Monday, April 22, 2013

CraftBrewGuy Presents: Cask Night @ Relic Brewing

When I received the invitation from Craft Brew Guy to attend an exclusive tasting at Relic Brewing the decision to go wasn't a difficult one to make.

The event was limited to 25 people and included two brews casked specifically for the event, lots and lots of samples - more than I could drink and THAT is saying something! - and very nice glass with the Relic logo on it.

I would like to first thank Aron, Craft Brew Guy, for putting together the tasting event.  It was great fun and I enjoyed meeting with so many other beer enthusiasts.  It was also nice to meet head brewer, Mark Sigman, and the other Relic staff.  

With permission, I poked around the brewery.  I am always surprised when I see a micro brewery.  It's amazing how much beer and in such a wide variety is brewed in such a small space and with such limited equipment.  It's really impressive.

I tried all the beer they had to offer that evening.  They were all good but one really stood out for me.

Belgian Farmhouse Rye, a casked version of their Belgian Funky Rye (6.5% ABV), that had added honey and orange.  The color is a deep, cloudy amber with a head that diminished to a bit of foam that clung to the edge of the glass.   The aroma was awash with a orange, honey and the hops imparted a kind of nutty and floral quality.  The flavor expectation that the aroma teased at was fulfilled.  It had deep complexity of flavor; it was rich and delicious.  I had more than one glass of this . . . mmmm, so good.

Blind Justice IPA (6.6% ABV) was the other casked beer.  The beer was a bright, deep gold with a nice lingering head.  The aroma was a nice mix of hops and malt.  The flavor had a juicy tropical fruit lurking behind the bite of the hops.  The bitterness was balanced nicely by a touch of malty sweetness. The finish was crisp and pleasantly bitter. 

Calypso Wheat (5.5% ABV) was a pale golden color.  The aroma was wheaty with hint of hoppy sharpness and spice.  The was a nice wheat ale with the surprising tropical tang of calypso hops.  Wheat beers aren't my favorite but the hops made this brew something special.  

Insomnia Black IPA (5.6% ABV) poured very dark with a big off-white head.  The aroma is hoppy with a strong whiff of roast malts.  The flavor was hoppy citrus and dark malts however I thought the overall taste was a little lacking on this one - I guess I expected more.

Fortnight IPA (7.4% ABV) poured a hazy amber with a decent sized head that grabbed the glass.  The aroma mostly citrus fruit, especially tart grapefruit.  The flavor had a nice, tart grapefruit bite balanced be malty sweetness.  It had a creamy mouthfeel that made it go down easy. 

Clockwork Pale Ale (5.5% ABV) poured a muted hazy yellow with a thin head.  The aroma was citrussy and a little earthy.  The flavor is very hoppy and crisp.  It goes down dry with very little (if any) malt to balance out the bitter bite.  That doesn't bother me, though.  I love a bitter brew!

Prologue Rye Lager (5.6%) poured a rich amber with a wispy head.  The aroma is bready with pine and floral hops.   After drinking so many hoppy beers this one seemed sweet in comparison with malt taking the forefront.  There was still a nice tang of citrusy hops and a nice yeasty bread quality.  It finished with a nice lingering bitterness.  

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