Beer Tasting Night: The Good, The Bad and the Clam Flavored – Part 1

Beer tasting night at Lost Abbey
Last week I wrote about a 10 year-old bottle of Olde English 800 Malt Liquor Molly and I were about to open, sample — and hopefully survive. Well, after standing at our bar for several minutes staring at that 40 ounce bottle we decided that something as special as this had to be shared with friends and true beer aficionados. So we put the beer back in the fridge and waited for Friday.

Friday night we wandered down to the tasting room at Port Brewing/Lost Abbey with our 40 ounce treasure packed safely in the ice chest. Waiting a day turned out to be an excellent decision. Head brewer Tomme Arthur was back after a week on the East Coast to attend the American Beer Fest and do a number of restaurant appearances. Assistant brewer Bo Winegarner was also in the house offering samples of a home brewed Doppel Bock he made a couple of years ago. And within a few minutes of our arrival, Tim Bulkley (aka: “the Beer Hunter”) and Ivan Derezin, owner of Churchill’s Pub & Grille, both showed with special beers in tow. To cap things off, Ken, a certified beer judge walked in a couple moments later.

All-in-all a perfect group to sample the special treat we had with us.

A few of the beers we sampled: Bud Light Chilada - Olde English 800 - Thomas Hardy 1990
Ivan’s contribution to the party was a 24 ounce can of Bud Light “Chilada” currently being test marketed in Texas. Tomme had a 1990 Thomas Hardy he was itching to sip. Tim had a dozen or so stouts he brought in (thinning his “beer herd”) We, of course, had the coup de grace with the Olde E.

Tomme in his beer sommelier doo rag ready to open the Olde EnglishThe Bad
The Olde E really demanded to go first, so Tomme donned his doo rag (a bar towel), and popped the cap on that sucker.

Surprisingly, no one died.

The bottle opened with a fizzy pop that satisfied us all that the seal was still good, and Tomme poured tasters for all present — including a little on the floor for the “homies” who were not present. Then, as head brewer and a generally fearless/stupid guy, he took the first sip.
Tomme downs the Olde E
Well, actually, he downed the entire glass in one fell swoop — just the way Olde E should be drunk.

We waited a moment. Surprisingly, he did not die.

So we all lifted our glasses and got a taste of a beer nine years, 11 months past its “freshness date”.

Ken the Beer Judge drinking Olde English 800 Malt LiquorHow did it taste? Well, I think Ken the Beer Judge said it best:

    “Lightstruck and oxidized, but probably better than when it was young. Definitely better than I thought it was going to be.”

Not exactly a ringing endorsement, but certainly proof that a little aging can help even the cheapest of beers.

Tomme continued to fill glasses with the stuff and we handed it out to (often unsuspecting) others. And (not as) surprisingly, no one died.

Up next:
» The Clam Flavored

Author: Sage
I'm a writer, marketing strategist, tech weenie and craft beer lover.

2 thoughts on “Beer Tasting Night: The Good, The Bad and the Clam Flavored – Part 1

  1. You know Sage, this is one saga that needs to be told. It is an epic, only one third from Greece to, well, nevermind. Oh that’s right! Czech Republic! Now, thank goodness all of the evidence is gone…

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