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I’m recovering after a roller coaster week of bachelor living and Jersey Shore extended family “vacation.” I’m taking things slower this week. But here’s a couple thoughts.
I love shrimp and scallops. I tried to beer-brine and grill some this sunday. The brine was a bit too intense for the little shrimpys, but the scallops came out awesome. I used Victory Hop Devil with some sea salt and spices. I really like the idea of marinated/brining in beer. I hope there will be much more of such things in the future. I just need to get my Lucy Saunders book back from my brother in law for more beer cuisine ideas!
This Saturday is our monthly “Beer of the Bike” ride. We had to change the plans at the last minute, and honestly, I like the new plans better. We’ll be riding out to Sly Fox (Edit: I found out that the Sly Fox site was just redone, check it out, it looks great!) . I’ve been really enjoying their beers lately, and I’m looking forward to trying to grab some growlers at the brewery! It exciting to me that a silly idea I came up with, as a new years resolution of sorts, has taken on a life of its own. I’m expecting close to 20 people to ride with us on Sat. I can’t wait!
I have a small collection of beers in my cellar. Every once and awhile I’ll pull one out for a special occasion. This past Friday night we went out to our local BYOB, Las Cazuelas, with some friends, and I brought along a bottle of 2006 Allagash Musette.
Lois and I have had a rocky relationship with the restaurant. Its only 2 blocks from our house, but the last time we went, we had a less than perfect experience. So we haven’t been back there in awhile. But we decided to give it another chance. This was a much better experience, not mind blowing, but not a disaster. We had the cactus salad and the shrimp ceviche to start. Lois loves the cactus salad and it didn’t disappoint, and the ceviche was lemony and fresh. I ordered the special, a shrimp and calamari with rice dish cooked in beer. For all the server’s interest in my bottle of Musette, he didn’t say much about the beer in the dish. And I couldn’t pick out much beeriness in the dish. Oh well, it was tasty nonetheless. Since I’ve started eating seafood, after 10 years of strict vegetarianism, I must say, I’m a sucker for shrimp.
Now for the beer, the real reason for the post. The label had a bottling date of August 2006, so it was 4 months shy of 2 years old. We had similar vintage bottle of Curieux a couple months ago, and it had aged amazingly, so I was really looking forward to trying the Musette. The bottle opened (by me, I think the server was afraid to open it, ha ha) with a distinct pop, which surprised me. There was clearly plenty of carbonation still in there. This was confirmed by the healthy headed pour. As for the taste, I was not only surprised by the level of carbonation, but also by the bitterness of the hops; they were still very up-front at almost 2 years old. The sherry-like qualities of a well aged beer only peeked through a bit as it warmed up. Overall the beer tasted rather fresh, and was incredibly drinkable, particularly paired with the subtly smoky cactus salad.
My only regret is that I don’t have another one of these. I’d love to age it for another 2 years and see how it progresses. Oh well, time to stock up the cellar again.