Tales from San Francisco: sips and notes from SF Beer Week

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I am currently in San Francisco enjoying the best beer event in th U.S.: SF Beer Week. Below are my tasting notes from Friday’s festivities at City Beer and Toronados, where I was lucky to taste both the 2009 Cable Car (a sour beer made by Lost Abbey just for Toronado’s and unavailable anywhere else) and Pliny the Younger, (an epic 11% double IPAwith amazing flavor and balance). SF beer week is truly the ideal model for beer weeks everywhere.

Midnight sun obliteration vii – clean balanced hoppy stout, more like a black ipa with subtle roasted malt stout characteristics. Good but not my style. 

Midnight sun monk’s mistress nitro. Takes a good minute to form its head – very dense. 
Nice smoothness dried fruits and Xmas cake.  Enjoyable and the alcohol is quite mitigated by the nitro. 

Russian river mortification 2010: nice hop mid palate balances the sweetness on this impressive quad. Vg+. still only Belgian yeast lovers need apply. 

Pliny the younger – is this a west coast IPA? Indeed but with ridiculous balance and pine centric. The best west coast IPA around? I would say yes. 

Lost Abbey Cable Car – insane complexity and lactic character. Sour cherries, Brett but clean and very very balanced. Excellent+.

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