Friday, November 25, 2011

The Ten Holiday Beers of Lompoc Brewing

The Lompoc brewers have been as busy as elves preparing for the holiday season. This year, they are releasing 10 different holiday beers, including one for Chanukah. The Lompoc Holiday Beer Extravaganza will feature nine of these on Tuesday, Nov. 29 from 4 to 10 pm at the Lompoc Sidebar, located at 3901 N Williams Ave. The tenth, a Chanukah beer, will be released at its own party on December 14.

This year's holiday seasonals include Blitzen Spiced Golden Ale, Cherry Christmas Sour Blend, Brewdolph Belgian Style Red, Holiday Cheer Robust Vanilla Porter, Jolly Bock German Style Bock, C-sons Greetings Imperial IPA, Bourbon Barrel Aged C-sons Greetings, Old Tavern Rat Barley Wine, Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Tavern Rat and 8 Malty Nights Chocolate Rye.

Special thanks go out to Lompoc Brewing and Chris Crabb for inviting #pdxbeergeeks for this media preview for nine of these great holiday beers.

The tasting panel -

Emily Engdahl - Dog & kid wrangler & co-founder #pdxbeergeeks

Jim Keyes - Homebrewer & husband of Emily Engdahl

Michael Umphress aka @mmcooljam & co-founder #pdxbeergeeks

Perry Bee of BrewmanceNW fame

The reviews -

This spiced golden ale is infused with cinnamon, clove, lemon zest and fresh ginger. It is bright gold in color with a strong cinnamon aroma. The flavor mixes bready wheat malt character with underlying ginger notes and a hint of citrus. 4.6% ABV

A lighter winter beer, a golden ale with spices - minimal lacing, white head, golden & sparkling. aromas of lemon peel, cinnamon & cloves, in house until 21 or 23 of December.

Smooth, light spice, cinnamon nose, ginger up front, clean finish nice golden color, light carbonation.
Wonderful light golden with super good spice aromas and flavor. Light bodied, light drinking. Perfect sessionable holiday beer. Loved the ginger and cinnamon no
Delightfully light and spicy, reminds me of a home cooked meal around the holidays. Certainly a winner for the season. 

This Belgian style red ale features a malty and creamy body. Brewed with the Belgian Ardennes yeast strain, Brewdolph boasts a mild fruitiness and a spicy clove character. 7.7% ABV

Clove aroma with an ivory head and quick foamy head - copper with hoppy finish and nice astringency. lightly peaty at front and middle, like a walk in the winter forest. will be available at Baileys Tap Room - drinks like a Tripel.

classic nose, spice, clove, pepper - dark amber, red, malty
Wonderful rich and hearty Belgian red ale with fantastic yeast character. Spice, clove, great malt, and not a big hopping. Yeast really shined in this beer.
This was a nice malty beer, not overly spiced and slightly sour. Another great holiday seasonal.

Cherry Christmas
Cherry Christmas is a blend of four different beers: Golden Ale fermented in stainless steel with sour cherries; Golden Ale fermented in Port barrels with sour cherries; Brown Ale inoculated with a lambic blend yeast ale aged in Merlot barrels for four years; and a two-year-old Gueze. 5.6% ABV

Ivory head w frothy lacng, pours a golden copper - hazy (not ready) rustic, Nov 29 release at the Holiday Ale Fest. Slight notes of rubberbandy & tart, with sour cherries and lambic blend yeast ale in Merlot barrels - woody.

Amber vs brown, tart, fruit, no distinctive flavor, unfinished (as per brewers) 

Light complex tart and sour ale. Lots of subtle wine and cherry undertones with a great yeast profile. A true blend of some magical beers.

At first smell one can detect the sour. It's very complex, cidery, and reminds me of some lambics. I'm not a fan of sours, but am certain several will like this offering.  

C-sons Greetings
C-sons Greetings is a higher alcohol version of our popular C-Note Imperial Pale Ale, brewed and dry-hopped with even more of the seven "C" hops - Crystal, Cluster, Cascade, Chinook, Centennial, Columbus and Challenger. It features a deep copper color with a piney, citrusy, floral and resinous aroma. A rich caramel malt finish balances the full hop flavor and endless developing hop presence. 8% ABV

fresh! velvety ivory head, resiny/juniper aroma and a chompy mouth.

reminds me of Camp Hancock, great strong IPA 
Wonderful release this year, and I feel better than years passed. Super great aroma hops, lovely Cascade hops spoiled the nose with spice, floral, and citrus qualities. Very well balanced yet still a hoppy monster. Loved it.

One of my favorite seasonal beer from the last two years. Incredibly balanced and a true hop bomb! 

Bourbon Barrel Aged C-sons Greetings
Brewed in February 2011, this was aged in Heaven Hill Bourbon barrels for seven months and cellared for an additional month. It has a deep copper color and strong oak aroma with caramel and resinous hop notes. 8% ABV

Slightly soapy, and unfinished, looking forward to having this when it is a little older. fine ivory head, will be available in bottles at area shops soon.
A little sharp, could use some vanilla bean. 
Super good, mellowed version with lovely wood character. Almost all was barrel aged, and in barrels used before. Certainly not overpowered by bourbon, but still had great mellowed malts, and light vanilla and oak to really round this beer out. One of my favorites there.

This is the one I was really looking forward to trying. All the great qualities of C-Sons Greetings, but I agree with Emily this one needs some more time to mature. 

Holiday Cheer
This robust vanilla porter combines big chocolate flavor and a full body with mellow vanilla notes compliments of whole vanilla beans in the conditioning tank. 6.8% ABV

espresso aroma - ivory head, nice lacing, straight forward. not too sweet - this has a pure vanillla bean clean finish
very big chocolate, good body, nice head retention, faint smoke, great balance

A simple yet delicious porter infused with whole vanilla beans. Great blend of flavors, wonderfully dry, and not at all overly sweet. Perfect for the style.
I love this beer. It's a great balance of chocolate and vanilla all together in one well done porter. Kudos to Lompocs brewers on this one.

Jolly Bock
This lager was brewed with a generous amount of Munich malt to develop the deep amber color and rich malt flavor. The malty profile is balanced with a spicy hop bitterness. 7.3% ABV

Bavarian lager yeast - sweet and malty, loamy, earthy, slight cauliflower tones, this has a quick carbonation - tasty.
malty, not sweet, quick carbonation
Great interpretation of the style. A wonderful dark amber with fantastic Bavarian character. Spicy and zesty hop additions really completed this one.
Malty and sweet, very well balanced. Definitely a winner. 

Old Tavern Rat
This dark, amber colored barley wine was aged for almost a year prior to its release. It has a strong bitterness that is balanced with the sweetness of caramel and toffee flavors. 9.4% ABV

A loose off white head, candy & toffee aromas - deep copper red, top hints of esters, smooth. 
A good barleywine. 
Truly a superb barleywine ale. Really true to the English style, robust, and packed with well rounded flavors. Sweet, bready, brown sugar, molasses..  and good dry hops. The way a barleywine is really meant to be. This one shines.
As a fan of the barleywine style, this one rings true. Dangerously smooth, and very drinkable. 

Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Tavern Rat 
Barley Wine was originally brewed in December 2009, then aged in Heaven Hill Bourbon barrels for 10 months and cellared for another 13. The dark amber-colored barley wine features a soft oak character with notes of raisins and figs. 9.7% ABV

It's buttery smooth, fine ivory head, puckery at lips, vanilla and wood tones. 
Darker and more mellow than Old Tavern Rat. 
I am a much bigger fan of BBA barleywines than any other style. This was solid, had some very big bourbon and vanilla notes, and really darkened the beer up some. Great smooth drinker. High marks for this one.

Incredible! I'm with Jim on this one. Much more mellow the Old Tavern Rat. Not overly boozy tasting as on would expect from a BBA barleywine. Certainly worth buying a couple bottles, storing and see what this offers down the road.  

Thanks again to Lompoc for hosting this event, and hopefully will see some you down at Sidebar on 29th. Just tell them #pdxbeergeeks sent you. Cheers!