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The Beer Circle » Tastings » 2012 Winter Stout Fest

2012 Winter Stout Fest

What’s in a date? If the date was this past Saturday, December 15th, it would mean that it was time for my 3rd Winter Stout Fest. After the success of last year’s Winter Stout Fest, I decided to hold it at my house again. There was such a buzz this year that there was talk on Google+ about chartering a 787 to bring people to Virginia.



Saturday’s Lineup included:

  • Alaskan 2008 Smoked Porter
  • Brooklyn Black Ops 2011
  • Cigar City Winter Warmer 2011-2012
  • Dark Horse Reserve Special Black Ale
  • Deschutes Black Butte 23
  • Dogfish Head Bitches Brew (Batch 1) and World Wide Stout (2005, 2010, 2012)
  • Founders Breakfast Stout
  • Guinness Extra Stout
  • Hercule Stout (Belgium)
  • Left Hand Barrel-Aged Wake Up Dead
  • Olde Hickory Imperial Stout
  • Schlafly 2007 Barrel-Aged Barleywine and 2011 Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout
  • Three Floyds Dark Lord (2011)
  • Van Vollenhoven Extra Stout
  • Victory Dark Intrigue (2nd Release)
  • Homebrew  Stouts, Saison, IPA

Again I provided Tasting Notes for those unfamiliar with any of the beers above. I learned my lesson last year and had an order for the beers. Generally, the lighter tasting beers were early on with the aim to present that strongest tasting beers near the end. We used the Saison and IPA homebrews as a palate cleanser to give our taste buds a break. My spicy chili was hit last year, so I had to have a big pot of it ready for this years crowd (which Russ immensely approved of). Like last year, the event was pretty free-flowing and very lighthearted. This allowed those that weren’t huge stout fans to really enjoy themselves while learning about other beers that they may enjoy.

People started gathering just after Noon and we kicked off with the Guinness at around 12:30. The crowd would get a bit boisterous if I was late presenting the next beer to drink but it was all in good fun.

Without a doubt the best beer at Stout Fest was the 2005 World Wide Stout. There was only one 12oz bottle so it was poured into a couple of glasses for people to sip and pass around. The amazing depth of the 2005 made the 2010 and 2012 versions almost seem like drinking water (which is really saying something for such a big beer). The black color and beige head were the same across the years. However, in the 2005, the aroma was a big stronger and the taste, “WOW!” Malty almost molasses constancy first hit your taste buds and clung to your mouth with a tight grip for a long time. The dark chocolate and raisin tastes were both intensified yet still worked together in perfect harmony.

The only mistake that I made in the order of the beers was saving the Dark Lord for last. It was still a great finish to the day but it was overshadowed by the 2005 WWS.

What has made each of the Stout Fests a success are the people not the beers. It is easy to share beer with friends. Sharing great beer with friends is even better. I’m already looking forward to next year’s Stout Fest and, perhaps, and IPA-Fest in the summer.

The Carnage (aka, afterwards)

The Carnage (aka, afterwards)

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Written by Bob Pack

Simply put, Bob is a beer lover. He goes out of his way to try new beers whenever he can find them. The love of trying new beers had resulted in a beer label collection of over 1400. When it comes down to it, Bob is a hop head. He loves IPAs (including double and black). Stouts are a close second. His tweet reviews on @nova_beer are simple and approachable. Let him know what you think. Find Bob Pack on Google Plus

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