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Keith M

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BTN: Some Grand Teton at Monk's Kettle

by Keith M » Sun Oct 10, 2010 5:42 pm

A good friend and I recently had the opportunity to catch up on happenings over the summer and early fall with some beers and dinner at the tiny and very popular Monk's Kettle in the Mission in San Francisco. This place has been on my list for some time and I picked a good night to visit, as the night previous had been a beer dinner featuring the brews of Grand Teton from Victor, Idaho. From everything I've tasted before and tasted that night, Grand Teton is a superb brewer. Monk's Kettle beer selection is excellent, the ambiance is fun, but, I must type, I was slightly disappointed that their 'aged' beers I had hear about were only aged for a year. Hopefully, they'll be around a while and be able to grow a list a bit longer in the tooth . . . a five-year plan of some sort. In any case, the beer was delicious. The Grand Teton Fest Bier Märzen Lager was a great start: smelling of crisp pine cones and tasting slightly malty, crisp, good balance, excellent refreshing flavorful beer, easy drinking. Excellent American Oktoberfest (though I can't say I am as well versed with the German version as I should be). My friend enjoyed a 4 ounce pour of the Grand Teton Bourbon Barrel Double Vision a pitch black dopplebock smelling intensely of raisin and port and tasting wonderfully rich, root beer, caramel on the dry side, fantastic dark caramel, a great dessert beer. This seems to be a style appealing to many brewers but hard to do in a drinkable way. Grand Teton has found a way. For my second beer, I tried the Grand Teton Sweetgrass American Pale Ale—super hoppy syrup, I'm not a big fan of this style of integrating hops, but this is pretty tasty and does surprisingly well with food. Not a beer I'd seek out, but not a task to finish it. The Grand Teton Wine Double White was a witbier aged in seyval and chardonnay barrels. Witbier can sometimes be a challenging style—especially the American interpretations of it, as they tend to overemphasize the familiar aroma markers for the style. This beer had those, smelling of grapefruit and white peach, but with nice unusual depth on the nose. I loved the taste of rich yet precise fruit, I'm not the biggest witbier fan but found this superb, the strong and obvious flavors don't tire, which is pretty surprising. My friend's Grand Teton Whiskey Black Cauldron Imperial Stout smelled like earthy licorice, raisiny, dark and boring (for me) nose, tastes very dark, not overpowering, but certainly too massive for my preferences, when tasted side by the side with the Double Vision, I much preferred the sweeter tones of the Double Vision (which is surprising) to the burnt bitterness of the Black Cauldron. But my friend preferred the Black Cauldron and found plenty of interest in the dark bitterness. Finally a step away from Idaho to the holy land of Belgium for the Belgian strong dark ale Caracole Nostradamus. The spice here is unusual as are the malt notes, this is a great beer when you want something different as the uniqueness shines and the differentness provides plenty of intellectual stimulation. Delicious fun.
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Keith M

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Re: BTN: Some Grand Teton at Monk's Kettle

by Keith M » Sun Oct 10, 2010 6:12 pm

Oh, and there was a bit left in the fridge for me when I got home from my generous housemate: a bottle of the Grand Teton Trout Hop Black IPA. A black IPA or cascadian dark ale depending on one's beerdeology. In any case, smell weird colorful citrus, earthy dark fruit, nice, taste unexpectedly bright, defined and crunchy, crisp with great hops, definition, wonderfully precise. Yet another great beer to truly finish the evening.

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