I love beer flights. It’s simply the best way to taste a wide range of beers from a particular brewery. It’s also really good if some of those beers have more alcohol than Dean Martin at The Sands. How am I supposed to function if I have to drink 6 pints of 10%+ ABV beers?
I have, however, never been to a beer event where people specifically got a flight. If the event is for particularly rare and limited beers, a flight is what you get.
This was the case for the recent Barrel Aged Day with 3 Sons Brewing at The Brass Tap in Pembroke Pines. 3 Sons’ head brewer Corey Artanis has been brewing his beers at The Brass Tap in Naples and driving them over to Pembroke for a little while now. Part of his brewing involved a set of six dark, heavy beers, each with their own personality and each aged in a different barrel.
Demand was high, interest was insane, tickets were gone in a few hours, and the guy who tried to buy 25 of them was not going to be happy when he got rejected. But I got a seat, thanks to 3 Sons’ PR guy Joey Artanis.
I promise you, the pictures that follow are all of different beers. When you get that dark, however, things tend to look the same.
Summation (Stout, 9.8% ABV) – A vanilla and coffee stout. The clean, almost antiseptic aroma of vanilla greets you at first, then takes a back seat to heavy roasted coffee and dark woody flavors. The vanilla is still there, but light. Remarkably moderate and nicely accessible.
El Padrino (Stout, 10% ABV) – I really thought I’d hate this beer since pepper beers and I don’t generally have a great time together. When you sniff this beer, the most prominent aroma, far and away, is the cinnamon. By a lot. The cinnamon is very present in the taste as well, but it’s joined by vanilla and a touch of cacao. There’s a little bit of habanero, but it’s more for just a touch of heat. If you’ve ever had Hot Tamales (the candy, of course), it’s a bit like that.
JBM 35 (Stout, 10% ABV, 45 IBU) – The JBM stands for Jamaican Blue Mountain, the coffee used in this beer and most prominently evident in the smell. Tasting it brings a moderate, smooth coffee flavor, with little of the bitter bite that other coffee beers may have. The toasted coconut, however, really shines through, and it’s nicely complimented by the rich coffee. It’s like having a cup of coffee in the tropics. You can just smell the sunscreen.
Irish Winter (Stout, 7.5% ABV, 25 IBU) – I’ve been wanting to make a beer like this for some time. There’s coffee in the stout, but also Irish Cream and Irish Whiskey. It’s incredibly rich and chewy, with a bold malt character and a heady dose of whiskey warmth and flavor throughout.
Always Cordial (5.5% ABV) – Yes there’s some cacao nibs here, but somehow Corey found a way to really make the cherry the most noticeable part of this fantastic brew. The aroma is almost exactly like opening a jar of maraschino cherries. The flavor is nicely nuanced, with a big taste of cherry and brandy to start, with he chocolate coming through as the beer warms a little.
Double Scoop (6% ABV) – Another great beer, the neapolitan triumvirate of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. What’s great is you really taste all three equally and working together in a delightful sweetness. I have no idea if he added lactose to this beer, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he did. It’s remarkably smooth and creamy.
It’s amazing the attention and the following Corey and 3 Sons Brewing has amassed so far. But, looking at the quality of beers like these, it’s completely understandable.
And I can still function!
Drink Florida Craft,