Friday, August 1, 2008

The Session #18: Happy Anniversary

For this 18th edition of The Session, the theme was selected by Ray of Barley Blog. It reads:

For August, the theme is “Happy Anniversary”.

Use this as an excuse to celebrate. Open a limited release anniversary beer from your favorite brewer. Enjoy that special beer you normally only open on your wedding anniversary or birthday. Either way, tell us about it. Why is it a beer you may only drink once a year? Why is that brewery’s annual release the one you selected?

Only open on a wedding anniversary or a birthday? A beer I only drink once a year? Perhaps I am not sentimental enough but these concepts are foreign to me.

I wouldn't even celebrate my birthday if not for my wife and kids sake. I find it self-indulgent and silly for a grown man to get all worked up over his own birthday. And wedding anniversary? That's for sharing with my wife and while she likes beer too, a bottle of wine is usually what we end up splitting.

I guess it all boils down to this: Any day is a good day to break out that special beer.

I have a nice collection in my cellar. I could crack open something "special" everyday for a year or two and not run out of beer to drink. The specialness these days is finding the time to relax and indulge myself in, for example, a good aged barleywine. Kids do take up your time and energy you know.

So that leaves me to pick out something that was a one-off or a limited edition beer. While Unibroue is not my favorite brewer, they are a long-time favorite. So I decided to crack open a bottle of Unibroue Edition 2004. Why? I have quite a few of these bottles left!

It pours an orangey almond with a wispy ivory head. Some floaties (yeast) in the beer. Truly wicked fruity aromas emanating from the glass. Spiced apples and plums. Pears. Sweet spices like coriander and nutmeg with just a hint of cinnamon, toffee and vanilla. Some lightly sour green apple in the nose as well.

Explodes with flavor in the mouth. Very spicy earthy yeastiness and a decadent fruitiness form the malt. Ripe pears, plums, nutmeg, coriander and green apples underpinned by oaky toffee and vanilla. Just a hint of alcohol in the finish helps to dry the body out a bit but leaves a sticky sweet aftertaste in the mouth.

So while I'm not a "special occasion beer" guy, thanks to Ray for giving me an excuse to break out a beer that is worthy of a special occasion.

More entries for The Session can be found over here at this month's host, Barley Blog.

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