Sunday, September 14, 2008

Four Firkins Review

Here's the list of what I have from there currently that is unopened:
Harviestoun Ola Dubh Special Reserve 16. Ale matured in whisky casks. See below for a description.
St. Peter's Winter Ale
Mikeller's Black Hole Coffee Stout
Bogedal No. 127. Dark Ale Brewed with Orange Peels. This was not cheap, $35 a bottle. I'm saving it for something really special. It was a special purchase so they had limited quantities.
It's brewed In Scandinavia with a gravity system, no pumps, so everything goes from cask to cask by a pulley system. See some pictures here in the link below. The main page is in English, but any links in the site are not. It's worth looking at any way. From the look of the site, they give tours, so if you ever find yourself there...
Ichtegem's Belgium Ale. Spontaneous Fermentation, 25% ale aged in Oak, 75% fresh ale

Here's what has been tried already:
Peche Mortal (French for mortal sin). Imperial Coffee Stout brewed with fair-trade coffee. It was okay. I'm not sure if I'll try this again.
HaandBryggeriet. Norweigan Sour Ale Aged in Oak Barrels. I didn't like this. I'm not a big fan of sour ales. It was good, just not my type of beverage.
Harviestoun Ola Dubh Special Reserve 16. I bought a second bottle of this so it has to be good. The casks they were used for Highland Park's 16 year old Single Malt Scotch Whisky. It's really different from anything else I've had. It's very thick and dark. Highly recommended.
Harviestoun Ola Dubh Special Reserve 12. Same as above only the casks are from the 12 year old Single Malt Scotch Whisky. Also, the bottles on each of these are numbered and dated individually. They also have the Head Brewer's and Master of Wood's name printed on.
Hebrew Pomegranate Ale. I got this because I wanted to see if I could taste any pomegranate and really couldn't. I won't be buying this again.
Weihenstephaner. A light colored ale from the self-described world's oldest brewery. I got some of this in about 2002 and really liked it. It was a one time special purchase from a liquor store, MGM I think. Then, I couldn't find any until The Four Firkins opened. I was so happy when I found it. It's not one of the higher end brews, but really good for a light colered ale.
Sheaf Stout. Yum. Enough said.
Golden Cap Saison Ale. Modern version of a traditional farmhouse ale. Brewed with spelt and bottle conditioned. This was good so I'll probably get more.
Samuel Smith Taddy Porter. I just really like this.
Flemish Primitives Wild Ale. Made with wild yeast, brewed in Western Flanders. I'm on my second bottle of this. If I didn't like it, I wouldn't have bought two.
Avery Anniversary Ale Fifteen. Ale brewed with spices, herbs and figs. Ingredients from hte label are: Rocky Mountain water (the brewery is in Boudler, CO), malted barley, malted wheat, hops, black mission figs, hibiscus flowers, white pepper and a very unique strain of brettanomyces yeast (another wild yeast variety). Highly Recommended. This is my second bottle and will be given away as a gift.
Duchesse de Bourgogne. A top fermented reddish-brown ale from the West-Flanders region of Belgium. A blend of 8 and 18 month old ales matured in oak casks. Unpasteurized. I really did like this one. It had a a good flavor without being too light or too heavy. I definitely will buy this again sometime.
Why this review in my A&S blog?
The Four Firkins is a beer geek's dream, Mecca and Heaven all rolled into one. Jason Alvey, the owner, really knows what he is talking about. On one trip there, I typically don't spend less than $30 so it isn't cheap but what he has are things that are hard to get any place else. If you ever find yourself in the Twin Cities and want to go, ask me and I will be glad to take you.
Here is the link, and there is a mailing list you can sign up for.