Session #12 wrap-up

Wow, there sure are a lot of bloggers participating in The Session… I think my prediction about The Session (and beer blogging in general) taking off this year is on-target.

You’ve likely already read my Session contribution… so, here are all the rest. In order to be fair, I’ve tried to list the links in the order that I received them, or first came across them in the blogs if I didn’t receive an email.

Updated! More below.

  • Over at Beers, beer, beers, Craig reviews Weyerbacher’s Blithering Idiot, and notes that he tends to avoid American-style barleywines as too hoppy. He finds Blithering Idiot well-balanced and "a fine choice" for his one barleywine of the year.
  • Jeff at Make Mine Potato (great name!) reviews Three Floyds Behemoth. I also have to admire his taste in barleywines and the "six month rule" is giving me something to think about.
  • Musings Over a Pint: David delves into Legend Brewing’s 2007 Barleywine, and notes that in the U.S., barleywines are labeled "Barleywine Style Ale"—a governmental relic provided to avoid confusion with actual wine, no doubt.
  • The Beer Nut: Masta blasta: The ‘Nut reviews Brainblásta, Ireland’s "only regularly-produced barleywine" and strong (for the country used to session ales) at 7% alcohol.
  • The Dude at Akelas Biggins generally doesn’t care for barleywines, considering them overdone, yet finds something to like with Flying Dog’s Horn Dog. We won’t hold a general distaste for the style against him, though. :)
  • Kieran from Beer from the Motherland (down under—New Zealand!) writes about Gales Prize Old Ale from the now-defunct Horndean Brewery.
  • Robert at Explore the Pour joins the party with a review of Real Ale’s Sisyphus. No worries on that being a hard task, though; he finds it to be the "easiest to drink barleywine I’ve ever had."
  • Rick Lyke at Lyke2Drink relates some nostalgic history behind his first encounters with barleywine, and reviews three: Weyerbacher’s Blithering Idiot, Talon True Style Barley Wine, and Mikkeller Big Worse Barley Wine.
  • At The Barley Blog, Ray reviews a classic: Anchor’s Old Foghorn Ale. (And hints at a possible Part 2.)
  • Ron at Hop Talk also picked Talon Barley Wine, finding that he liked it despite concerns over brewer Mendocino’s past quality control issues.
  • Meanwhile, Ron’s partner in crime Al at Hop Talk reviews Blithering Idiot—and quite likes it… though he didn’t the first time he tried it a decade ago. That’s three so far for Blithering Idiot. I may have to look into acquiring some…
  • Tim at Sioux Brew "overwrote, over analyzed and over drank" and came up with five reviews: Old Foghorn, Upstream Brewing’s Batch 1000 Barley Wine, Sierra Nevada’s Bigfoot 2006 and 2008, and Stone’s Old Guardian. His top picks—Old Guardian and Old Foghorn.
  • Wilson at brewvana also reviewed more than one beer: Flying Dog’s Horn Dog (made him smile) and Bell’s Third Coast Old Ale (a chore to finish).
  • Over on Blog About Beer, Luke posts his very first Session entry—congrats! He (re)posts a review of Smuttynose Barleywine Style Ale, which he quite likes. Welcome Luke!
  • Eric at Eric’s Brew Blog enjoyed his very first barleywine: Green Flash Barleywine.
  • Roger from the Bottled Llama Brewing Blog picked Stone’s Old Guardian and finds a lot to like in the glass.
  • Stephen Beaumont manages to beat Stan to the punch with his first barleywine entry at On the House: starting with a well-informed breakdown of the style, he takes a good look at Full Sail’s Old Boardhead. The verdict: highly enjoyable and welcome in front of the fireplace.
    His second blog entry over on That’s the Spirit! reviews three barleywines: 2004, 2005, and 2007 vintages of barleywine from Toronto’s Mill Street Brewery.
  • The good folks at the Flying Dog News blog fill us in on their (of course) Flying Dog Horn Dog, which is turning out to be a popular beer today.
  • On the Beercraft Blog, Mark reminisces about Anchor’s Old Foghorn and names their current favorite: Rohrbach 15th Anniversary Barley Wine.
  • Alan from A Good Beer Blog gives us three: Hair of the Dog’s 2006 Doggie Claws (briefly), Sierra Nevada’s 2006 Bigfoot, and Stone’s Old Guardian.
  • Lucy Saunders, author of The Best of American Beer & Food, writes, naturally enough, about pairing barleywines with food and provides a delicious recipe for Barley Wine Glazed Walnuts.
  • Captain Hops at Beer Haiku Daily comes up with three haikus (naturally!) for three beers: Clipper City’s Below Decks, Victory Brewing’s Old Horizontal, and Criminally Bad Elf.
  • Stan at Appellation Beer reviews Lost Abbey’s The Angel’s Share (a fantastic beer I can personally attest to) and passes along a short interview with Lost Abbey’s Tomme Arthur.
  • Keith from Brainard Brewing doesn’t cover any specific beer, rather has a great story about barleywine, cheese, and spending quality time with his son. (Keith followed up here with a late addition tasting post to supplement.)
  • The guys at Flossmoor Station were invited to Three Floyds for their barleywine and strong ale tasting. If that doesn’t make everybody jealous, I don’t know what does. Of course, they took along some of their Sheol Barleywine as well.
  • Flying Dog’s Beer Dinners site has a post talking about a dinner pairing of their Barrel-Aged Horn Dog with "smelly Stilton cheese." They also include some HD video of the dinner.
  • Bill at BEERJANGLIN’ is learning to love barleywines, and writes about a number of his experiences, including Mendocino’s Talon, Stone’s Old Guardian, Clipper City’s Below Decks, Brooklyn Monster Ale, Pittsfield Brew Works’ Bees Knees Barleywine, and Berkshire Brewing’s Barleywine.
  • Tomme Arthur of Lost Abbey writes (for "the Blogging Day") about a vertical tasting of Thomas Hardy’s Strong Ale he attended back in 2004 and posts his complete notes. That’s a vertical tasting of all the Thomas Hardy beers from 1968 until 2003… talk about jealousy…
  • Nate at Nebraska Beer joins the Session for the first time (welcome!) and reviews the 2006 and 2007 vintages of Sierra Nevada’s Bigfoot and his own homebrewed barleywine, Old Krusty the Klown. I believe this is the first homebrew reviewed today.
  • Over on the Pacific Brew News Blog, Rick discusses barleywines by starting out with, "I got nothing. Really. What more can be said?" Fortunately, he still manages to find something to say!
  • One of the deans of American beer writing, Lew Bryson, has a head-to-head featuring 1999 Full Sail Old Boardhead  and 2003 BridgePort Old Knucklehead. Nobody writes quite like Lew… go read it and see.
  • Matt at Southern Suds put together a vertical tasting of J.W. Lees Vintage Harvest Ale, 1998 through 2004 vintages. I’m getting jealous again…
  • The Beer Philosopher, Shawn, starts late and reviews a 2006 Sierra Nevada Bigfoot.
  • William Brand, of the What’s On Tap California Beer Newsletter writes about Alaskan Brewing’s Barleywine, which is bottled and available outside of Alaska for the first time this year.
  • Bill from It’s Pub Night up in Portland writes about Lucky Lab’s Old Yeller. I haven’t been to the Lucky Lab in ages and ages, but this sure makes me want to get up there, like, right now.
  • Beer at Joe’s covers Mikkeller Big Worse with a unique slant: video blog (vlog?). Not quite in the way you think, either.
  • Jay at Brookston Beer Bulletin fights deadlines to get his Session post in: on Anchor’s Old Foghorn. As usual, Jay’s writing is lively and long and full of interesting tidbits; I didn’t know, for instance, that Old Foghorn was the first barleywine brewed in America after Prohibition.
  • Late entry! Greg Clow at Beer, Beats & Bites writes about Legacy Ale, from Victoria, BC.

That’s what I’ve gathered so far… 39 bloggers, 41 entries, over 65 beers reviewed, and three non-beer-specific posts. Wow. That’s a lot of work! I imagine there will still be a few more entries trickling in this weekend, and I’ll update accordingly.

What a great Session! Thanks to all for participating (and to those who may yet participate).

According to my notes, next month’s Session will be hosted by Chris O’Brien of the excellent Beer Activist blog. Look for his topic announcement soon. I’m looking forward to it!

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