First was the Stillwater Autumnal- a malty, somewhat funky farmhouse ale. There was a nice spiciness, and I thought I caught a bit of grape/wine taste up front, (looks like it was aged in Burgundy casks, which would explain that) and it had a nice dry finish. Refreshing, tasty, and nicely challenging.
Second was Brooklyn Brewery's The Companion, which was brewed to celebrate Garrett Oliver's work as editor-in-chief for the Oxford Companion to Beer. According the the Brooklyn Brewery blog,
Thomas created special new floor malts for The Companion, which is brewed in an old style called “wheat wine”, a wheat-based equivalent to barley wine. The floor malts give this beer a juicy malt character of considerable depth, 55% malted wheat gives it a surprising lightness on the palate, while our house ale yeast lends a gentle fruitiness. The Oxford Companion will impart knowledge, while The Companion imparts conviviality. Maybe you really can have it all?I liked it. It was like an imperial hefeweizen, although the alcohol (9+%) is EXTREMELY well hidden. I was buzzing pretty good after a glass of that. Much lighter than a barley wine and more well rounded in body and flavor than a regular hefe or weisse. Complex but not as crazypants as The Concoction.
In other news, I'm happy to report that Tom's homebrew ("black ESB") is really coming along. It's quite tasty and it keeps getting better as it ages.
Also, welcome to the blog world, fellow lady beer blogger Amy, The Beer Belle.