Our first day in Santa Rosa was a total booze fest. There were winery visits...
Some wineries were beer related -- this one was in a former hop kiln.
Some wineries were in a cave!
Other wineries had yeti/dog creatures snoozing away!
I wonder if he knows this guy?
Then it was off to Russian River Brewing Company or as I like to call it heaven/mecca/nirvana.
Russian River makes phenomenal barrel aged beers and some of my favorite sour ales. The chance to drink Supplication on draught mere steps away from barrels it was aged in was probably the highlight of this vacation and perhaps this year.
I sampled everything -- and I mean EVERYTHING. What's more impressive is I managed to get notes on 14 of the 18 beers and the four I missed were hopped-up IPAs. Some notes are kind of sketchy; for example, I wrote Benediction...tobacco.
Which ones were my favorites? Hands down and without a doubt I'd vote for Supplication. It's a brown ale aged in pinot noir barrels with sour cherries, brettanomyces and other fun bugs. It pours a ruby-dark amber color. Just thinking about the flavor makes my mouth water...tart cherries, oak-y, hints of red wine. It's also just funky enough to make an impact.
What else did I like? Noble Experiment. It's a white ale with lots of nutmeg and banana flavor. Consecration, which is the sour dark ale aged in cabernet sauvignon barrels with black currants. It's a glass of chocolate, mouth puckering sourness, currants and red wine. Now that I'm writing this, I can't decide if Supplication is really my #1 or if Consecration should be up there.
I also loved the OVL Stout, the Aud Blonde, and the porter was soooooo good. Of course, Sanctification is always a winner -- a golden ale fermented with brettanomyces. It's lemon and sour and perfect for the warm weather.
Now I'm going to go clean up the drool I left on the laptop thinking about these beers and check phillytapfinder.com/ to see where they're pouring this weekend. Cheers!