Deschutes Barrel Tasting 2008
I had the opportunity to hit up this years Barrel Tasting at the Deschutes Mountain room. This has been one of those events that I try to make it to year after year. This year the beer was flowing in great quantities, a variety of flavors, and served with some tasty treats.
For $35 a person you get to drink 8 different beers that have been brewed by Deschutes and then aged in a variety of different wine and liquor barrels. You can read all about the beers and opinions on each from my buddy the Brewerman. I agree with him for the most part. When he says that the Anniversary Ale was on the sweeter side, I found it undrinkable. The wife loved it but she also drinks Beringers white zin. The flat Oud Bruin was another one I found to be undrinkable. My favorite quote from the Brewerman is about the Abyss:
"Drink this beer whenever a glass of it is in front of you. If you say, “I don’t like dark beer”, you should get slapped … hard … immediately. Don’t be that guy. Drink it I say, and be set free!"
For the other 6, I couldn't get enough. I felt like Augustus Gloop
diving into Wonka's chocolate river. I was swimming in a sea of Abyss and couldn't care less. I love beer but I also love food. I'm glad to see that Deschutes is providing better appetizers to snack on in between sloshing down a few beers in comparison to years past.
When we arrived a couple of friends were already out on the balcony so I grabbed a couple beers and we headed out to say high. Lucky enough there was a grill filled with mini lamb chops served with mint infused oil. I ate my weight in these.
Prosciutto Wrapped Fresh Mozzarella Balls with Sweet Wort Drizzle and Smoked Albacore Spread on Sesame Crackers
Fennel Apple Goat Cheese Flatbread
Chocolate Cake Bites with Macadamia Coconut Caramel
Not pictured - Quajillo Braised Pork on House-Made Tortilla Chips
The lamb was my favorite dish. Cooked medium rare unless you asked specifically for a piece to be cooked a little longer, eaten right off the grill in the view of the mountains while sipping on one of the great beers is how I want to spend every Saturday night.
The braised pork on the chips were also very good. One of my friends grabbed a couple of those and drizzled some of the roasted red pepper spread on them from a different table, that made them even better!
The Prosciutto and mozz balls are a staple but I didn't get enough wort drizzle on mine. They were pretty plane, the cheese was very very mild and lacked any flavor. We ate the Prosciutto with the other cheeses instead. The smoked tuna spread started off really good but left a weird after taste. Could have been that they were sitting out a while since the first one I tried didn't seem to have that fishy after taste.
The Fennel, Apple, Goat Cheese flat bread were very good and went quickly. That was one of the stations that was constently being refilled. Very clean and crisp, it was a great mix of flavors that went really good with the Cascade Ale.
The chocolate cake bites were out of this world.
I loved it all, a great evening. My favorite part is that they served the beer in half pints instead of the little shot glasses.