I Hereby Announce the Winners of the First Meeting of the Maine Zymurgy Society

2011 January 13
by admin

I’d like to introduce you, dear reader, to ZYMURGY. Zymurgy is a roving society that has popped up wherever I’ve lived – in Ohio, Washington, DC, and now in Maine. It began long ago, when a group of beer enthusiasts in college decided to elevate their palates beyond the simple solvents consumed by the masses and experience beer that tasted like….anything! We’re an informal group with a few simple rules.

This is a report of the results of the First Meeting of the Maine Zymurgy Society. The style we tasted this week was Winter Beers, a rather murky and subjective style. While it technically could include lagers, we restricted this tasting to ales. The style is often darker, richer, and higher in alcohol than a traditional amber ale, with higher rates of spicy hops. Often, these beers are subtly (or not so subtly) dosed with traditional herbs, spices or even trees (like the annual Anchor Winter, which reputably uses spruce extract) that have warming flavors that evoke the season. (We didn’t do a spiced winter beer this time because the last Zymurgy that involved a spiced ale gave several members unpleasant ginger burps.)

This time, we tasted Peak Organic Winter Session Ale, Sebago Brewing Slick Nick, and Geary’s Winter Ale. Enough preliminaries! On with the score:

Beer 1 (Peak Organic Winter Session)

Beer 2 (Sebago Brewing Slick Nick)

Beer 3 (Geary’s Winter Ale)

Aroma

2.8

4.5

5.5

Head

2

4.25

3.8

Flavor

4.2

6.5

7.4

Body

3.2

4.2

4.75

Aftertaste

4.4

5.5

5.25

General

4.2

5.5

6.2

Geary’s was the clear ‘winner,” with winning scores in every category except “head” and “aftertaste.”

The next tasting is tentatively scheduled for late January. The style will be Imperial Stouts. A warning to the uninitiated: this style has massive alcohol and flavor, so we might consider doing half-pints to ensure that we’re all conscious at the end of the evening

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