Black Butte XXIII – Deschutes Brewery (Aged 3+ Years)


I was very lucky to find a bottle of Deschutes Brewery’s 23rd Birthday brew “Black Butte XXIII” an Imperial Porter released on June 27th, 2011.  The brewery is located in Bend Oregon.  I consumed this brew on November 4th, 2013.  The porter pours an almost opaque black with a tan head.  The aroma consists of rich roasted malts, orange, chocolate and an overall sweetness.  The flavour was big with roasted malts, smoke, bitterness, chocolate, oranges, caramel, a building chilli burn finished by a mild alcohol burn.  The alcohol content comes in at 10.8% with an IBU of 55.  This beer that was listed as better after June 15th, 2012 was amazing!  What a crazy mix of flavours that worked so well!

Commercial Description:  XXIII. So where to next? What’s 2011’s rich, imperial take on Black Butte Porter? Just for kicks, you dream. Orange zest perhaps? From Spanish Oranges. Seville, to be exact. And Chocolate nibs. Pampered nibs from the artisanal alchemists at Theo. Maybe some chilies? Pasilla Negra only, please. That would be crazy wouldn’t it? Welcome to crazy. Get it while you can.

Food Pairing as per brewery:  Rogue Creamery Blue cheese dip with lardons and toasted hazelnuts, Dry aged ribeye with roasted mushroom and veal jus, fingerling potatoes and sautéed green beans , Espresso rubbed beef brisket with Black Butte Porter BBQ sauce and fresh jicama slaw, Crème brûlée with almond praline and fresh raspberries.

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VCBW Collaboration Altbier – Parallel 49 Brewing


O’hare’s Beer Club June 2013 Box

From Parallel 49 brewing out of East Vancouver comes the “VCBW Collaboration Altbier”.  This Vancouver Craft Beer Week Collaboration beer is an old brew from Storm Brewing originally called Red Sky Alt.  The beer pours a chestnut colour with an off white head.  The aroma consists of malts, sweet citrus, wheat and some malts.  The flavour is of malts, sweet citrus, wheat, hops bitterness and an earthy finish.  The alcohol content comes in at 5.8% with and IBU of 25.  This was a nice crafted Altbier with just enough flavour to bring you back for a second bottle.

Commercial Description:  Each year BC Craft Brewers team up to creat the VCBW Collaboration Beer and donate the profits to a local charity.  This year, the brewers have chosen to recreate Storm Brewing’s Red Sky Alt, one of the first craft beers produced in BC.  This year’s proceeds from the sales are being donated to A Better Life Foundation, which will use the money to help fund the Save On Meats Meal Token Program.  Brewed and bottled at Parallel 49 Brewing.

Food Pairing according to O’hare’s Beer Club notes are as follows:Grilled Meats and Saucy BBQ

Click here to check out the June 2013 Box

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Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale – Lagunitas Brewing


O’hare’s Beer Club April 2013 Box

From Petaluma California’s Lagunitas Brewing comes the “Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale” an Unlimited Release according to their website.  This brew is an American Pale Wheat Ale and an India Pale Ale.  The Wheat IPA pours an orange/golden colour with a white head.  The aroma of the Ale is of malts, wheat, pine, floral hops and lots of fruitiness.  The flavour consists of both sweetness and bitterness up front.  The flavour then gives way to citrus, tropical fruit, orange and pine.  The alcohol content of this brew is 7.5% and the IBU comes in at 64.  This is a great beer to pick up in a 6 pack for a sports game such as NHL playoff hockey.  So tasty you might just drink a few to many (oops).

Commercial Description:  A truly unique style featuring a strong hop finish on a silky body. A filtered pale wheat ale that is great for both IPA and wheat beer fans.

Food Pairing according to O’hare’s Beer Club notes are as follows:  Buffalo Mozzarella & Tomato Salad.

Click here to check out the April Box

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Hop Ride India Pale Ale – Tenaya Creek Brewery


O’hare’s Beer Club February 2013 Box

From las Vegas Nevada’s Tenaya Creek Brewery comes their “Hop Ride India Pale Ale”.  This IPA pours a light amber colour with an off white head.  The aroma consists of sweet malts, fruit and floral hops.  The flavour is of sweet fruits, malts and a good medium to strong hops bitterness.  The alcohol content of the brew is 7.2% and the IBU comes in at 80.  This is a very enjoyable IPA and I look forward to checking out the brewery next time I am in Vegas.

Commercial Description:  Our Hop Ride India Pale Ale is medium bodied and aggressively hopped using a technique called ‘dry-hopping’ which adds a nice delicate citrus aroma. Combine that with Magnum & Summit hops to kick up the bitterness, and Cascade hops for a floral boquet. You get a well balanced and very drinkable American IPA. We live in Las Vegas and enjoy the areas beyond the reach of the neon. Bootleg Canyon MTB Park is one of those places. Be Warned, the rattlers have just as much bite as this ale. If you want to ride there, its going to be a “hop ride.” ABV: 7.2%

Food Pairing according to O’hare’s Beer Club notes are as follows: BBQ chicken sandwich, Burger with mild blue cheese

Click here to check out the February Box

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Fred (Golden Special Ale) – Hair Of The Dog Brewing Company


From Portland, Oregon’s Hair of the Dog Brewing Company comes their “Fred (Golden Special Ale)”.  This beer has an off white head and pours a cloudy amber colour with some floaters in it.  The aroma consists of sweet malts and dark fruits.  The flavour is of sweet dark fruits, malts and a mild hops bitterness.  This beer really reminds me of a barleywine and I am a big fan of barleywines!  The alcohol content of this brew is 10% and the IBU comes in at 65.

Commercial Description:  Fred was created to honor beer writer and historian Fred Eckhardt. Fred is a big inspiration for me and many other brewers. Fred’s work in all-grain brewing and beer styles helped me become a better brewer. Fred the beer is a deep golden color. It is made with aromatic and rye malts and includes 10 different hop varieties in an effort to incorporate the whole world into this beer. It has 10% alcohol by volume and 65 IBUs. We hope that Fred will inspire you to share your knowledge with others as Fred has with us. (Click on the picture for a larger view.) Wondering about the age of your Fred? Check the Fred vintage guide.

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