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Archive for February 16th, 2008

The inaugural “Drink With The Wench” was a smashing hit. Nine brave and adventurous Columbus locals joined me at Bodega last night, sampling and reviewing more than 10 different beers.

The nine crazy guinea pigs consisted of myself, Mandy, Jess, Shelley, Jason, and Roland as well as the local bloggers; Keith, Josh, and Tim. Bodega was already bumping by the time we arrived and, since it was impossible to secure a table, we all hovered together at the bar.

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For anyone unfamiliar with Bodega, it has at least 50 different beers on tap — many of which, for Columbus, are exclusively found there. Bodega offers an extremely extensive collection of beers by the bottle as well. They have a happy houevery weekday from 4-8, with half off of all drafts. That is a sweet special.

Since it was the first event, we did not have an agenda and decided to wing it. Instead of everyone tasting the same beer, we all ordered different beers — ranging from double IPA’s to wheat beers to stouts. I gave everyone a copy of the beer tasting and rating sheet that I found on Ratebeer.com. It ended up being an extremely helpful tool.

Lucky for me, I got to try almost every beer that was tasted by all the others. Here are the beers and overall ratings from the group: (Disclaimer: beer appearance may be slightly off due to the extremely low lighting in the bar.)

Lagunitas Cappuccino Stout: Seasonal American Stout, on draft, ABV 7.9%. Appearance: small head, good lacing, muddy body, lightly cloudy particles, black color. Aroma: coffee malt, average hops, smoke. Palate: full body, thick texture, flat carbonation, bitter finish. Flavor: long duration, light sweetness, harsh bitterness.

Bell’s Winter White: Seasonal Witbier, on draft, ABV 4.5%. Appearance: spare head, spare lacing, cloudy body, light cloudy particles, yellow color. Aroma: straw malt, light hops, light clove, nutmeg. Palate: light body, lively carbonation, light acidity.

Bell’s Two-Hearted: Year-round IPA, on draft, ABV 7.0%. Appearance: spare head, fair lacing, lightly cloudy particles, amber-brown color. Aroma: toasted malt, average yeast. Palate: medium body, average carbonation. Taste: average duration, light sweetness, light acidity, moderate bitterness.

Stone Ruination IPA: Year-round IPA, on draft, ABV 7.7%. Appearance: average head, light cloudy particles, orange color. Aroma: roasted malt, pine & citrus hops. Palate: full body, thick texture, lively carbonation, bitter finish. Flavor: long duration, light acidity, heavy bitterness.

Bear Republic “El Oso”: Seasonal Mexican style Vienna lager, on draft, ABV 4.5%. Appearance: spare head, lightly cloudy particles, brown color. Aroma: light malt, light yeast. Palate: light body, fizzy carbonation. Flavor: short duration, moderate acidity, might bitterness.

Great Lakes Irish Ale: Seasonal Irish ale, on draft, 6.5% ABV. Appearance: spare head, spare lacing, lightly cloudy particles, amber color. Aroma: average yeast. Palate: light body. Flavor: moderate bitterness.

North Coast Old Rasputin Imperial Stout: Seasonal Russian Imperial stout, on draft, 9% ABV. Appearance: creamy head, excellent lacing, dark brown color. Aroma: roasted grain & molasses malt, light hops, eathy yeast, heavy, prune, smoke, tar, vanilla, tobacco. Palate: full body, creamy texture, minerals, soft carbonation, bitter finish. Flavor: long duration, heavy sweetness, light acidity, heavy bitterness, minerals. “Loved this — yummy! A favorite,” -Mandy.

Dogfish Head Raison D’Etre: Year-round ale, in the bottle, 8% ABV. Appearance: spare & white head, no lacing, sparking body, tawny-amber color. Aroma: heavy cookie & chocolate, perfume & resin hops, light yeast, raisin, prune, cherry, port, tobacco. Palate: light body, thin texture, lively carbonation. Flavor: average duration, harsh sweetness, light acidity, light bitterness, vinegar. “Really like at first. Aged poorly. Would get again, though,” -Mandy.

Boulder Beer Mojo Risin IPA: Seasonal Double IPA, on draft, 10% ABV. Appearance: average frothy/ white/ diminishing head, cloudy body, fair lacing, light orange-amber. Aroma: light malt, grassy & citrus hops, sweet yeast. Palate: full body, alcoholic texture, lively carbonation, astringent finish. Flavor: long duration, moderate sweetness, heavy acidity, heavy bitterness, minerals. “The alcohol was too apparent and over shadowed both the flavor of the hops and the malt. Not my favorite Double IPA, to say the least.” -The Beer Wench

Great Divide Hercules Double IPA: Seasonal Double IPA, on draft, 9.1% ABV. Appearance: spare/ white/ diminishing head, fair lacing, hazy body, dark amber color. Aroma: average toffee malt, light grass/ pine/ citrus hops, light yeast. Palate: full body, mineral texture, average carbonation, bitter finish. Flavor: long duration, moderate sweetness, light acidity, heavy bitterness. “This beer has a beautiful balance. It is one of the best Double IPAs I’ve tasted thus far. The hops are really prominent, without totally overshadowing the sweetness of the malt.” -The Beer Wench

Overall summation: The beer was excellent and the company was even better. We even ran into one of the tri-owners of Tip Top Kitchen & Cocktails, Chuck, whom was very interested in our activities. I’m planning on making Tip Top the next destination for “Drink With The Wench.”

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