Echidna Media Organization project S.N.A.L. (emo_snal) wrote,
Echidna Media Organization project S.N.A.L.

Do A Barrel Roll!

   So last Saturday the lovely Miss Marla Santoyo rather sponteniously decided to visit. It was a very pleasant turn of events, in my opinion.

   Saturday evening we rented the movies Strangebrew and In Bruges.
   Strangebrew: All I knew about it was that it was about a brewery and featured the very bottling line that we'd be seeing the next day in the Stone Brewery. Turns out the movie was absolutely terrible. Its about these two idiot Canadian brothers who are unbearably annoying after about 30 seconds of the way into the film. We turned it off after about maybe 20 minutes. Or maybe it was ten but felt like twenty. F
   In Bruges: I'd never heard of this movie but we saw it on the shelf and Marlinator said she heard it was good. Its about two hitmen who are told by their boss to go on vacation to Bruges, Belgium. Of course, hijinks ensue involving people trying to kill them and such. Its hilarious without ever seeming like its trying to be, and suprisingly serious. I quite liked this movie. A

   Sunday we went with Mark and Jeff down to the Stone Brewery. It so happened that it was "the Summer Gathering" which meant that they had brought out all their beers! Mark and Jeff took the opportunity to try the oldest of vintages of each of their styles, I went for the barrel aged versions of all their styles.

Barrel-Agedness: Previous to this I would have guessed that "barrel-aging" a beer was just a cheap gimmick that didn't have much effect. However, after thorough research I can confidently say no, barrel-aging beer DOES have significant effect on a beer, and it is usually a good one.

07.07.07 Vertical Epic Ale Aged in Wine Barrels - A very very good beer. The wine barrels impart an extremely interesting (and pleasant) flavour. I think it may be one of Mark's favourite beers. If you ever see it (likely only if you are at the brewery, and even then they might not have it available that day) I definitely suggest you give it a try, everyone I've talked to who's tried it has liked it.

08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale - BEER FROM THE FUTURE!! And they have their own notes on it. Anyway when I was drinking I was concentrating on comparing it to its barrel aged equivalent (well the VEA777) rather than evaluating it in its own right, so ask me about it some other time. Also they have a video about the whole epic project.

2006 Double Bastard Ale with French Oak - I actually really didn't like Double Bastard Ale when I'd tried it before. However, some guys at the bar were adament I should give this barrel aged version a try so I did ... and it was quite good! The barrels really smoothed it out and gave it a nice taste.

2007 Stone Imperial Russian Stout Aged in Bourbon Barrels - This was the only case where the barrel aging didn't seem to be an improvement to me. You could distinctly taste BOTH the complete normal flavour of the stout, and the taste of bourbon -- they didn't blend at all.

2006 Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Aged in Bourbon Barrels - In contrast to the stout, the bourbon barrels did contribute positively to the barleywine. I really like Old Guardian Barleywine ordinarily, so suffice to say, I thought this barrel aged version was quite good.

Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale - Now this one IS actually available in stores (at least in Bevmo. think it goes for like $13 a sixpack there. So I just fill my growlers with it at the brewery for a fraction of that), and I think it might actually be possibly my favourite beer right now (which is shocking since its not a stout). Its just.. perfect. The perfect balance of flavours and strength and smoothness. Notwithstanting the high price of it in stores I recommend you treat yourself sometime and give it a try.

Other: And of course, the onion rings at the Stone Brewery are always to die for. Seriously, check out this onion ring. NOTE how thats about a quarter of an onion ring and its as big as my friggen hand!!!

   Monday, among other things, Marlasupial and I visited the seal pups at the Marine Mammel Rescue in Laguna Beach and poked around the tidepools at Dana Point (she's a big fan of animals (= )
   Monday evening she went home (Davis). )=

   Since then I've been holding down the fort here by myself. Defending the chickens from coyote attacks and such.

Tags: beer, beer reviews, marla santoyo, movie reviews, stone brewery

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