Friday, January 1, 2016

WEEK 66---MEMORABLE BEER LIST 2015---by cttai

非正式成立的本地品酒会--完全陌生人的美国啤迷因公来马促成的本地有史以来最强大品酒会--为啤酒去了新加坡和曼谷出席品酒会--自己去了欧洲一趟,参加了哥本哈根CBC,拜访了CANTILLON/DE MOLEN,以及不同城市专卖吧/瓶子店,还有期间认识的新朋友们。

and so 2015 has just passed by --but the list continues on, this time my list for the year.
2015 has been a year of leaps and bounds in beer terms:-
-the natural forming of a regular tasting group in KL
-going out as a group on beer trip--2 trips last year( SG & BKK)
-some form of beercation to Europe for CBC2015
-visiting Cantillon & De Molen--as well the bars/bottle shop in different cities...
-a surprise visit by a(total stranger)American beer geek to KL--making the best ever tasting this city has seen possible.
-and of course--all beer friends made during the past year..
in a nutshell--2015 been an important year of real eye opener, as well palate opener...the list below is for newspaper column--which is somewhat limiting due to limited space, will add on few more not published in newspaper:-
18th street Bitch B Crazy
A surprised gift bottle by brewer Drew Fox during CBC--which i brought back to KL to share with the guys--before this few of us only had a bottle of HUNTER stout before--no idea what to expect from this little gift bottle--the verdict ? all 5 were basically quite speechless after a few sip--it was that good--yet not hyped up at all.
跟本地几位超级啤迷分享的一支小瓶装,也就是说,只能喝上一小杯,这是酿酒师DREW FOX在哥本哈根啤酒庆典亲手赠送瓶子,名气不比被捧上天或黑市价格吓人盛名黑啤,不过,功力体现的美味让所有人折服,浩瀚啤海总会有惊喜。
Pliny the Elder + Heady Topper
to have had the chance to drink TWICE in a short span of time here in KL--both quite freshly bottled/canned was like ..WTF :)  though it's probably not very accurate for me to say this --but just cant resist in saying these two are like the YIN and YANG of typical American IPA...have emm and you shall see what's the fuss all about....
IPA被好多人视为CRAFT BEER标志性酿品,觉得就是要啤酒花苦味冲击才算好,不过,试过公认为两大必试美国不同风格IPA后才知道什么是真正高手酿品,前者讲究均衡平和,后者强调酒花功用之余不咄咄逼人。
New Glarus Strawberry Rhubarb
one word came to mind recalling this beer---WOW!!!  partly due to the fact all 5 of us did not know what to expect from such a beer--but i guess the best reaction can be summed up by the action of the gf of one of the tasting group guys--a non-geek, non-beer lover--she practically HOLD ON TIGHT to that glass of beer and said"it's all mine!"  :)  ( to be honest--all of us guys were feeling the same)
if i can use a simple description to say how it taste--imagine chewing on freshly squeezed, light sour/sweet/aromatic strawberry jam--in a beer form.
Hillfarmstead Clara
my first ever Hillfarmstead beer--found it at Mikkeller & friends( thanks to Nic for sharing) --at 4%, this would be very much a "nothing" beer for many ipa/stout drinkers--and we actually just did a heavy BA stout before drinking this one--it more than held it's own--nope--it actually taste it's own--so easy going, plain--yet full of layer. if you don't believe in low abv "nothing" beer--try this.
La Petit Prince & Princess
another low abv beer---this time even lower--only at 2.9%---had the Prince on tap at CBC--and princess in bottle bought from Amsterdam. Again--it's so easy going, drinkable, yet subtly satisfying the palate needs for depth.
小王子是美国酿坊JESTER KING的名作,小公主则是和法国一家酿坊的合酿,都属于低度啤酒,只有2.9%,适合任何时候喝的佳酿。
Cigar City Hunapuh's
yes--this bad boy landed here in KL--like a wildest dream turn real.
This is no doubt the unanimous pick of the group among some of the big big stouts we have had the opportunity to taste. It basically hits all the right notes in a big stout--big, bold, deep, thick, smooth, creamy --plus that killer roasted coconut like mouth feel. HANDS down--personal big favourite stout of 2015.( and to think that 2015 we had BRUERY Weekday series--Westbrook Mexican Cake and so on....)
Yellow Belly
A collab brew by Buxton/Omnipollo--it's amazingly fun, taste like chewing on roasted cotton candy with a layer of peanut butter--with no actual peanut butter use at all while brewing....just amazing fun beer, and of course tasty ( glad that new bottles supply would be on the way soon :)
Founders KBS
for fans of KBS--i would like to say sorry that this beer was included in the Memorable list for a slightly different reason--we had a bottle mailed in from the states--really excited to have found one and try it here in KL---BUT--all 5 of us were totally let down by the High expectations we placed on the beer. KBS is surely a good beer--that is no argument--but it simply did not live up to the expectations--we all thought it was just good--NOT WOW--it kinda make us think a little about the reality of chasing after big name beers--that you would obviously be delighted to find big beers--but whether that beer live up to your expectations--can be another story all together...(but hey--keep chasing we would ;)
CANTILLON & some other lambics/sours
it's crazy to think that prior to 2015--i have had only very very few lambic--which is understandable since there's only Japan and Taiwan has got direct supply from Belgium--but have had the opportunity to sample more than 20 different lambics mainly from Cantillon- 3Fonteinen-Tilquin in 2015...
if i were to pick one that is vividly clear in my memory months after having it--it would have to be the bottle of Cuvee Florian i had while visiting Cantillon--it just tasted so delicious with a twist of roasted aroma.
今年有幸喝到好几家多款不同天然发酵果酸啤酒,众里选一的话,会是CUVEE FLORIAN这支2014特酿,带烤香味的清爽微酸复杂啤酒,展现了成名酿品中再创新口感的可能。

 Beers/moments not mentioned in newspaper column:-
*Fifty/Fifty Eclipse food pairing @ upstairs Mikkeller BKK
gourmet food and beer pairing is something not many people think of---it's a nice experience to have attended this event with 7 different stouts from Eclipse series--pairing with different food prepared by chef Dan Bark(former sous chef at Grace--michelin 3 star restaurant in Chicago)
it would have been quite different experience had we only drank the 7 beers during a normal tasting session--but with the 7 course specially prepared/paired--it became very much layered and one could tell the differences of each stouts having what kind of influences from the food.... or vice versa
美食搭啤酒好像不是很多人会想到一块的事,去年底在曼谷米吧新开的楼上餐厅就有好玩体验,用7道不同菜肴/甜点配搭美国小型酿坊FIFTY FIFTY的ECLIPSE系列中的7支黑啤,可以体会美食如何衬托啤酒,甚至提升味道的美妙,整体来说,特意飞去曼谷绝对值得。

*Triple-fisting FFF
-i first had the taste of a Three Floyds tap takeover here in Asia--at Mikkeller BKK to be precise--that was late OCT 2014.
Months later--i found myself at Copenhagen beer week late April 2015--while waiting to attend CBC which happened on weekend--one of the tap takeover during that week was FFF at Mikkeller VK -and there i was--almost instinctively i ordered 3 glasses almost at the same time...darklord/zombie dust/darklord vanilla bean---just unreal holding those 3 :)
2015在哥本哈根啤酒庆典做过最“梦幻”的其中一件事就是在一个“占领啤酒泵”活动中,一次过买了3杯THREE FLOYDS最受追捧的DARK LORD/DARK LORD VANILLA BEAN和美式淡啤ZOMBIE DUST。啤迷梦想,大约如此。

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