Time to catch up on some old entries that have been sitting in the Super Neat Beer Adventure, Yes!! archives for quite some time (see: it’s late, and I feel like typing about beer), so let’s take a trip back in time, back to…about three weeks ago.
Geez, I was so much younger then. And happier. By golly, happier!
This particular “throwback” entry covers the Trappist beer tasting I attended at Swift Hibernian Lounge in Manhattan last month (2/27) with my good buddies, Scott Larkin and Talal Khawaja.
As you can see from the photograph above (I feel like speaking as if I were a paleontologist giving a lecture with a slide presentation and laser pointer), six of the seven Trappist breweries (Chimay, Achel, Orval, Westmalle, Rochefort and Koningshoeven – the seventh, Westvleteren, is extremely rare in the States and was not available for sampling) were present and given their own tasting station featuring a representative to pour samples, answer questions and explain exactly what we should be tasting from each brew.
For someone still expanding their palette and learning how to properly taste beer, it was real informative to get pointers from some true brew nerd geeks. I mean, you can read stuff online all day about tasting, or pouring, or whatever, but it’s totally different in person. You actually feel like part of the process. Definitely cool. There were also plates of different breads, meats and cheeses served at every station and paired accordingly with their Trappist ale, which again, added a whole different dimension to the tasting.
Note: With my only exposure to cheese prior to this tasting being a few slices of Swiss on my Subway sandwich from time to time, I really had no idea how amazing and complex cheese was. I even liked this extremely stinky cheese they served. It literally had the aroma of unwashed feet walking through a high school gymasium in 1972, but it was still real good. Like real good.
At the end of the evening’s events, Swift raffled off two huge-normous gift baskets containing random Trappist bottles and glassware. I told my buddy Scott that he would take home one of the baskets, and what ended up happening?
Yep, you guessed it. Bastard. Clearly, I was his good luck charm. I definitely deserve a bottle and/or glass for that one.
P.S. — My favorite station had to be the vertical tasting of Chimay Grande Réserve, aged down from 2009 to 2006. As you went down the line, you were really able to notice the difference (more like wine, in terms of body and taste) between each year, and more so if you skipped two or three years. Loved it.