illidurit (1999) - Petaluma, California, USA - MAY 15, 2010
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 15/20
On cask at the Public House at AT&T Park in San Francisco. Served on cask into a nonic. Pours a nice clear amber with a creamy off-white head that lasts quite a while. Bready aroma with light accents of earth and stone fruit. Flavor starts with a bready, crackery maltiness, followed by a bit of fruit and finally an earthy hop finish that lingers nicely. Mouthfeel is sublime. Feels like I could drink it all day. Creamy body and subtle, fine carbonation, with a crispness in the finish. The fact that it was served at a proper temperature stood out as well. I’m not buying plane tickets to England or eschewing imperial stouts just yet but the pomp and circumstance of cask ale and the quality of this one in particular was a nice change of pace.
SamGamgee (2452) - down the whirlpool, California, USA - APR 14, 2010
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Cask at Public House. Light amber color with a very slight haze and a wispy white head (no sparkler, which may be a first for cask beer in this area for me). The aroma has a nice nutty and toasty malt character with some peach and earthy hops. Unmistakably English yeast esters on the nose. The flavor starts out pretty malty with a light caramel thing going on. Then things get fruity and nutty. Peach makes a comeback, with the finish getting pretty hoppy in a classic English fashion of earth and a touch of fruit. Medium to light in body with soft carbonation. This seemed to be solidly malty at first, but a surprising amount of hop character came through in the finish, though it never stuck out too much. A solid bitter that is very drinkable and well balanced.