Wednesday, November 5, 2008

An Epic Occasion

We had a bunch of friends and neighbors over last night to celebrate the election returns. It seemed like a good opportunity to crack open the jeroboam of Roots Epic that Carla bought me two years ago. I was worried that I hadn't kept it carefully enough. Parts of our basement get rather warm in the summer, and despite the wired-shut porcelain swing-top, it looked like a tiny bit of beer had forced its way out of the bottle at some point.

Happily, it was still good -- better than good, it was awesome. It was still nicely carbonated, and that rich, smoky maple flavor was still there. Two years in the bottle seemed to smooth it out -- most people were surprised to hear that it's a 14% beer. I thought I would have to send Epic home with people -- it was a 3 liter bottle, after all -- but there were enough takers that we finished it off shortly after Obama's acceptance speech.

One bottle that wasn't hard to finish was a 1994 bottle of Thomas Hardy's Ale that Lindsey brought over -- it was just 7 ounces, and we had to serve people little shot glasses of it. Fourteen years in the bottle had made that beer completely flat. The flatness and color made it look like shots of bourbon. It was rich and tasty, but no match for the flavor-fest of Epic. It wasn't totally rank like some of the vintages Tomme Arthur writes about in his account of a massive Hardy's vertical, but I wouldn't recommend aging something quite that long.


  1. A terrific evening on so many levels...thanks, Bill & Lindsey for sharing your beer-y bounty...

  2. What a night! Thanks for sharing!