The only authority for all things beer…
I have been super fortunate to try several outstanding growlers from Peg’s Cantina (Cycle Brewing) as follows:
Cycle Brewing Rare DOS
? ABV. Peg’s Imperial Stout aged in Palm Ridge Reserve Whiskey barrels. Pours opaque brown with a dark tan thin head along with nice lacing that lasts decently throughout. Aromas of sweet malts, roasted nuts, licorice, oak, and light bourbon undertones. Brown sugar was immediately picked up in the flavors along with vanilla, dark fruits, figs, and woody bourbon chocolate, which later turns out to be acidity and off-putting. Medium to thick and creamy mouthfeel. Overall, the acid/metallic taste at the end was a major turnoff and really hurt the score. I later found out that the batch may have been infected which would explain some of major nuances of this beer. I would go with the NooneR Batch 3 by a mile on this one. I would love to try a normal batch of this one to see what all the praise is about on this one although I could see why due to the other attributes that seemed really solid to me.
?% ABV. Highly acclaimed and extremely difficult to acquire this rum barrel-aged imperial stout, the Gulfport, Florida brewery produces this in limited quantities on an infrequent basis. I have been seeking this one out for some time as I heard many great things about this beer. I was able to land a 550ml swing top growler from a buddy who went to the End of the World Party at Peg’s Cantina & Brewpub. I was concerned about the growler being 6 months old (12-21-12) and called the brewery which assured me that the beer was going to be still good and may be somewhat infected which kind of turned me off a bit, but since I went out for this beer, I decided to go for it. The beer poured pitch black with razor thin tan head that dissipated quickly as expected. You could bring it back to life after giving the glass a vigorous whirl. I immediately picked up some dark fruit, chocolate, light notes of molasses, and that slight rum booze in the aroma. There was complexity in the flavor which I appreciated especially knowing how old this growler was – malts, caramel, molasses, dark fruit, vanilla, rum and oak. There were zero carbonation; extremely thin mouth feel. Overall, I would have loved to taste this special beer fresh but beggars cannot be choosers. This did still give me that delicious and complex flavor I had been hoping when I cracked open the growler and sure glad to have checked this off my beer wish list.
NooneR Batch 2
Now renamed Peg’s G.O.O.D. Pink Streets. This was an interesting and low ABV (3.5%) raspberry/strawberry Berliner weisse, which poured a dark pink color. The nose picked up muddled tart raspberries, strawberry, and some light lactic acid. The flavors picked up the same attributes, not overly tart aftertaste, light vinegar, slight curd, but a really nice tart raspberry flavor overall. Mouthfeel was out of the question since the growler was from the End of the World Party last December held at the brewery where I also got to try the RareR D.O.S. growler as well. I have never been a big fan of tarty beer and drinking from a growler several months old doesn’t do justice for me.
NooneR Batch 3
9.5% ABV. Imperial Stout released 7/19/13. I was fortunate to land this growler in addition to the Rare DOS and RareR DOS. Talk about a beer trifecta made in heaven! The Nooner is a Rare DOS aged in single malt whiskey barrels instead of Palm Ridge Reserve Whiskey barrels. Pours a vicious dark brown/black appearance along with a light brown thin head that lasts well throughout. The nose picked up very subtle single malt whiskey undertones, brown sugar, vanilla, chocolate, and some figs. The complex flavors of this brew gave off a peanut butter-like surprise which later translated into a hazel nut touch, molasses, light vanilla and bourbon comes through as well. Thick and full-bodied mouthfeel. One drawback I noticed about this beer was that it was missing that barrel-aged oak flavor which prevented this beer from hitting a solid A or A plus even. Overall, this beer was complex, solid, enjoyable and tastes even better as it warms up.