Recap of Coaltrain Barrel Aged Beer Tasting

The other night we attended the Coaltrain Barrel Aged Beer Tasting at The Warehouse. This event was very different than the beer dinners we've had at Trinity and Another Pint as it wasn't a proper beer dinner per say. There were three courses and about fourteen different beers in between all that. These beers have been saved off in the Coaltrain cellar for such an event and then also made available at a discount for those who attend. Overall the beers were really tasty, some I have tried previously but now the beers had some age to them so they were quite different than before. Some of the exceptional beers I'd like to mention were the La Trappe Oak-Aged Isid'or Trappist, HaandBryggeriet Akevitt Porter (Akevitt is a spirit from Norway), Barrel Aged BORIS from Hoppin Frog, Old Rasputin 14th Anniversary Stout, Dry Dock Bligh's Barleywine, Boulevard Bourbon Barrel Quad, and Odell Friek.

The Barrel Aged Old Rasputin was one of my favorites, I picked up a bottle of this for a special occasion. And I'd really like to try this next to the original stout. This one had some balanced notes of chocolate and bourbon.

Josh and Isaac discussing one of the Le Trappe beers

I know this wasn't a proper beer dinner but I do wish there was a bit more food and that it was paired a little closer to the beer. Ultimately though, this allowed us to focus more on the beer itself and think less about how the meals were prepared.

Perhaps another one of my favorites of the night was the Dry Dock Bligh's Barleywine. Sitting at 10% this beer was rich in flavor, lots of complex dark fruit flavors, some oak, a nice bitter balance. It was voted Best Beer of Colorado 2011 on Denver Off The Wagon so it was nice to try this one. It's too hard for me to pick an absolute best beer, although this was extraordinary, so was the Odell Friek.

The La Trappe was oak heavy, rosey, and delicate. Dan said it 'tastes like a church pew' which I thought meant he hated it but it was one of his favorites and he ordered at least one for home. I was really impressed with this one.

Odell Friek was the winner of the 2011 Wood and Barrel Aged Sour Beers at GABF

Happy People!

Overall this was a fun event and I would definitely want to come back to the next one. I do have suggestions for the Coaltrain/Warehouse team. I would work to pair the food more and perhaps also provide more snacks for the table. I would also slow the event down a bit as well, I like drinking these complex and heavy beers much slower than normal. Finally I'm mixed about not being able to buy some of these beers in the store, instead having to come to this event to get them. On the other hand, I don't get in to Coaltrain enough to catch everything that goes through and I'm pretty sure I would have missed out on a majority of these had they all been available. They probably would have disappeared quite quickly. I know I've missed plenty of good beer because I'm not always on top of things. Additionally by having this sit down tasting I was able to try a few beers that I wouldn't really have considered if they were on the shelf. And ultimately without saving these beers away an exciting event such as this one would not be possible. So I'm slightly mixed but actually I'm mostly thankful. Like I said, overall this was a fun experience and worth going back. Thank you Coaltrain for a good night!

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BeerEric Steen