a couple days ago (02-26-2008) i drove an hour from my home to go help fred of hoppin' frog brewing bottle some beer. i ended up being there all day from 9:00AM until 6:30pm and we bottled both the mean manalishi and the boris bodacious oatmeal russian imperial stout. of course during the day we had to make sure that what we were bottling was of top quality as well as do some "quality checking" on a few of his other brews. i mostly helped out by drying off the bottles, boxing them, and then stacking them in the cooler. at the end of the day fred was more than kind enough to provide me with a small selection of his wares for my enjoyment and to share with family and some close friends. i really can not thank fred enough for the experience and i had a complete blast. the only bad part of the day was having to drive the hour home as i was snowing.
mean manalishi bottling sample
the smell had a strong citrus hops, some malt that came through, and a slight hint of light roast as well. the taste was also strong citrus hops but with a hint of floral gravel. there was also a very smooth and creamy body from the slight malt that could be tasted, as well as the light roast that was noticed in the smell.
boris aged 14 months
the smell did not have nearly as much roast as i was expecting, but did have a surprising amount of molasses sweetness. the taste had much more roast than the smell, with a subtle, but not as strong as the smell, sweetness. the major, and most surprising flavor, that i got was a nice bitter roast that reminded me of strong black coffee. it was almost like if i made fresh ground and brewed coffee from a medium dark to dark roasted bean. you could also compare it to the bitter you get if you leave coffee sitting over the burner to long and it starts to "cook" down (but my first description is the tastier of the two).
boris bottling sample
this fresh boris was very creamy with a heavy dark chocolate flavor, there was also a hint of coffee in the taste and over all was extremely smooth. i also found that as it warmed some of the oats in this oatmeal stout started to come out as a dry oat flavor.
smashin' berry blond
when cold this one tasted almost just like candy coated sweet tarts. as it warmed the flavor changed to something more like fruity pebbles or fruit loops cereal.
wild frog wheat brewed summer of 2007
fred definitely got this one just right, started with a strong banana with just a hint of orange zest; and like fred has said before, would be awesome with a little orange slice. not sure if it was from the brewing or the slight aging, but there was a strong malt flavor as well that added a nice heavy thickness to the body, it almost felt along the lines of an imperial wheat (which may be worth a try fred).