Took a road trip to try Bloomington Brewing’s Ole’ Floyd Belgian Ale. Floyd Rosenbaum’s 1000th batch. It’s served attractively in a tulip glass with no head. None. Medium brown. Raisin and fig aroma. A bit of tartness gives a good 3-way balance of bitter, sweet, and tangy. 7.5%.
Also on tap are the regulars, Freestone Blonde, English Mild, Ruby Bloom Amber, Quarrymen Pale, B-Town Brown, and Big Stone Stout. Seasonals include a Double Hopped Pale (42 IBU), and Java Porter (on CO2, Nitro, and Cask Conditioned – the same 3-tap treatment given the Quarrymen Pale right now).
Across town, Upland is combating the 7.5% with their own perennial Winter Warmer on tap at 8.5% ABV. Bright leather color. A neutral American Barleywine with a classic aroma and little spritzes of clingy head. No flaws or harshness. Seems like it should take a few years to reach this state of maturity.
All the bottled Winter Warmer is gone from Bloomington liquor stores and growlers are $17 at the brewery. You might want to check a 6-pack out of your local library liquor store while it’s still around. Aging for a couple of years is perfectly fine.
The reserved issues of this years Upland Sour Ales have been taken away by patrons and it’s now first-come-first-served on the Blueberry and Strawberry Lambics as well as some bottles of Dantillion that weren’t picked up. $20.
After a drive north through the abandoned but plowed lane of the Morgan Monroe State Forest, Martinsville beckons. Jeez-O-Pete’s Old Northside Tavern on the north side (of course) of the square serves ice cold bottles of Wilbur Brewing’s Country Mellow with their ham sandwiches and the Biography Channel on TV. The ONT is an old-line tavern but with an odd veneer of modern made to look old.
Country Mellow, at 8% could well be called a British Strong Ale and Wilbur’s flagship brand. Aroma: Did I mention it was served in a bottle? Color: Did I mention it was served in a brown bottle? Taste is a mild brownness, caramel, and slight oxidation. The lingering finish is exactly the same. Now to let it warm while I enjoy the Polish ham and cheese sandwich. . . Warmer, this beer brings out some complex fruits and loses the oxidation.