Samples Lead Me Astray. To Surreality and Greatness!

Yesterday, I got two beer samples and, based on those samples, ordered a beer. The one on the left.

I received this snifter.

I briefly noted that my snifter’s beer appeared darker than the sample I’d gotten, but I’ve noticed that can happen on rare occasions. I’m not really sure of the optical physics of why a larger portion of beer can occasionally seem so much darker than a sample, but probably someone out there can explain it. Maybe I’ll poke a friend into doing so, if I can.

I also noticed the head was rather reduced in the full pour. I didn’t think much of it, until I sipped the beer. At which point I was tasting a fabulous beer, with some lovely wine barrel characteristics, that managed to be both like and unlike the sample I’d had. Given the full pour felt colder to the touch, the head was reduced, and that my order had been forgotten for a bit, I wondered (as did everyone at the table) if I’d gotten a draught pour of the same beer I’d had a cask-conditioned sample of.

However, when I asked our server if this particular beer was being pulled from casks and on the draught lines, he kind of blinked. Then he explained that, no, actually they only had two beers “on cask” right then, and neither of them were the beers I had asked to sample. They had two beers (the “monkey” beers) that were very cask-like, due to something about the way they were fermented, and so maybe I’d gotten the wrong samples. But I definitely got the beer I ordered, I’m told.

I’m not so sure. Between my failing to order well (I’ll explain if anyone cares), and the general chances of mix ups in any restaurant experience, I think it’s possible I didn’t get what I ordered. But I found I didn’t at all care. I got something good, and that was more than sufficient.

You see, whatever it was, I really loved the beer I was served. I thought it far better than the sample I’d tried. I want all of you to go to Baltimore and try it. Drink them right out of it, and then convince them to brew more! Of course, you can’t. You can’t help me in this quest, because we don’t know what I was drinking…

It was, frankly, was kind of delightfully surreal. I’d go back in a heartbeat. You know, if I lived in Baltimore.