balances it out and smooths out the whole experience. So all in all, pretty good.

They also had Stone IPA and Breckenridge 72 Imperial Chocolate Cream Stout. I regret not trying the latter (Diandra was unwilling to try Stouts just yet) but I guess all the more reason to go back before they switch out the taps!  

While I somewhat enjoyed what was on tap, I found the variety of flavors a bit lacking that night. So I decided it was time to broaden her horizons as to what beer could be. So I ordered an Allagash White so I could show her a Belgian and the difference in taste between yeastier and hoppier beers. Unfortunately someone didn't restock the fridge (shame shame) so Rob recommended this little number. And I'm glad he did. 

That's Harpoon UFO Belgian White if you can't read through the DAMN PHONES FLASH ASDFGH
Harpoon UFO is an unfiltered (meaning yeast in the bottle, so watch it) Belgian white that had a very creamy, fruity ester taste. Diandra loved this one and this is one of my favorites as well. It was crisp, but a medium mouthfeel, very filling. 

But that's not all for the night, oh no. See, they recently started stocking Allagash Curieux and that was one I had ages ago on draft at Mudville No 9. This one was a favorite of mine, which I remember being a rich, balanced beer with a vodka-ish harsh alcohol burn that I actually liked. I asked offhand when they started stocking it, and Rob said that it was a recent addition to the menu, though it hasn't been selling well. 
So, he decided to just open a bottle and sample it out. 

This beer cannot be summed up in a little blurb, so I'll just say this- Curieux not selling is a damn shame. TRY IT. DIANDRA COMMANDS YOU. 

Happy drinking!

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