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12-12-12 Wee Heavy Swap and Critique Thread

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Here's the swap list. If there are any objections let them be heard now or forever hold your silence. :mug:

CA-LT1
Stephonovich
JuanKenobi
Smokinghole

Juan Kenobi
Stephonovich
CrystallineEntity
CA-LT1

XeeroHour
CrystallineEntity
Smokinghole
MDVDuber

CrystallineEntity
Xeerohour
JuanKenobi
Stephonovich

Stephonovich
CrystallineEntity
bottlebomber
xeerohour

MDVDuber
JuanKenobi
Cromwell
bottlebomber

Bottlebomber
Smokinghole
MDVDuber
Cromwell

Cromwell
CA-LT1
MDVDuber
xeerohour

Smokinghole
CA-LT1
Cromwell
bottlebomber
 

xeerohour

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Cool. Thanks for putting this together. I PM'ed my peeps.
 

Stephonovich

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PM'd people. I won't be able to ship until Saturday if I'm motivated, Monday if I'm not. I have duty tomorrow so it's out of the question. I also need to figure out my new Beer Gun, and fill some bottles. I have a lot of my End of the World Stout kegged, so I'll put a few bottles in the packs.
 

xeerohour

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CrystallineEntity, SmokingHole, your packages will go out via UPS tomorrow.

FYI Stephonovich, I didn't get a PM from you.
 

Stephonovich

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Shipped all three via UPS today. Grand total of $67.98 to ship 18 bottles. I'm curious, what was other people's damages?
 

xeerohour

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I've only heard back from two of my three, but they went out on Friday. Wasn't cheap, but not as bad as yours - around $36 for me. It helps, I think, that I'm in Oklahoma (the center of the country) so not quite as far to go.
 

Stephonovich

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It helps, I think, that I'm in Oklahoma (the center of the country) so not quite as far to go.
Yeah, I think that has a huge effect. It was only about $18 to ship to you. CA was $22/$27 - apparently bottlebomber lives in the middle of nowhere, so UPS kindly tacks on an additional $5 surcharge.
 
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Okay guys I have to apologize and explain. I'm sorry I was a little detached and distracted for setting up this whole swap thing. I was in the middle of applying to, and interviewing with Victory for a brewing position. I'm currently a brewer at a smallish place called Appalachian Brewing Company. I cut my teeth on a 40bbl brewhouse there and just wasn't happy with the direction I wanted to go compared to the direction the company wants to head. So I decided to look for other opportunities. With that said I received an offer today from Victory. Okay so with that aside and explained......

My three recipients boxes will be going out tomorrow. I have to do the early shift brew at work and I'll get out of there around 12:30pm. I'm packing the boxes tonight and doing UPS shipping labels so I can drop them at the shipping center on my way home from work.
 

Stephonovich

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Okay guys I have to apologize and explain. I'm sorry I was a little detached and distracted for setting up this whole swap thing. I was in the middle of applying to, and interviewing with Victory for a brewing position. I'm currently a brewer at a smallish place called Appalachian Brewing Company. I cut my teeth on a 40bbl brewhouse there and just wasn't happy with the direction I wanted to go compared to the direction the company wants to head. So I decided to look for other opportunities. With that said I received an offer today from Victory. Okay so with that aside and explained......
Congratulations on the new job!

On a side note, I apologize to my three who have a bottle of my End of the World stout. It was kegged, and this was my first time using the BeerGun. Carb level is rather low. As in, almost non-existent. I hope you find the flavor acceptable, though.
 
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Well I ended up a day delayed due to my wife hiding all my shipping supplies last time she "cleaned". Anyhow all boxes are addressed and as an attempt to make up for being a little late I included an extra bottle of something local and just released. I haven't even tried it yet so if its not that great don't hate me.
 

bottlebomber

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Yeah, I think that has a huge effect. It was only about $18 to ship to you. CA was $22/$27 - apparently bottlebomber lives in the middle of nowhere, so UPS kindly tacks on an additional $5 surcharge.
:eek: sorry about that buddy!

Hey it looks like everyone is sending six packs! Is that the case? I have all mine packed but haven't shipped yet. I can open them up if need be.

Also, I will be sending UPS likely but in the past I have found USPS to be less than half the price.
 

xeerohour

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I got my box of goodies from Stephonovich, and I'm very excited. This is the first time I've done one of these, and it was an awesome feeling digging through the box to see what I got. Thanks, dude.

Three quick comments:
1. Excellent packing job - those were NOT getting broken.
2. Thanks for sending a full six - I initially thought we were doing that, then was convinced it was only four bottles. I feel pretty bad now :(
3. Founders! So cool! Can't get their stuff out here, and I can't wait to try it.

Just... awesome. I'm a happy guy right now.
 

Stephonovich

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Found a heavy box waiting outside for me when I got home... brewskis from JuanKenobi!

In addition to the 12-12-12s, I also got an IPA by The Shed Brewery, and a nice bomber of Offshore Ale Co.'s Menemsha Creek Pale Ale. It says Martha's Vineyard on it, so it must be a local brew for him. Many thanks!

I'm enjoying the IPA right now. I've actually been in Stowe, VT where the brewery is. Didn't visit it, but I think I passed it once driving. Anyway, it's unfiltered, 6.0% ABV, and really nice. Has good florals, and the taste is strangely creamy. Could have some wheat in there.

No worries to anyone on the 4/6 pack confusion. I was also confused, but then looked at what I wanted to send out, so said screw it and made 6 packs. More like 5 packs anyway, as my stout I sent out didn't carb up. Sorry about that.
 

JuanKenobi

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Glad you liked the Shed. I just picked it off the shelf because I'd never seen it and was happy with it. Figured they were pretty small and didn't have a big distribution. Turns out a brewer friend of mine knows the founder!

Apologies on the six pack thing to my peeps. I sent four, but at least one of them is a bomber.
 

bottlebomber

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Mine came to around $70 UPS. I'm sending from BFE so it's a little rough. I like to swap though, so it's just something you have to do now and then. I wish there was a cheaper way but there ain't.

Anyway, everyone got the same from me so I may as well list it here -

2x Wee Heavy
1.105 OG 10.8%

1x ESB kingbrians recipe
1.053 OG 5.1%

1x Irish Red my recipe
1.060 OG 6.0%
 

Cromwell

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I shipped all mine on Friday. Cost was $57, with that extra $7 surcharge for bottlebomber. He must live in the middle of nowhere.
I only shipped 4 bottles each, I hope nobody's unhappy with that. I'd happily have included another bottle or two, but my pipeline is totally dry.
Really looking forward to trying other people's. It's like Christmas is coming early. :D
 
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1Z62YT010399250836
1Z62YT010395313829
1Z62YT000395390426

I ended paying like $60. Not a big deal, but the cost of shipping was why I was curious as to whether you guys wanted to ship to two or three.
 

MDVDuber

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Guys, Sorry for the delay - I'm bottling the last few beers today so these should go out tomorrow.

smokinghole - Congrats on the job - though now I gotta hit you up for a proper tour.....
 

MDVDuber

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Ok - All packages sent UPS - Just over $59 for all three. Of course I got two guys on the other side of the country and one who lives on a bloody island but....

JuanKenobi - 1Z 298 358 03 0009 2205
Bottlebomber - 1Z 298 358 03 0009 2198
Cromwell - 1Z 298 358 03 0009 2214
 

bottlebomber

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3x Wee Heavy
1x Mayan Armageddon Stout
2x Founders Breakfast Stout!

Stephanovich, you are a scholar and a gentleman
:mug: :mug: :mug: :mug: :mug:
 
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I just realized guys that when I titled the thread I must have had a total brain fart and typed Old Ale instead of Wee Heavy. I don't know if anyone else noticed. Sorry for that. Not sure if we can get the title changed. It'd make sense to do so. Must of been a brain fart because of basing a lot of the happenings in this swap on my first swap which was the old ale.
 

Cromwell

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Auggh, really? This was supposed to be Wee Heavy? I had to quickly make up a batch of old ale.... :D
 

Cromwell

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I got 3x wee heavy and 1 ESB from bottlebomber last night. Felt like Christmas already - I honestly felt like a kid unwrapping the bottles!
 
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You should be able to fix it if you go to edit the OP then click on the 'go advanced' button. :D
I tried that but it won't change the displayed title in the forum listing. Just the title of my original post.

Oh well we all know what it should be titled. I will PM a mod to correct it for solidarity's sake.
 

bottlebomber

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Cromwell said:
I got 3x wee heavy and 1 ESB from bottlebomber last night. Felt like Christmas already - I honestly felt like a kid unwrapping the bottles!
Seriously? Fack... That means someone else only got 1x Wee heavy and probably 2xIRA. I packed them all up at the same time so there was chance for confusion. If this presents a problem I will gladly ship out another WH to whoever got shorted, though there would still be 4 bottles. Everything got there safe I take it?
 

bottlebomber

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My first beer, one of the Wee Heavy's from Stephan! Here we go.
Tasting notes -
Stephanovich
WH -
A - dark and murky, and thankfully even less head retention than mine ;) Really though, I am sincerely relieved that mine aren't the only ones that aren't standing proud.

S - Caramel and spice, anise, cinnamon? A little funk as well, subtle but there. A little oxidized note, not unpleasant, certainly not cardboardy but maybe vanilla, hard to sort it out from the oak. Definitely oaky.

T - oak, Cabernet, dried fruits particularly cherries, caramel, spice, there is that light hint of oxidation. Not a bad thing in a beer like this at all. A slight tartness and cider quality, though very subdued. The tartness contributes to the cherry suggestion. Very little booze for the strength, and a touch of fruity esters. Rather like a fruitcake now that I think of it. Updated to add that a half hour later my mouth is still just packed with flavor from this. I want to say I'm getting clove and a little smoke.

M - thick and viscous, chewy, maybe a little slipperiness but hard to tell with such a full bodied beer. A real stand your spoon up number. Just enough fizz to lighten the body somewhat. Very much like my own in that regard.

OA - a fine example and delicious beer. There was a definite oxidation note but I don't consider this a negative thing in a beer like this given the strength and age. I've been smelling and tasting a I write and I think I should have had a snack before I drank because now I'm tipsy :) packs a wallop. The only criticism I would have is that the bottle what somewhat sludgy, but then it only sat in the fridge for a couple days after traveling. I promise I'll give the others more time! I would definitely be proud to share this beer with friends, and I'm excited to try the others. More than anything this made me want to try another one of mine, because it's really hard to evaluate your own beer, and I don't know why. This definitely shared a lot of the same elements. Cheers!
 

Stephonovich

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More than anything this made me want to try another one of mine, because it's really hard to evaluate your own beer, and I don't know why. This definitely shared a lot of the same elements. Cheers!
I know this feeling exactly. I haven't tried any other of the swap, as I left for home before two of the packages had arrived (I have someone bringing them, and the rest of my mail, inside - fear not!), so I just brought some of mine with me.

Your critique, aside from being the first I've had of one of my beers, showed me a few things I hadn't detected before. I never picked up on cherries or red wine, but they are there. I also get some kind of sweet, airy acidity in the aftertaste that I can't place, but it helps balance the cloying nature of the beer.

The idea that 20 something pounds of a single grain (plus 4 oz, I think, of RB) can create such a complex flavor profile still astounds me. Caramel is definitely the overriding factor for me, but it's all great stuff.

Oh, as to the sludgy, I attribute that to the yeast. The stuff flocs like crazy, and doesn't like to stick to glass. No matter how carefully I pour it, I get clumps dropping into the glass. I just let it sit for a minute before I drink it. Anyone else have better luck?

Finally (last edit, I swear), I think it's funny you got oak. No wood of any type was involved with the production or storage of this beer. I get the smoothness associated with oaked wines, but no oaky flavor. Different tastes, different people, I suppose.

Also, in the same edit so it's cool, this stuff goes great with dark chocolate. Doing so now.
 

bottlebomber

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Stephonovich said:
Finally (last edit, I swear), I think it's funny you got oak. No wood of any type was involved with the production or storage of this beer. I get the smoothness associated with oaked wines, but no oaky flavor. Different tastes, different people, I suppose.

Also, in the same edit so it's cool, this stuff goes great with dark chocolate. Doing so now.
No oak?? Man you just blew my mind. I will definitely take the chocolate advice. And agreed, it is amazing all the flavors that came from the MO. It's all process. And as far as different people picking out different flavors, I gave my wife a taste and she picked out walnuts of all things. I thought she was nuts (hehe) but sure enough, I tasted again and they were there.
 
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I just need to update to say that I received Xeerohour's package early last week. I wanted to let them sit and settle for at least a week before cracking any of them. I will get to reviewing yours soon.
 

Cromwell

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I opened one of bottlebomber's wee heavies last night. I am by no means a qualified critic and haven't a clue about BJCP guidelines, so I can't give the detailed and comprehensive notes that you did for Stephan. Here's my observations, though.

Almost no carbonation. I'd expect there to be little in a wee heavy, but there was no foam and no head whatsoever.
Beautifully dark and clear, even after only 3 days in the fridge I could almost see through it, dark as it is.

Aroma - I detected caramel, and that something that says "wee heavy" to me that I cannot identify. It might be that the caramel and spice notes were so well melded that they weren't identifiable separately for me. Perhaps because of the lack of head there wasn't a lot of aroma.

Taste - Very little hop presence with just a hint in the background. Bitterness and malty sweetness were well balanced for a wee heavy. I did not detect smokiness, but rather something that made me think there might be smoke until I actually looked for it. Kind of a subliminal suggestion, maybe. Somewhat hot, though, with a definite taste of fusels making the finish more about the alcohol than the caramel flavors.

I liked it, but the hot alcohol was a bit strong. (It gave me a headache afterward.) Needs better carbonation, but I understand why this is difficult. Otherwise the flavors were very well balanced and beautifully melded.
 

MDVDuber

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Just got my care package from bottlebomber tonight!

As an aside I stopped by my local store tonight for a Fin Du Monde tasting and noticed a Sierra Nevada On The Rocks Wee Heavy tap behind the tasting bar. Turns out one of the guys at the store attended Beer Camp this year and it was his beer. I managed to finagle a taste and once the holidays die down I'll try to get the recipe from him. It was definitely drier than mine but quite good.

Anyhow, excited to get my first package!
 

bottlebomber

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Cromwell said:
I liked it, but the hot alcohol was a bit strong. (It gave me a headache afterward.) Needs better carbonation, but I understand why this is difficult. Otherwise the flavors were very well balanced and beautifully melded.
Huh, I didn't find it to be hot at all. Definitely a little boozy, but it is wine strength. As far as the headache, I really can't account for that. I've never gotten a headache from homebrew, and I had an entire bomber of that beer a couple weeks ago. The carbonation is VERY light, I wish I had carbonated a little more but it is basically what I wanted, a cask ale in a bottle. Better luck next bottle?
 

xeerohour

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I just now cracked open a bottle of CrystallineEntity's batch. Poured into a snifter. My thoughts:

Appearance - Beautiful beer. Dark and heavy, but very clear. Nice tan head on the initial pour that fades quickly. Light carbonation, which I think is appropriate.

Smell- There's something just a bit off on the initial aroma. It's a smell I used to get on some of my early batches that I never quite pegged. A "homebrew" smell. After that, I get good smells - molasses, alcohol.

Taste - There's a lot going on here. There's an initial burn from the carbonation and alcohol, which smooths into a pleasant drink, full of flavor, and then fades into a smooth burn down my throat. No hiding the alcohol here, but it's still very pleasant. How a big beer should taste. I'm terrible at picking out individual notes, but I definitely get some caramel, some light roastiness (almost like a porter, but milder), and I'm not sure what else. I may come back and update this later, because I feel like I'm not doing this justice. There's a lot going on here - almost like a barleywine. It reminds me a bit of Great Divide's Old Ruffian barleywine.

Mouthfeel - It's thinner than mine, and I think that's a good thing. It makes this a much easier drinker than mine is, while still being very complex. No obvious issues - not oily, acidic, or unpleasant in any way. Wait -that sounds negative, and it's not meant to be. Just a very smooth, pleasant feel, with a burn at the end.

Overall - I'm thrilled I got to try this beer. It's so cool seeing how these "similar" beers can be so varied. It's a very well done beer that was obviously made with care. Big, full of flavor, yet very quaffable. Thanks for sharing with me, sir!

I'm going to go finish this bottle off while catching up on some Justified episodes before the new season starts.
 

bottlebomber

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This beer could easily use another year in my opinion.. I think I am going to take what I have left of it and stick it in my parents basement till next winter.
 
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