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Photos & Winners...

11th Annual

ATLANTA CASK ALE TASTING


January 24, 2015
Held at 5 Seasons Brewing & Taco Mac Prado
Sandy Springs / Atlanta, GA





Our 11th annual Atlanta Cask Ale Tasting (ACAT) was an amazing success.  Along with some exciting craft beers from the USA, this event included eight elegant, rare cask ales from the UK.  What could be more fun for a beer lover than comparing traditional English cask ale with classic styles from the USA (along with some wild and crazy American versions)?

Why is cask ale so special?  In the sealed firkin, yeast produces soft, light carbonation and complex, mellow flavor components before settling to the bottom of the container. After a time in the cask, special porous pegs are used to vent any excess carbonation, and a serving tap is hammered through a spout on the front of the cask.  Traditional real ale is served without pasteurization or additions of artificial carbon dioxide or other gas.  Traditional cask ales in the UK include mild ale and English bitter that are lower in alcohol, quite elegant and drinkable in quanity.  Some American craft brewers tend to see the 10.8 US gallon cask as a chance to have fun and add special ingredients or employ creative processes.

The 2015 Atlanta Cask Ale Tasting showcased 46 traditional and specialty cask-conditioned ales from some of the best craft breweries in the USA and UK.  After a morning blind judging panel, the public sampling session was held 3-6 PM.  Everyone was impressed with the flavors and excellent quality of these real ales. 
It was a special afternoon at 5 Seasons and Taco Mac that centered around unique, flavorful beer.  Thanks go out to all our wonderful volunteers, brewers, venues and judges for making ACAT the most celebrated cask ale event in the Southeast!





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ACAT 2015 Judges. Photo by Amanda McMillan


ACAT Classic & Specialty Winners. Photo by Brad Hodnett


Photo by Ale Sharpton


Members of the GALS beer group at ACAT. Photo by Brad Hodnett


List of Cask Ales & Winners at our 2015 ACAT:


- 5 Seasons Booze Hound English-style ale was aged three months in a Heaven Hill Elijah Craig barrel before its secondary fermentation in the cask. A delicate malt character complements notes of vanilla, oak and a warm, bourbon finish.

- Beavertown Black Betty Black IPA (UK - 7.4% ABV). Our concept revolved around the old chewy sweets "Black Jacks & Fruit Salads." We wanted a big IPA, laced with slight roasted malts and aniseed, blended with tropical aromas of Pacific West Coast hops.

- Boulder Slope-Style Winter IPA is a full-bodied red ale with a big, piney hop kicker at the finish. With a perfect blend of five malts and a blast of Nugget, Crystal and Horizon hops, this cask is a cold weather IPA that's off the rails! ABV: 6.4%, IBUs: 60.

- Brooklyn Dry Irish Stout. A blend of dark roasted, pale and flaked malts produce rich coffee and chocolate flavors followed by a clean, dry finish. This cask version weighs in at a sessionable 4.7% ABV.

- Burnt Hickory Mother of Mercy is a variant of our Eerie Von XXX Spiced Apple Ale - a brown, 8% ABV ale with apples and apple pie spices infused with vanilla. It's an evil "apple pie la mode."

- Copper Creek Deez Wee Cranberry Nuts - A 9% ABV wee heavy aged on toasted pecans and cranberries. Made from the first runnings of the brewpub's malty Scottish ale.

- FIRST PLACE CLASSIC STYLE - Creature Comforts DaySpring - A traditional Grisette brewed with locally-sourced wheat and a highly aromatic strain of Brettanomyces yeast. A bright, barnyardy aroma precedes light citrus/fruit flavors and a bone-dry finish in this saison-like golden ale with a light body and 4.8% ABV.

- Green Flash Serrano Chili Double Stout with cinnamon and cocoa nibs - A spicy twist on our classic Double Stout, with notes of cinnamon and chocolate melding with a bold, roasty character, finishing with a subtle, spicy chili kick.

- Harviestoun Old Engine Oil (UK - 6% ABV) is a remarkably smooth, creamy, 6% ABV porter with a beautiful, velvety mouthfeel. Enjoy flavors of coffee, slightly buttered toffee, roasted malt, dark chocolate, earthy hops and a mild cherry ester.

- Heavy Seas Cross Bones Session IPA. A crisp, refreshing, 4.5% ABV hoppy ale bursting with floral and citrus notes backed by a satisfying, malty backbone. This cask contains additional hops and a dose of applewood.

- Left Hand 400 Pound Monkey. Any monkey can dump 400 pounds of hops into a kettle and call it an IPA, but it takes control and restraint to make a graceful English IPA. Enjoy this special cask that's dry-hopped with four ounces of Boadicea.

- Moon River Depravity or Divinity Abbey-style Dubbel with fresh ginger and cranberries in the cask. "Dubbel D" is an 8.3% ABV, malty-sweet brew with hints of raisin and plum from dark candi syrup and spicy yeast esters. Will it bring you closer to Depravity or Divinity?

- O'Dempsey's Your Black Heart Russian Imperial Stout. With an upfront deep roasted flavor, countered by the smooth, sweet taste of chocolate, this 90 IBU, 9% ABV cask packs flavors augmented by additions of Madagascar vanilla beans and cocoa nibs.

- THIRD PLACE UK BEER- Old Golden Hen (UK - 4.1% ABV). This quaffable English golden ale is made with the finest pale malts and Galaxy hops. Look for subtle tropical fruit notes and a deliciously smooth finish.

- FIRST PLACE UK BEER - Old Speckled Hen (UK - 4.5% ABV). A classic English bitter with a rich, amber color and graceful fruity aromas accentuated by gorgeous toffee malt complexity and a refreshingly dry finish.

- THIRD PLACE CLASSIC STYLE - Oskar Blues Pinner Throwback IPA. Pale malts, aromatic and carapils are thrown together to create the backdrop for a blend of nine different hops. Tropical citrus and sweet fruits lace the aroma and flavor, while toasted bread notes emerge in the finish. 4.9% ABV.

- Rahr & Sons Snowmageddon Imperial Oatmeal Stout is named to commemorate the collapse of our brewery's roof in 2010, due to heavy snowfall. In this cask, we've infused fresh, organic mint and roasted cocoa nibs to create "SnowMintCocoageddon."

- THIRST PLACE SPECIALTY BEER - Red Brick Cinnanilla Imperial Stout. The base beer is our newest Brick Mason release - an imperial stout based on our 20th anniversary recipe. Its big notes of dark chocolate and espresso beans are complemented by subtle additions of vanilla and cinnamon.

- Service Brewing Wheat Wine shows off a deep amber color with an aroma of apple, raisin and honey. With assertive notes of sweet malt, followed by light hints of spice and fruit, this potent brew ends with a complex, warming finish.

- Thomas Creek Coffee Oatmeal Stout with blueberries and maple syrup is an 8% ABV, creamy black ale with a dark roasted flavor and delectable coffee aroma. Additions of fresh blueberries and pure maple syrup add an interesting allure.

- Three Taverns Dubbel Shot is an 8% ABV oatmeal coffee Belgian-style dubbel with an addition in the cask of bourbon-infused coffee nibs, cocoa nibs and vanilla beans.

- FIRST PLACE SPECIALTY BEER - TN Whiskey Barrel-Aged MAZURT RIS. In the hills of Tennessee, whiskey is king. A fast car, Daisy Mae and a gallon of hooch. Our Russian imperial stout is brewed with deep roasted Kenyan coffee, Vermont grade-B maple syrup, Madagascar vanilla, organic Peruvian cocoa nibs and GA wildflower honey. This MAZURT RIS version was recklessly aged in a TN whiskey barrel. 13.6% ABV. Guest brewed at Burnt Hickory Brewing.

- Twain's Nelson Blaster Oatmeal India Red. Boom! Get blasted with New Zealand Nelson Sauvin hops in this 6.3% ABV, wildly dry-hopped ale that'll rock your face! Brewed with Columbus, Citra and Chinook, then dry-hopped in the firkin with Nelson Sauvin.

- Wild Heaven Invocation Belgian-style strong golden ale with cranberries, ginger and cinnamon. Belgian aromatic malts provide hints of dried fruit, while added cranberries and spices amp-up the complexity. 8.5% ABV.

- Abita Vanilla Oatmeal Stout is a cask version of Naughty Quaker aged with Madagascar bourbon vanilla beans. Expect pronounced flavors and aromas of vanilla and dark malts. 6.5% ABV, 35 IBUs.

- PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD - Cherry Street O.A.S.I.S. (Old As Sh** Imperial Stout). The 40th birthday beer made for our over-the-hill brewer Chris, this 10.1% ABV imperial stout is infused with cocoa nibs and vanilla beans soaked in Sarsaparilla whiskey. 

- Dark Star Revelation (UK - 5.7% ABV). Pale ale with Chico ale yeast and Warrior, Cascade, Columbus, Crystal and Chinook by the sack full - then dry-hopped using our 'Hoptimizer' industrial-sized hookah. Expect plenty of tangerine, citrus and tropical fruit flavors.

- Eagle Creek What Time is it? Peanut Butter & Jelly Time! We started with our roasty, dry Irish stout and crammed it full of honey-roasted peanuts and fresh local strawberries. It's a very light-bodied beer with flavors that remind you of being a kid.

- Hobson's Manor Ale (UK - 5.5% ABV) - Brewed to celebrate England's Severn Valley Railway Manor Class steam engines, this amber ale offers aromas and flavors that reflect fresh grains, hops and biscuit crust.

- SECOND PLACE UK BEER - Ilkley Mary Jane IPA (UK - 6.0% ABV) is a trans-Atlantic India Pale Ale that relies on English hops for bittering and North American hops for a floral aroma. Based on an award-winning Yorkshire ale, this version boasts notes of honey and a pleasant, lingering bitterness.

- Ilkley Mayan Chocolate Chipotle Stout (UK - 6.5% ABV). They may not have gotten all their predictions right, but they knew how to brew great beer! Inspired by an ancient Mayan recipe, this extraordinary stout is velvety smooth, bittersweet, and has a subtle, smoky fire in its belly.

- JailHouse Slammin' Melons. A voluptuous handful of juicy Huell Melon hops went into this cask of our popular Slammer Wheat. Look for cantaloupe and honeydew aromas backed by a base of pilsner and wheat malts. 5% ABV.

- Jekyll Hop Dang Diggity IPA double dry-hopped on cedar. After sitting on dry-hops for several days, this bad boy went straight from the fermenter into the cask, where we added a second dose of dry-hops, along with aromatic cedar chips.
          
- Max Lager's Mystery Cask - A blend of Scotch ale, Rye Doppelbock and Imperial Stout primed with a krausen of Hopsplosion. This beer sat in the cask with toasted oak for two years, proving that the brewer sometimes forgets he made a cask!

- SECOND PLACE SPECIALTY BEER - Monday Night 3 A.M. & Single is a cask version of Eye Patch 6.2% IPA aged on coffee, vanilla and dark Godiva chocolate. This bold-flavored cask screams, "I just broke up with my cheating boyfriend, so I'm gonna eat whatever I want - straight from the carton!"

- Mother Earth IPA - Light copper in color, with an intense hop aroma and bitterness from our hopback that allows fresh hop cones to take this IPA to unexpected places. This special cask includes a dose of a hybrid strain of Cascade and Chinook whole flower hops grown on our own estate.

- New Belgium Portage Porter dry-hopped with US Goldings. A 6.3% ABV dark ale with notes of coffee, chocolate, toast, hops and smoked almonds. An upfront sweetness and slight, roasty bitterness give way to a creamy, dry finish.

- Red Hare Rumple-Sticky-Stouts-Kin is our Oatmeal Sticky Stout with a kick of dark chocolate and one other special, boozy ingredient. Can you guess its name?

- Second Self JunIPA is an IPA inspired by gin. Brewed with Amarillo, Centennial and Ahtanum hops plus juniper berries, the beer is then dosed with juniper and rosemary - producing flavors similar to a citrusy gin.

- SECOND PLACE CLASSIC STYLE - Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye. Rye's black pepper-like flavor has been prized by distillers and brewers for centuries, and this character comes to life in Ruthless - a rugged IPA with fruity, citrusy and herbal hops countered by dry, rye spiciness.

- Southbound The Reaper is a fruity, spicy, warming Belgian style quad with toasted coconut, toffee and coco nibs. 9.6% ABV.

- Starr Hill Belgian-Style Tripel with red wine-soaked oak chips offers aromas of fruit, spice, pepper, coriander and wood followed by sweet and spicy palate notes highlighted by earthy hints, tannins, mild hop bitterness and alcohol warmth. 9.5% ABV.

- SweetWater Chicks Dig It. IPA dry-hopped with Nelson Sauvin and Simcoe hash, with a generous amount of fresh raspberries and a hint of mint.

- Terrapin Wake 'N' Bake Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout. This delicious cask is infused with vanilla beans, four pounds of raspberries, and primed with grade-B maple syrup. 9.4% ABV.

- Wrecking Bar Oatmeal Cookie Porter - A traditional brown porter brewed with flaked oats for added smoothness, and infused with rum-soaked dark raisins, Indonesian cinnamon bark and a touch of vanilla to emulate a freshly baked oatmeal raisin cookie.

- Yes Face Brass Monkey Nuts. A 4.0% ABV, English-style session brown ale meets Georgia's state bean - the peanut. The result is nuts!






                
    




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