Friday, February 24, 2012

Barrel Aged Week 2012 Day 5 (Town Hall Brewery, Minneapolis, MN)

Motueka growler.  Couldn't resist using my
Stone glass for a light yellow lager. 
Penultimate night of the Barrel Aged Week and out comes the big dog Double IPA Barrel Monkey for a Friday night.  Got there early, so had some time to burn before the monkey was released.

Started with a "double lager" named Motueka.  I know nothing about this beer beyond the quoted style, but liked it a lot better than my anti-lager bias would predict.  Stark white head lingers over a straw gold lager that has a light floral hop and bready light malt.  The combination is delicate, but not weak.  Sweet malt continues in the taste with  significant and surprisingly assertive hop profile that is floral, slightly earthy and a bit peppery.  Such a strong showing, that I took a growler home to continue the sampling.  Growler is similar, except there's a momentary smokiness and the hops have more clarity.

Barrel Monkey at far end of bar at Town Hall

I finally tried the dubbel that was on tap all week--also a strong beer.  Any other week this beer would've made the night, but tonight it's a footnote.  In part, I was having an interesting conversation with a pint club member that I haven't met until tonight despite each of us being members for about eight years.  Tonight was the only night that I didn't run into some I know, but it was a great night of discussion and connecting with a new beer friend.

On to tonight's beer: Barrel Monkey has a off white head that rims the glass.  Murky orange brown ale that is very barleywine-like.  Tasting blind, I could be convinced that this was an overly hopped, light barleywine rather than a double IPA.  Dark fruit and strong fig in the nose with earthy, grapefruit hops mixed with bourbon and wood.  Strong alcohol in the nose wafts up through the taste of a dark fruited hop bite that's sweet from the caramel and toffee maltiness.  Whiskey is underneath and growths as the beer warms.  Alcohol and hops linger of the back of the tongue and remind you that another sip is following soon.  Great beer that's a lot of fun.  Too bad I only had the capacity for one, but hope that I can get another tomorrow night before Czar Jack distracts me completely.

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