There's little time left to enjoy one of the Pacific Northwest's favorite seasonal ale fests - Holiday Ale Fest's last day is winding down as we speak. What a great time - we slid in with no line at 11:45a on Saturday, and remarking on the well lit and warm tents, proceeded to cruise around with no problem; enjoying several very delicious beers.
Below, my very informal notes - I really enjoyed seeing several fellow #pdxbeergeeks wandering around, and the consensus was that although the evenings tended to bring a different (dare we say, fratty) crowd to the event, most serious beer folks I talked to were raving about the organization of the event, the layout, the early attendance (going early = little to no crowds!) and best of all, THE BEER!
Firestone: Bourbon Barrel Aged Velvet Merkin - smooth, but not remarkable. well balanced w bourbon but lost stouty characteristcs... i would have liked a bit more substance.
Oakshire: The Nutcracker - slightly smoky, deep good mouthfeel
Seven Brides: Drunkle 2011 - dunkel, fruity, bright
Laht Neppur: Laughing Boy Stout - pretty good, chocolatey and chompy
Lagunitas: Old Gnarley Wine - deep raisin fruit flavors
Bison Brew: Marmalade - orange top notes belgian, needs more body; while I really like this, I wish that it drank more like a tripel, more velvety
Black Diamond: Bourbon/Brandy Imperial Porter - needs more mouthfeel
Hopworks: Kentucky Christmas - love! resiny & hoppy
Deschutes: Super Jubel - hoppy, roasty
Burnside: Barrel Aged Permafrost - smooth, slightly tart, delicious strong ale
Stone: Ruination IPA DDH w Appolo Hops and American Oak Chips - mushroomy & loamy, the oak stomps on the hops