Sorry about not writing yesterday, but I definitely drank a beer. In fact, this picture shows what 4 of us consumed yesterday. That is probably why even though I’ve been up since 7:30 AM, I just couldn’t bring myself to write (or sit up) until now (11:00). I did just about inhale a greasy egg and cheese sandwich about 10 minutes ago though, which helped tremendously. My belly doesn’t hate me anymore. At least not at the moment. The last thing that I want to do today is drink another beer, but such is this challenge that I’ve set for myself. Damn me and my goal-oriented personality!
Bottle shares are wonderful and dangerous endeavors. We try to have bottle shares pretty frequently. Not only do they help to clean out some beers to make room for others, but sharing often results in opening some rare or hard-to-get beers with friends who will appreciate them. Sometimes these bottle shares are planned months in advance, others (like yesterday’s), are not really planned and just happen. So when two of our favorite people texted on Thursday about hanging out on Saturday and digging into the cellar, we gladly accepted.
The key to the bottle share is water consumption. (I sure wish I would have taken my own advice). Water between each sample provides much needed hydration but also acts as a palate cleanser to ensure optimal taste of the next beer. Yesterday we started out with funky beer, moved on to hoppy ones, and ended with some killer stouts and barrel-aged beers, with a barleywine thrown in just for fun. Sometime during the stout section we also began to play Dance Central 2. If you’ve never played, it was hilarious, difficult, and sweat-inducing, which helped remove some calories/alcohol from our systems. And then it was time for bed.
There were many standouts from yesterday’s tasting, but my favorite was Row 2 Hill 56.
Russian River Row 2 Hill 56
Russian River has some of the best sours and IPAs on the market. I am a huge fan of their Blind Pig IPA, especially when it is fresh. And their whole line of sours is pretty solid. But Row 2 blew me away. First, the smell is tantalizing. I envisioned picking a hop right off the vine and crushing it in the palm of my hand. The aroma is that fresh and bright. And the taste, good God, the taste was incredible. The hops are very forward but also well balanced. You get a mouth full of piney goodness that doesn’t destroy your tongue. It simply lingers giving the drinker a feeling of pure bliss. This is a beer that I could drink 1 million of and never get tired of its crisp, clean, hoppy flavor. It very well could replace Blind Pig as my desert island beer! I really should have a few more before I make that decision though. If anyone finds a few bottles and wants to send them my way (since you can’t get them in Ohio and they’re pretty difficult to get even in California) I would be your best friend for life.