August ended up being quite a nice month — a birthday party for Sara, a birthday/vacation trip to the beach (complete with Orval and Chimay Blue), and a severe bout with Appalachian Trail Syndrome. On top of that, I broke out the Organic Nut-Brown Ale and brewed a batch of English Mild.
For starters: The Beach.
DeBordieu is always nice, but I felt this trip to be especially refreshing. As we ended up being there on my birthday, I had some birthday treats to relish. Sara surprised me with a bottle of Ardbeg (my current favorite Scotch), which went very well with my Lianos Dos Palmas!
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Birthday dinner consisted of fettucine alfredo with grilled fresh bacon-wrapped, onions, and zucchini, served up with an Orval Trappiste. Simply divine.
Chimay was transcendent, as always!
I took some alone time and did a 3-day stint on the AT in the Roan Mountain vicinity (NC/TN state line, between Mitchell and Yancey Counties [NC] and Carter County [TN]). It was beautiful, inspiring, and exhausting, and I ended my sojourn with a swing through the Jack of the Wood pub in Asheville for a hot lunch (I hiked back to the car in fog and wet shoes) and a pint of their great Gold Ale. Let me tell you what, there is nothing better after 3 nights in the woods and 20+ pounds on your back for 30 miles than a pint of that Gold Ale in the environs of a nearly-empty English-style pub in Asheville. It was a moment nearly as transcendent as being atop a 6000′ bald.
The reason I started this post, believe it or not, was to review my Byrd’s Browning Ale (the organic nut-brown). So, without further ado, here’s the run-down.
Check out that sweet new Brooklyn Brewery glass, too…
A lovely brown color, like milk chocolate or dark nutmeg. A bit cloudy (but hey! it’s homebrew), a thin head that is nice and white.
Faint hops, “young-beer-sweet-funky” (I don’t know what else to call it), walnuts, with a bit of earthiness.
It’s fairly complex. Caramel, roasted peanuts, honey, and a slight floral finish. Nice job!
Bubbly/dry/sharply-spritzy-yet-smooth. It’s easy and refreshing, with a warming finish.
Not bad! It’s not my favorite of my homebrews (ESB still holds that title, I think), but it’s certainly not my least favorite, either. Highly drinkable — my biggest complaint is in the nose. It’s quite good with a peanut-sauce Asian dish (I had it with shrimp summer rolls, and it was a winner).
Combined score (out of 5): 4.15