D.W.O. #2
November 4–6, 2011

We began our final Sunday session with last year's winner, Brewery Ommegang's Tripel Perfection. It did not disappoint! This is a yeasty golden ale with strong fruity notes, but no actual fruit. It scored very high in every category and had no discernable flaws. Simply perfect, as it is named. The beer is listed on the Ommegang website as a "Historical Ale," which may mean it is no longer in production. The again, it may come back... If you see it, have it.

Next was Righteous Rye Ale, from Brooklyn's Sixpoint. Dan is a bigger Rye beer fan that either David or myself, but this is a good one. It is strong on the hops and perhaps a bit intense, as Sixpoint beers have a tendency to be.

Keeping with a hoppy theme, our next brew was a Smuttynose Finestkind IPA (6.9%). This beer was the result of customers asking for an even more hoppy beer than their Shoals Pale Ale. I know, hard to imagine. It is a respectable beer, but was the weakest one in this session, by comparison.

We decided to give two beers a second try: Sixpoint's Gorilla Warfare and Southern Tier's Mokah. I am glad we did, as we scored both beers significantly higher with the fresh perspective that morning brought. In fact, Gorilla Warfare edged Tripel Perfection by a point to become the top-rated beer of the weekend. Again, the beers are quite different, and a point difference is hardly significant, so take the highest rating with a grain of salt. Both beers are outstanding, and they were the only beers to score above 90 points.

Southern Tier Mokah went from a rating of 66 to a rating of 83, a significant improvement, particularly in our assessment of its overall effect. It also made some gains in the Aroma area. Perhaps this can be attributed to the warmer daytime temperature that may have brought the aroma out. It's a tasty beer!

Our last beer of the session—and the weekend— was the 2XIPA from Southern Tier. This is a Double IPA, heavier on the hops, as well as the alcohol (8.2% ABV). As with most IPAs, it's a bit too hoppy for my tastes. However, the website describe the beer thusly:

"Feversihly hoppy with a malty backbone and higher-than-standard alcohol content. Citrusy hops tease the senses with aromatics and lingering bitterness, while just the right balance of malt disguises 2XIPA's extra gravity." source

If that's not pure poetry, I don't know what is.

Dan's manly bratwursts were the perfect way to close down the weekend. We had earnestly sampled 25 beers and rated them. We identified eight beers that rated above a 75. More importantly, we had a great time together sharing our love of beer, great food and great humor! Can't wait for the next DWO!

Click here to see our tasting notes.

Click here for a list of the twenty beers we did NOT get to try! (Insane, I know...)