Lagunitas Sirius


I know.  It’s been a while.  But I’ve been going through a whiskey phase and I haven’t been tasting very many new beers.  It’s something that I mean to remedy, and I started last night.  Purchased a couple of new six packs for an Oscar viewing party.  OK…it was more like Gia and I drinking a few beers and having snacks while I live-blogged the Oscars.  Anywho.

Sirius is a Spring Release Ale from Lagunitas Brewing in Petaluma California.  A Cream Ale with an ABV of 7.60%, so it is on the strong side when it comes to drinkability.

It poured an almost bright orange color (ok…copper) with a distinctive pine hops aroma.  I was actually confused by that because I wasn’t sure what the distinction of a “cream ale” was going to be.  Malt or hops?

Turned out to be a delicious combination of both.  A smooth mouth feel with a bitter hop taste (not too strong) on the finish.  It definitely had a creamy flavor as it sat on the tongue.  That sounds a bit disgusting, doesn’t it?

I had it with some stuffed cherry peppers (prosciutto and provolone) and horseradish hummus.  Sounds good, right?  So I would suggest pairing it with those items, and only because I am too lazy to figure out what else it would taste good with.  Or you know what?  Just drink it on it’s own.  It’s damn fine either way.

My Rating: 8 out of 10


Stone Vertical Epic 07

I think I messed up.

I’ve had beers out of Stone Brewing, Co.from California before, and I’ve really enjoyed them.  So when I saw the Vertical Epic last week at the local distributor, I didn’t think twice about giving it a go.  What I didn’t know then was the back-story to the Vertical Epic line of brews from Stone.

Starting in 2002 they have produced a very, very small batch of ale (I’ve read in the neighborhood of 300 cases or so) that they would release on a special day.  2/2/2002, 3/3/2003, 4/4/2004 and so on.  Each individual brew was designed to be aged in the bottle until 12/12/2012 when the beer aficionado should try each with a group of fellow enthusiasts in a “vertical tasting”.  Everything from the 11-year old 2002 brew to the un-aged 2012 ale.  That was the design.  I didn’t know that.  You can read about it here, if you prefer.

Not that it would have changed when I drank the ale.  No, beer is more of an immediate thing for me rather than something I would choose to wait 11 years to quaff.  However, if I had known about the design of the ale I probably wouldn’t have purchased it in the first place.  The version I purchased was the 07 vintage.  Which means that it was probably sitting on the shelf of this beer store for the better part of the past year.  So I don’t know if it was supposed to taste the way it tasted or if it was ruined by a year in the warmth and light of this particular beer store.

Because it was nasty.  Almost un-drinkable.  Way too much of an alcohol taste for my liking without any of the sweetness or mellowness of a great malty ale.  The aroma, the inital taste, the aftertaste…nothing was good.  It was just plain awful.

I hope it was only my bottle that was ruined after a year in the store, and I ain’t waiting until 2012 to try a fully aged bottle.  But I usually like the offerings from this brewery.  Without another bottle to test it against, I gotta call foul on this one.

My Rating: 2 out of 10