Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

An End of Passover beer tasting: Petrus, Avery, Lightning

By William Brand
Sunday, April 27th, 2008 at 3:27 pm in Uncategorized.

Passover ends at 8:28 p.m. PDT tonight (Sunday, April 27, 2008) and I intend to celebrate with a bottle of Petrus Aged Pale. A friend’s coming with a bottle of Black Lightning Porter from Lightning Brewing, Poway, CA. and I have a sample bottle from Avery (Boulder, CO.) of Samael’s Oak Aged Ale, 15 percent ABV.

The Lightning Web site desxribed Black Lightning Porter this way:

Lightning Black Lightning PorterBlack Lightning Porter: (ABV 8.5%) A Baltic Porter (Fall Seasonal)
We have created our Black Lightning Porter to have intensely rich malt aromas with strong notes of chocolate and coffee. This has been by the judicious blending of 9 different malts, the bulk of which are from classic UK maltsters. Even though many breweries will add coffee and cocoa extracts to produce these effects, we feel this cannot replace the subtleties experienced by using only malted and then roasted barleys.

Here’s what Avery says about Samael’s:

Samael’s Ale is a super-caramelly, oak aged English-style strong ale. Perhaps the least hoppy (sacrilege here at Avery!!) beer we’ve brewed, to accentuate the malt. The oak is very apparent in this rich and high gravity ale, adding additional depth and complexity with a woody and cask-like nose and a pronounced vanilla flavor on the palate. Notes for 2007 – With the addition of an additional roasted malt, Samael’s now delivers subtle bitterness to add balance to the natural sweetness.

Oh yeah, there’ll be a few bottles of homebrew as well. Hallelujah.

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  • Stuart

    My thoughts on the beer:

    Petrus–started off a little sour for my tastes. It grew on me as I sipped it–especially after I went back to it after tasting some of the other beers. A good “clear your palate” beer. I’d definately get it again.

    Black Lightning Porter was excellent, but I’m biased towards it. Deep, full bodied, and rich. Goes well with a piece of milk chocolate.

    Deschutes Hophenge: It’s the Deschutes DIPA and although it wasn’t bad, I’ve had better. It was very hoppy, but a little syrupy for me.

    Avery Samael’s Oak Aged Ale. It’s hard not to make a 15% ABV beer not sweet and they did their best. It is a sipping dessert beer and although I liked it I probably could only take small aliquots of it at a time.

    Stu’s Chocolate Hazelnut Porter 2005. Past its prime. Ready to toss in the sink.

    Stu’s Unidentified Very Hoppy Ale. It’s unidentified because we forgot to keep the recipe and the bottle label on the cap just has the obscure code “A7″ meaning that it was a “2007 Ale”. Also, we made it at the same time as our Pliny clone–which was so labor intensive that we didn’t pay much attention to this other beer except to follow the recipe–which as I said we lost. As a result I have no idea what’s in it. But it’s drinkable, and that’s what counts.

  • William Brand

    Hmmm. I was really looking forward to the Petrus Aged Pale. It’s bottle conditioned and a bottle I’d had in my beer fridge for six months, so it had gone totally sour. And true, after it warmed up, it was much better.

    Black Lightning Porter was excellent, smooth and chocolately.

    I really liked the Hophenge. The residual sweetness was there to balance the hops. No, it’s not Pliny the elder, but I’ll drink it again.

    Stu’s had savage hop bitterness, which I like.