“Every time I hear about a beer with the word maple in it, I am reminded of the Rogue Voodoo Maple Bacon beer. The single worst beer I have ever had." - worbolworbol

Luckily I had the presence of mind to stay away from any and all Voodoo releases, but there some really good beers are made with maple syrup too. Autumn Maple by The Bruery is one of my favorite seasonal beers and 75 Minute IPA by Dogfish Head isn’t bad either. Those are the only two I can think of off the top of my head.
Don’t give up!

Every time I hear about a beer with the word maple in it, I am reminded of the Rogue Voodoo Maple Bacon beer. The single worst beer I have ever had." - worbolworbol

Luckily I had the presence of mind to stay away from any and all Voodoo releases, but there some really good beers are made with maple syrup too. Autumn Maple by The Bruery is one of my favorite seasonal beers and 75 Minute IPA by Dogfish Head isn’t bad either. Those are the only two I can think of off the top of my head.

Don’t give up!

beer craftbeer craft beer chit chat worbolworbol

Made a quick trip into town because I keep forgetting to buy a new beer-glass sponge (yes, I have a sponge I use solely for cleaning my beer glasses) and decided to pop in to Lakewood Liquors to see what was going on. I wasn’t expecting much since they usually have the same things I can find at BevMo! for a dollar or two more. I even scoffed at their new “Best Craft Beer Selection in Town” sign, but much to my surprise they’ve really stepped up their craft beer game. They’ve started carrying brands like AleSmith, The Bruery, Midnight Sun, Evil Twin and Boulevard as well as local breweries like Palo Alto, Moylan’s, Twisted Manzanita and Südwerk. They also have a little more selection on the things they’ve already been carrying like Deschutes.

Admittedly it’s still a small local liquor store, but for a small town like Lodi it’s pretty cool that they’re starting to carry more. I figured since I did so well with that White Oak I decided to grab this 2014 Decadence by AleSmith for my cellar.

Looking back at AleSmith’s Decadence releases, I see there are a few vintages I really missed out on that sound great.

  • 2005 English-Style Old Ale
  • 2006 Imperial Evil Dead Red Ale
  • 2007 Imperial Porter
  • 2008 English-Style Barleywine
  • 2009 Dunkel Weizenbock
  • 2010 English-Style Old Ale
  • 2011 Maple Smoked Barleywine
  • 2012 Belgian-Style Quad
  • 2013 German-Style Doppelbock
  • 2014 Wheat Wine

That Maple Smoked Barleywine sounds bomb.

beer craftbeer craft beer lakewood liquors alesmith decadence wheat wine anniversary ale beer cellar cellar beer fridge

Firestone Walker “Oaktoberfest” Oktoberfest / Märzen: Couldn’t figure out what I wanted to drink so I decided to grab a 6-pack of this. Tis the season! The aroma is pleasant, full of biscuity, honey-like character. Lots of Vienna and Pilsner malt character with a spicy hop profile. Almost has a nutty dimension. Minimal bitterness on the palate; well-balanced. Everything falls mid palate with just a touch of sweetness. Medium body with medium minus carbonation and a dry finish. Very palatable. I’m not a huge fan of Oktoberfest / Märzen-style biers, but I’d like to drink more of them this season. I think I only had one or two last year.
This beer gets its name not because it’s aged in oak barrels, but because Paso Robles means “Pass of the Oaks” in Spanish; a nod to their hometown.

Firestone Walker “Oaktoberfest” Oktoberfest / Märzen: Couldn’t figure out what I wanted to drink so I decided to grab a 6-pack of this. Tis the season! The aroma is pleasant, full of biscuity, honey-like character. Lots of Vienna and Pilsner malt character with a spicy hop profile. Almost has a nutty dimension. Minimal bitterness on the palate; well-balanced. Everything falls mid palate with just a touch of sweetness. Medium body with medium minus carbonation and a dry finish. Very palatable. I’m not a huge fan of Oktoberfest / Märzen-style biers, but I’d like to drink more of them this season. I think I only had one or two last year.

This beer gets its name not because it’s aged in oak barrels, but because Paso Robles means “Pass of the Oaks” in Spanish; a nod to their hometown.

beer craftbeer craft beer impressions firestone walker oaktoberfest oktoberfest marzen limited rotating

Jolly Pumpkin “Rambic” American Wild Ale: This is a blend of Bam Bière, Lambicus Dextorius and La Roja, none of which I’ve had. The only Jolly Pumpkin beer I’ve had is Noel de Calabaza. This release had a really mild profile to it. Plenty of lactic acid with a clean hop aroma. Vinous. Subtle pip fruit, what I interpreted as peach. Green apple and pear. Very grassy / herbal / floral character with undertones of citrus; possibly lemon zest. Notes of oakiness. Medium minus body with ample sourness and a lingering dry finish. Very palatable. Reminded me of a Gueuze. My girlfriend was enjoying Moylan’s Pomegranate Wheat, which was also tasty.

Jolly Pumpkin “Rambic” American Wild Ale: This is a blend of Bam Bière, Lambicus Dextorius and La Roja, none of which I’ve had. The only Jolly Pumpkin beer I’ve had is Noel de Calabaza. This release had a really mild profile to it. Plenty of lactic acid with a clean hop aroma. Vinous. Subtle pip fruit, what I interpreted as peach. Green apple and pear. Very grassy / herbal / floral character with undertones of citrus; possibly lemon zest. Notes of oakiness. Medium minus body with ample sourness and a lingering dry finish. Very palatable. Reminded me of a Gueuze. My girlfriend was enjoying Moylan’s Pomegranate Wheat, which was also tasty.

beer craftbeer craft beer impressions jolly pumpkin rambic american wild ale wild ale gueuze limited blended ale barrel aged oak barrel aged davis beer shoppe

Victory “Storm King” Imperial Stout: I’ve actually been wanting to try this for a few years now and came across a four-pack at the Davis Beer Shoppe. From the nose I get a pleasant roasted malt and earthy espresso notes with moderate to minimal hop character. Subtle cocoa with undertones of licorice. On the palate the piney hop profile shines much more coupled with burnt espresso and dark cocoa. Plenty of roastiness. Medium-plus creamy body with ample resinous bitterness & carbonation and a somewhat sweet, sticky, dry finish. Very palatable. I wonder if something like this would hold up in a cellar. I really like it, but I’d probably enjoy it a little more if the hop bitterness wasn’t so forward. Doing some downtime could mellow that out.

Victory “Storm King” Imperial Stout: I’ve actually been wanting to try this for a few years now and came across a four-pack at the Davis Beer Shoppe. From the nose I get a pleasant roasted malt and earthy espresso notes with moderate to minimal hop character. Subtle cocoa with undertones of licorice. On the palate the piney hop profile shines much more coupled with burnt espresso and dark cocoa. Plenty of roastiness. Medium-plus creamy body with ample resinous bitterness & carbonation and a somewhat sweet, sticky, dry finish. Very palatable. I wonder if something like this would hold up in a cellar. I really like it, but I’d probably enjoy it a little more if the hop bitterness wasn’t so forward. Doing some downtime could mellow that out.

beer craftbeer craft beer impressions victory storm king imperial stout stout limited rotating

Cellar Nerd.

I was playing around with that Beer Cellar website a bit. When you add beers to your cellar it links it to the Beer Advocate page for that beer.

Being the nerd that I am, I followed the link to every beer in my cellar, wrote down their score and averaged them together just to get an idea of how my cellar was shaping up.

I have a “World-Class” cellar, rated at 95.94. That’s kind of neat. I like to think my cellar is modest and full of junk I enjoy drinking, but apparently it’s filled with beer a lot of other people like, too.

Obviously I take what people say on BA with a grain of salt because a lot of people don’t know what they’re talking about, but I feel the general consensus rating wouldn’t be too skewed. Some of the beers in my cellar only had a few reviews, not even enough to have a rating, and some just barely enough to have one. Others had an obscene amount of ratings (BCBS has over 8,000 reviews).

Top 5:

Bottom 5:

I still think my cellar is full of beer I like drinking. I don’t know if I could part with any of it in a trade. I like to think my crown jewel is my 2013 Black Tuesday, but it’s pretty neat I have 2013 and 2014 Parabola in there too. I’m excited I’m at a point where I’ll be having 1-year-old vintages in there now and can start collecting multiple vintages for prolonged cellaring.

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