Drinking More Deliciousness at Noble Ale Works
While I had gone to Noble Ale Works only a couple of times in 2015, I went with a drinking compadre for our second time in 2016 last week. One thing that encouraged us to go – in addition to the good beers there – was that Noble Ale Works is one of the last to close their taprooms in the evening, closing at 11pm. So, the same drinking buddy with whom I went in January returned to Noble Ale Works to taste some more delicious beers.
On this visit, there were more beers on-tap than in January, with 19 beers on-tap, as well as three different options of a bottled beer. Since we arrived shortly before last call, we each got a flight of beers to share, as well as one of these bottles. The bottles they were selling that night were 500ml bottles sold only for tasting room consumption, of which we decided to split one of the bottles. The bottles were three variations of The Funk Shall Be Within You (5.4% ABV) a Belgian-style pale ale that had Brettanomyces added. So, we decided we would split one of those (we got the “part two” bottle (pink label)) and it had the pleasant Belgian-style pale ale-ness but was also considerably dried out by the Brett, which was pretty neat. I would end up using this beer in-between each of the beers as a palate cleanser.
With our combined double set of taster flights of five, we ended up trying ten beers on-tap. We started off with Gosebusters (4.8% ABV), a gose that used oolong tea instead of coriander. It was a pleasant beer, but especially great to contrast the lack of dryness in this beer versus The Funk Shall Be Within You. Next, we then had VI$ION (6.3% ABV), their fifth anniversary beer brewed with boysenberries, which had a fascinatingly reddish color, and was a pleasant, perhaps even slightly dry, beer. From there, we began drinking a bunch of hoppy beers, beginning with Lucky’s Archipelago (6.0% ABV) a super-hoppy wheat lager, which was a lovely beer with very piney notes on the nose and throughout, as well as some grapefruit notes towards the end of the palate and finish.
Continuing on with our hoppy beers, we then enjoyed several IPAs. While there were seven IPAs available(!), we drank five of them. First up was Glory Daze: A Peter Hoey Joint (7.0% ABV), a single IPA that was coppery in look and tasted totally fine, but was an otherwise unremarkable IPA. Our second IPA was Nobility (8.8% ABV), an imperial IPA, which was an exciting beer with mango/papaya notes going on and had a fascinating finish. Our next beer was Citra Showers (8.8% ABV), a double IPA that was very delicious. It was very smooth with pineyness as well as mango/papaya going on – a very yummy beer! We moved on to Do You Smell What the Waka’s Cooking? (10.3% ABV), a triple IPA, which did not seem to me to have much going on with the nose or even palate, but its finish was fine. However, inasmuch as boring as that beer was, the next beer was quite exciting. For our final IPA of the night, though, we finished off with a tremendously excellent beer, the Nelson Yum Yum (12.3% ABV), a triple IPA, which was very yummy and delicious!
For our final two beers, we had not particularly hoppy beers, beginning with Brian White’s Blanket Statement (9.6% ABV), a barleywine. This barleywine is pleasantly smooth and malty, which was decent, yet unremarkable. What would be amazing, though, would be to give it time to age in barrels, then we would be having a different conversation – it just needs time to develop a delicious complexity to be special.
For the final beer of our visit, we ended with a truly amazingly special beer, Bean Bump (12.7% ABV), an imperial version of their Naughty Sauce (which we had on our previous visit). WOW! While I had drank it once last year and knew that it was delicious, I did not remember how utterly scrumptious it was. While the Naughty Sauce is pleasant, this version is seriously amazing. It is very deliciously creamy with coffee going on and nicely boozy. I cannot wait to drink this special beer again.
Overall, the IPAs were solid again, especially the Citra Showers and I really also enjoyed the Nelson Yum Yum. However, the most amazing beer of the night would easily be Bean Bump, which was incredibly enjoyable.