Hoptical, Imperial Bastard!

10 Sep

Last night the Blind Tiger hosted the Blue Point Bash, complete with super yummy cheese from Murray’s!  I was running a bit late and was terrified that I would have missed out on the cheese but, at 6:35 there was, miraculously, still a whole bunch left, so I got my fix! 🙂

Blue Point Summer Ale & Cheese!

I was lucky again right away ’cause I got a seat at the bar next to Gary, who I’ve met before and is a much more well-versed beer enthusiast than I, and so I settled in to peruse the beer ‘menu’ & plan my tastings… and here’s what I had!

Summer Ale – This is what summertime is all about.  This clear golden ale has a bright inviting nose.  The taste has hints of fruit, a light touch of honey and a crisp clean finish. (4.4% ABV)

It definitely was a nice light & yummy beer to start with, or to enjoy at a picnic in the park, and I finally did taste the honey once I got to the end… think it took a little while for the taste to register for me, which tends to happen often… I wonder if this is normal?

Imperial Pilsner – This bold pilsner is a very special treat from our friends at Blue Point.  The beer pours a deep golden hue and has a warm slightly fruity nose.  The taste starts with a lively sweetness, not cloying at all, a bright subtle bitterness, and a fruit roundness in the edges. (9.0% ABV)

Bolstered by my appreciation for the Harpoon Pilsner, I decided that I should try Blue Point’s offering.  I can’t say that I’m a full-fledged Pilsner fan yet, but I do really get the description above.  I think it’s the type of bitterness that a pilsner has that I don’t like, ’cause I love hops bitterness…

Double Blonde – This is a blonde that is very hard to forget.  This amber hued beer (yes, amber) has a grainy yet bright nose.  The taste has edges of round malts, touches of yeast, a nice undertone of fruit, and a solid hoppy finish. (6.6% ABV)

To me, there was almost no smell to this beer, but definitely a sweetness and a malt flavor that I still don’t love, but I’m trying to appreciate!  Interestingly, this beer definitely tasted better to me after a bit of some nice creamy blue cheese… maybe the bite of the cheese helped to balance out the maltiness for me?

10th Anniversary IPA (Cask & Draught) – What better way to celebrate Blue Point’s 10th than having a pint of wonderfully crafted IPA.  This beer pours a medium amber with a invitingly hoppy nose.  The taste is a perfect blend of roasted malts, touches of citrus, strokes of pine and a nice medium palate bitterness. (6.5% ABV)

I ordered a half of the draught version, but Oz gave me a small sample of the cask version to try as well.  I had the cask first and thought it was a really nice hop flavor, nice and mellow, but it didn’t stand out with a strong impression right off.  Then I had the draught version which I assumed that I would prefer given the colder temperature and higher amount of carbonation, but holy cow… I reaaaaaally didn’t like it in comparison to the cask version!  I mean, it’s a fine IPA & all, but when you know how it CAN taste via cask, well, I wouldn’t want to get the draught! There was an interesting flavor going on with the draft as well that I was having a hard time identifying, but I wanted to say it was like squash? or maybe pumpkin? more like pumpkin seeds… I went back and had another sample of the cask and was VERY happy 🙂

Old Howling Bastard – Fresh from the 2008 batch and Pete Cotter of Blue Point Brewing Co. in Patchogue, Long Island, NY… Old Howling Bastard, named after an infamous local character, is a strong Barleywine-style ale that has plenty of character all its own.  Made with English 2 row barley and Vienna malt.  Strong, malty caramel flavors balanced by lots and lots of hops.  After a few glasses of this big Blue, you may easily become a “Howling Bastared”… (10.0% ABV)

I only had a small tasting of this because I had a sense that I wouldn’t loooove it, and it also has a strong alcohol content, and true to form I found it way too malty and strong, and too heavy to be a good ‘drinking beer’ for me… but interesting nonetheless!

Hoptical Illusion – Blue Point’s nod to the almighty American style IPA.  This golden hued IPA has a big floral nose with slight hints of citrus.  The flavor is crisp with tinges of citrus, hops (obviously), and even a slight sweetness.  The finish is dry and packed with hop goodness… (6.8% ABV)

OMG, it smells soooooo good! 🙂  I absolutely can tell I’m going to love a beer if it’s smell brings me in… ahhhhhh, hops…. how I love thee!!!  I’ve had the hoptical illusion before many times, but I just had to treat myself to it, as a full beer, to cap off my half-samplings!

So, at this point, I concluded my Blue Point samplings and was ready to pack it up & head home, but I had been chatting with a swell gentleman I met (who happens to be friends with my elementary school gym teacher! lol), and he offered to buy me a beer before I left, so we both decided to have the Dogfish Head 60 Min.  Now, I’d had this same beer, on draft, over the weekend so the taste was fresh in my mind, but I swear, this tasted totally different!  I asked Oz (our ever-amazing server!) why that might be, and he said it was Randall… HUH??? I had NO clue what he meant, but I’m definitely going to do some research, and come back to you with an explanation in a new post… so stay tuned! 🙂


2 Responses to “Hoptical, Imperial Bastard!”

  1. Gary September 18, 2009 at 11:08 AM #

    Thanks for the shout out! I’m happy to read about your journey in enjoying craft beer.

    • thehopshoney September 25, 2009 at 6:01 PM #

      Thanks Gary – I’m sure I’ll see you on a Wednesday soon!

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