As part of American Craft Beer Week, Jeremy aka Beer Buddha of Cork & Barrel hosted a beer tasting which featured some new beers on the New Orleans scene. Squatters Brewery is in Salt Lake City and Cork & Barrel had several beers on hand to sample.
The first beer we tried was actually not from Squatters, but was from a partner brewery in Salt Lake City. It was a blond ale in a teeny tiny bottles (7 oz) called Little Slammers brewed and bottled by Wasatch.
It was your pretty standard golden/blonde ale, nice refreshing cold beer on hot day. And you can like carry it in your pocket!
Moving on: Hells Keep, a Belgian Strong Pale Ale. This was very drinkable with Belgian yeast flavors and fruit/spice notes. Not hoppy, most of the flavor came from the yeast characteristics.
The Hells Keep is one of Squatters' Reserve Series beers, as is the next one we tried, the Outer Darkness, a Russian Imperial Stout. Ooh, tasty. A bit lighter mouthfeel and flavor intensity than the style usually is, which may annoy RIS connoisseurs, but it worked in its favor for me and my palate. Again, this is an example of the style that is very drinkable. Roasty, chocolate & coffee aromas and notes, brewed with molasses and licorice root and aged in oak barrels.
Nice and dry on the finish. Yum!
The last beer I tried with Jeremy before I went on my way was Squatters' Hop Rising, which is their double IPA.
Big flavor- balanced nicely between malt and hops. For a double IPA, the hop presence was muted, but it, again, was enjoyable on the palate and it was a pleasure to drink. And really, that's all I'm looking for in a beer, ya know?
So, these opinions are based on very minimal consumption- small samples, so it's really a quick hit. I did buy bottles of the Hells Keep and Outer Darkness, and I'll be doing a more in depth tasting in the future. Probably will get the Polygamy Porter (from Wasatch) and the Hop Rising and do it up. Stay tuned! But that will likely be after ACBW is over, because I've got my hands full with that.
With that, I'm off to the Avenue Pub for their Wednesday night nano-brewery tasting. So excited! Will report back. (Promise.)