December 29th

Another out-of-town friend popped by and this time I supplied the beer. Living in Seattle, she has become a hop head (of course), so I went with beers suited to her tastes. The first was a Rogue Yellow Snow IPA, which was plucked from under my sink and therefore closer to cellar temperature. The beer definitely benefited from this, with the hops more lively and dynamic. It is lacking in malts, but I still love it. What’s so wrong with drinking hop juice?

Then I chose the 2009 version of the Mill Street Barley Wine, which I figured should still have a sizable hop bite (plus I always like introducing people to barley wine). This has always been a favourite seasonal of mine in Ontario, even with the ridiculous price ($10-11/500mL). But this year, possibly because I’ve had the chance to try more barley wines in the past year, the Mill Street version is a little disappointing. Citrus flavours overwhelm the toffee and it isn’t as chewy as I would like.  Still tasty, but a questionable purchase at that price. (I assume part of the price is for the ceramic bottles. I like them, but what am I supposed to do with this? Why can’t this be bottled?) If they go on sale at the LCBO, I may grab or two to cellar. Maybe.

Mill Street Barley Wine on Ratebeer

Rogue Yellow Snow IPA on Ratebeer

Today: 575mL. Year-to-date:43.26L.

Tonight is New Year’s Eve, which I will be spending with a mix of beer and Chateau des Charmes Brut. (In an ideal world, I would substitute Lindemans Cuvée René for the bubbly.) As it’s a special occasion, I may crack open my Unibroue Quatre-Centième or maybe pick up some La Fin du Monde. Anyone else planning their beers for the evening?

Oh, one final reminder: don’t drink and drive! If you’re in Toronto, the TTC is free from 12:01 am-4 am. See you in 2010!

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