Monday, March 10, 2014

Best of the fest: My Untapped tasting card

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It's always a bit of a struggle deciding how to bring attention to beers sampled at a festival. I believe you can't give a proper review based on a two-ounce pour, and Saturday's Untapped event presented even more of a challenge given the colder temperatures. That said, you'll notice a theme in many of my tasting notes, as frozen fingers weren't conducive to hand warming which might normally help to reveal additional character.

On the flip side, there's something to be said for first impressions, and more than one brewer has told me that hearing the words "I'd drink that beer again" are as welcome a compliment as any other. So, with that, here are the beers I'd drink again...provided I could do so in climate controlled surroundings.


Four Corners Notorious O.A.T: A beer that, for whatever reason, I had yet to track down in the market. I suppose it was better late than never, since they tell me supplies are just about gone. Simply put, a couple of sips of this one gave the impression of yet another quietly solid brew from the Trinity Groves brewer.

903 Sasquatch: Chocolate, chocolate...oh, and chocolate. I wasn't able to pick up on the milk sugar addition, but give me a pint of this in an environment where it can warm up another five or so degrees and let's see what develops.


Deep Ellum Tongue Punch: The brewery's IPA was dry-hopped with four different varieties, but due to an apparent brain freeze I forgot to write down the details. In any event, it was a beer that was true to its name.

Lagunitas Couch Trippin' Fusion: This beer is billed as a "brown-ish" ale dry-hopped with Nelson Sauvin and Mosaic hops. It's hop-forward (what Lagunitas brew isn't) and I'm not entirely sure what flavor profile they are going for from a malt perspective, but my two favorite hop varieties from one of my favorite breweries (and I'm not even a hophead).  Easy sell.


Lakewood Antigoon's Revenge:  The "Goon thing" (which is how I chose to refer to this beer since I couldn't remember the name) is a Belgian golden ale brewed with cherry wood smoked malt. It's a big, warming brew with hints of fruit and spice to go along with a noticeably subtle smoke infusion.

Martin House Kafkaesque: So, let me see if I've got this straight. This beer is an Imperial smoked black rye oaked raspberry IPA. If that sounds bizarre or illogical, it's suppose to given the reference to Frank Kafka (Google it). My taste buds cropped the ingredient list down to a hoppy rye oaked raspberry IPA, and a tasty one at that. Basically, contributions from the smoke and dark grains eluded me, but again it's tough to pick up on certain flavors when you're drinking beer in the Arctic.


Jester King Cerveza de Tempranillo: A very wine-like, even-tempered wild ale brewed with Tempranillo grapes that would probably appeal to those not typically into sours. It's strong, with an ABV of 9.4%, but I would never have guessed that based on flavor and aroma.

One for the road

Oskar Blues Maker's Mark Barrel Aged Dale's Pale Ale: Maker's Mark bourbon is among the best to my taste when used for barrel aging. It has an appropriate amount of sweetness without being harsh, making it a perfect complement to many types of beer. In this case, the name of the brew is nine words long...just call it "good."



  1. I agree with many of those. Would also add Firestone XVII to the list.

  2. That's certainly a great beer. I had tried it prior to the fest and it's already known to be world-class, so it wasn't on my list to sample that day. Generally, I stick to beers I haven't had before (new/unknown) during events like this.