Just got home from Denver, its been a totally uneventful day today.
Yesterday was much more fun! After breakfast with some family I met up with Todd and we headed to the convention center right at 12:30 when it opened for the connoisseur tasting session. We went around and hit a few things a second time, including Redstone Meadery, Dogfish Head and Iron Hill on a much fresher palate. Redstone Meadery had three meads — mead is best described as a honey wine, sometimes flavored with fruit a.k.a. a melomel — which we tried before anything else today since they were much more subtle in flavor than some of the bigger porters, stouts, IPAs, etc. Of the three varieties we tried — Sunshine, Blackberry and Boysenberry — we both liked the Blackberry the best, since it was sweet with fresh blackberry flavors rounding out the taste. This could easily replace a sweet dessert wine on my table.
We also ran back to the Wynkoop Brewery to taste their barleywine, with all of the colorful beer names its hard to remember them all, which was a blend of seven years of barleywines that were then blended and aged in a Woodford Reserve oak cask. This was a great drink! Later in the night, after a very short trip to the evening tasting (my palate was worn out and I really didn't feel like drinking any more beers!) we went by the Wynkoop brewery. The brewery is located no more than a mile from our hotel. It was time for a late dinner and one final drink. I really enjoy the food and atmophere at the brewery, Steph and I had beed there a few years earlier. I had the schwarzbier, it was nice but I couldn't finish any more beer, I just wanted water. Todd had another barleywine. Sadly, the keg was running dry and it will never be offered again. The oak aging gave the beer lots of coconut and vanilla flavors which made us both wish for a pairing with coconut creme brulee.
By the end of the night, I was exhausted, we walked back to the hotel to pass out. This was a fun weekend, but 3 sessions is too damn much for me! Next year I would do the Thursday night session, which Todd thought was the most interesting because more of the brewers were at their tables. I'd skip Friday night and Saturday night, they both were extremely crowded! The Saturday connoiseur tasting was much more relaxed with people who were more intersted in the beers, rather than getting drunk. I'll also bring some pretzels and a length of string. Lots of folks made necklaces of pretzels to munch on at the tasting and clear their palate. A good idea, since the food at the venue was not overly inpsiring. We didn't eat anything inside the convenion center during any of the tasting sessions.
Time to sit back on the couch, drink water, treat my liver a little better than the past two days and get ready for another work week.