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brewery profile cont’d The quality of the brews Blackstone creates across the board is amazing. I actually kept saying over and over again that what I tasted was my favorite until I tasted the next one. I will say that after all was said and done, I tasted every beer they had available - overall, it was a very good Tuesday night!!! My tasting experience at Blackstone included the whole portfolio of beers on tap. We started with the staples of Chaser Pale Kolsch and progressed all the way through the line of tap pulls ending with some stouts and seasonal selections. I am going to feature my overall favorites in this article but I can assure you that this is a very tough endeavor, for sure, as I was not disappointed by any one of the beers that I tasted on this trip. The Chaser Pale Kolsch was the first beer I tasted. A true to style Pale in the Kolsch style this beer introduces itself to the palate with an approachability that is still somewhat complex. With a hint of lemon on the nose, the malt dominates the palate with just a slight flavor of hops. What I loved about this beer was the ever so slight bitterness that presented itself at the perfect moment to offset the malt and doughy masking on the palate. The Chaser Pale is a great all year round beer that will not let you down and is approachable for almost everyone. Hangtime Pale Ale really impressed me, as I am a Pale Ale drinker on a regular basis. The Hangetime is a slightly softer version of American Pale Ale. Created in the early eighties, American Pale Ales were crafted to a medium body with floral/citrus aroma and flavor. Blackstone’s Hangtime Pale Ale is a medium body American Pale Ale with a lower IBU level than the average at 33 IBU’s. The beautiful notes of citrus layered with pleasant and soft floral aromas match the overall palate experience. This is very approachable Pale Ale compared to some other popular versions that are out there right now. What I loved about this particular beer was its ability to pair with food and stand-alone. In the long run this is a beer that will be a versatile choice no matter what time of year and the event. In my mind, the most all around approachable and ideal brew for the masses is the Nut Brown Ale. I typically don’t find myself gravitating toward darker beers. However, the Nut Brown was one that didn’t shock my palate and kept me coming back for more. The balance on the palate is a striking contrast to the nose
and the aromas that whaft from a freshly opened bottle or a poured draft. A mild and sassy version of an English Ale, this beer is sweet on the initial introduction to the palate and ends with a sassy little bite. The color of the beer is definitely traditional English Ale; however, as you dive deep into the experience this beer shows that it can court any palate and stand stoic. Overall, this is a beautiful composition and is one that is memorable and keeps you coming back for more. The beer portfolio is accentuated by a great selection of seasonal brews as well. These beers should not be passed up. At the very least in my opinion, everyone should open their mind and palate to give them a try. The Watermelon Gose, a sour Grodziskie/Gose style straight out of Goslar Germany, is a surprise to anyone hesitant to taste a fruit infused beer. This beer follows along the traditional brewing technique but is infused with fresh watermelon, giving it a totally natural palate experience. The Strawberry Picnic is a traditional Ale infused with fresh strawberries. What I was able to experience was the beautiful essence the fruit adds without making the beer seem too fruity and unbrew like. With their seasonal brews, Blackstone continues their dedication to high quality and totally approachable beers across the board.
The “Special Release Beers” have in no way suffered from a too high or too low attention factor. For example, the belle of the ball, Black Belle annually crowns the special releases. This Imperial Stout is brewed with the cooperation of Belle Meade Distillery and is aged in used cooperage from the distillery’s bourbon production. I have featured my tasting notes of Black Belle on the TN Craft Beer website (www.tncraftbeermagazine.com) and, as I have noted, this beer isn’t for the faint of heart. Overall, every beer creation that I was able to experience “RESPONSIBLY” was top notch. Going back to what I mentioned earlier, Blackstone has really progressed from its inception. Blackstone today has expanded its portfolio of beer and is garnering more national and international awards per beer than ever before. What I have to say specifically, is if the evolution of Blackstone from its beginning to the current day is any reflection of Nashville’s evolution to world-class city status, then there is nothing to be concerned about. Blackstone cultivates its deep roots in Nashville while continuing to expand its prowess on the world’s craft beer stage. For a complete portfolio tasting experience, log on to www. tncraftbeermagazine.com
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