Cool dude dj spinning on his mac. Hangin' tough if you know what I mean!

For my next beer-venture, I got to hit the Biltmore Hotel with my parents and their excellent friends. It was definitely more like a casual cocktail party than a beer tasting, but I did not complain. The DJ looked happy enough to switch between the hits of today and Smooth Operator by Sade, so I let him.

Many of the beers they had at the tasting were ones that I had had before, like Newcastle and Tsing Tao and others. There were also some that I had never seen, we’ll get to that one later…

The first beer I tasted was the Brooklyn Lager 1. This comes with a champagne style cork and Total Wine currently has the 750mL bottle priced at $8.99.  This was a really nice beer with a medium light amber color and a nice head. There were fruity flavors and a nice alcohol flavor, likely due to the 9% ABV (alcohol by volume). The website says pairs well with ham, cheeses, and seafood. Although I did not have my laptop strapped to my neck like a 1940’s era cigarette girl,

It would come in handy if I could blog and walk at the same time...

I instinctively paired it with the smorgasbord of German sausages and cheeses they had available. Of course, I didn’t have any other options.

The next beer in the Brooklyn Family was the Local 2. A darker beer with a chocolate and slight orange flavor. It is what I would consider a very good dark beer. It did not have a nasty aftertaste, nor did it linger too long for my liking. This one also received high rating from the BeerAdvocate contributors/drinkers with an A- overall rating. You’ll spend the same $8.99 for either this one or the Local 1 at Total Wine.

The next beer I tasted was Harviestoun Old Engine Oil Black Ale. While this ale has received awards and high reviews on BeerAdvocate, I could not agree with the high marks it received. I would be willing to try this beer again, and let’s face it, I complained the whole time, but I did not stop drinking it.  (That may say something about me.)  My first taste of this beer reminded me of waking up in someone else’s house my freshman year of college, finding an almost full beer next to me and having such cotton mouth that I start to drink it, only to realize that someone had used this beer for an ashtray. Yes, I said it! It tasted like an ashtray, and I have drunk random beers in my long career of beer drinking. My Father thought this was a very astute observation. I could not get over the fact that it was so ashy tasting, and he said he could definitely pick up the smokey flavors. I know that taste is affected by many things including foods I’ve eaten, so I’m definitely willing to give this another ol’college try…hehehe. Also, if we believe that our taste buds regenerate every 10 to 14 days, I could be tasting a totally different beer next time. Total Wine did not have this in their extensive list, so I may have to find another purveyor for a second shot at this beer.

Lastly, I had the pleasure of finishing the evening with a Spaten Optimator. Somehow the peeps at BeerAdvocate rated this one overall worse that the ashtray beer, but 1) there is no accounting for taste, or taste buds, as previously stated, and 2) the highest rating was higher, but the lowest rating was lower, so the average was skewed, thereby proving that there are 3 kinds of lies; lies, damn lies, and statistics! Perhaps it was so pleasant when compared to Old Engine Oil or maybe it’s because Spaten has been doing their brewing since 1397 and Harviestoun was founded in 1985, I can’t say. Total Wine has a six pack of 12oz bottles for $7.99. Definitely worth it. What I will say is that the Optimator had a rich mouthfeel and no nasty aftertaste. It had a nice flavor that lingered for a bit and then went away which kept you drinking more just to keep the nice caramel flavor in your mouth. It was a nice way to end the evening.

So thus ends another fun adventure into the world of beer, and food, and more beer. My birthday is in December, so feel free to get me some beer…(this is a hint)

This or any other beer, but not the ashtray, please!

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