Sunday, November 29, 2015

Cold-smoking and cask-conditioning at Firetrucker Brewery: I'd tap that!

From left: Neil Zaugg cold-smoking barley malt, 3 Alarm Red, Burning Bear Stout.

Firetrucker Brewery's first anniversary release, the 3 Alarm Red (9% ABV, 82 IBU), cold-smoked with peach wood, tastes of caramel and smoke, finishes bitter. I desire flan after a few quaffs. A smoky, woody Burning Bear Stout (5.1% ABV, 50 IBU) tastes of roasted coffee and dry malt.

A Black & Tan, made by Liz Long, with the Uptown IPA and Burnout Brown.

From left: the Cat Dragon served by itself and as a Moscow Mule, Habanero 3 Alarm Red.

The Cat Dragon ginger beer (11.5% ABV, 0 IBU) offers serious ginger aroma and flavor with a simple syrup sweetness. At thrice the alcohol of Firetrucker's Cat in a Tree hard ginger beer, this garners respect. Also available with lime and ice as a mule, the Firebreathing Cat Dragon. Cask-conditioned Habanero 3 Alarm Red is a robust, smoky brew with a zest that's no slouch.

From left: Vanilla Burnout Brown, Strawberry Honey Brewbarb, Angelicus.

Cask-conditioned Vanilla Burnout Brown pairs deep caramel malt flavor softened with vanilla. Cask-conditioned Strawberry Honey Brewbarb provides a mellow tartness, with the strawberry coming out post-swallow. At 8.0 ABV it catches up after a few tulips. Angelicus' golden hue hints at sweet banana flavors. A light hand with herbs and spices round out this fine Belgian Oldstyle double pale ale. Smooth for a nearly 10% ABV, 60 IBU.

Dan Heidersheit, with Liz Long, tapping a cask-conditioned Vanilla Burnout Brown.

From left: Resuscitator, Acova Black Walnut Ale, Midnight Orange IPA.

Raisiny Resuscitator (7% ABV, 26 IBU) is a malty dopplebock that's lush with dried fruit flavors. With the winter approaching Firetrucker's magnificent Acova Black Walnut Ale is back on tap. Another cask-conditioned brew last tried was the Midnight Orange IPA, with hoppy Uptown IPA flavored with South African Midknight orange zest and pulp. Its a keeper!

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