A near perfect meal

Posted by Jim on Feb 9th, 2010
Feb 9

Nissa and I took advantage of locals night at the Lion’s Pride yesterday.  The special pricing includes $12 for a large plate of shrimp scampi or generous cut of prime rib.  I guess it’s called locals night because not many tourists are still in Brunswick on Mondays.  We drove up from South Portland for the meal, and I certainly found it to be worthwhile.  It’s amazing to me that more people aren’t taking advantage of this offer.  I know we are all experiencing tough economic times, but if you are able to afford a meal out, this should be near the top of your list.  The steak I ordered was very tasty.  It had been way too long since I ordered a piece of prime rib.  I wouldn’t say that the cut I had last night is better than the sirloin tips that are always on the menu, but I am still very happy with my choice.  As soon as Nissa and I decided to have dinner here, I was picturing what find beer I would order to accompany my meal.  For me, it was a no-brainer: a glass of Pannepot Old Fisherman’s Ale.  This s one of my favorite beers.  It’s high cost and rarity makes it a special occasion beer for me, and this nice dinner seemed like a good opportunity to order one.  here’s my impression of this terrific brew.

Pannepot Old Fisherman’s Ale

A+ / 4.65
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | drink: 5

Reviewed from my tasting notes. Served in a snifter at the Lion’s Pride. The beer is colored a very dark shade of brown; it is too dark too see anything through it except for a faint glow caused by a bright light. There was a small head of tiny tan bubbles It quickly settled to skim of foam. There was a little bit of lacing left by the settling, but a great amount of lacing occurred as I began to drink the beer. The Old Fisherman’s Ale smells nothing like an old fisherman. It is mainly sweet, with plenty of spices. I think I can detect aromas of clove and date, but identifying smells is one of my weak points, so I can’t do this aroma justice. I find it be very pleasant and a perfect compliment to the amazing flavor this beer possesses. I taste plums and dates. It is a bit sweet, but not as sweet as other Quads and high alcohol brews. In fact, there is just a hint of alcohol, mostly in the finish. You can feel and taste it evaporating after you swallow. For a spiced beer, this is taste perfection. The body is of medium consistency, while the level of carbonation is on the lighter side. There is some mouth coating, but it is very slight. It is not syrupy or sticky; as I described above, it feels like it is just a thin layer of alcohol the pleasantly disappears. This is especially impressive, considering the strength and style of this beer. This quality mouthfeel lends itself to making Pannepot incredibly drinkable. The spices never get overwhelming. If you order a glass of this, or pop open a bottle, you could sip it slowly for a long time, or just as easily, you could order round after round. The alcohol never impedes the drinkablity (the Old Fisherman’s Ale is dangerous that way). I would drink this beer all the time, if it wasn’t so rare (and expensive). It’s an exceptional product that I can easily call my favorite Quad.

The Lion’s Pride always has a bunch of posters up advertising upcoming events and specials, so I was surprised when I saw an announcement on their blog that was not advertised in the restaurant.  The week spanning March 5 through the 13th is the date of the Lion’s Pride First Annual Belgian Beer fest.  Beer nerds far and wide know the reputation of the Belgian Beer festival held annually at Ebenezer’s (the Lion’s Pride’s sister location), so to have a similar event this close to home is something to be very excited about.  Chris, the host of these events, is always very generous with the rare beers he offers to those lucky folks who make the pilgrimage to the event, and this one looks to be no different.  The blog has a number of beers listed, but the event listing at Beer Advocate actually has a bit more information, so I’ll copy that list for you to look over:

On Draught:
A whole bunch of Allagash Goodies will be on draught
De Dolle Mad Bitch Oct.2009
DeDolle Stille Nacht 2007
Tsmije Plus
Tsmije Tripel
Tsmije Kerst
Tsmije Catherine The Great
Tsmije Wostyjte
Tsmije BBB (CASK)
Oude Beersel Framboise
Oude Beersel Unblended Lambic
Pannepot 2007
Tsjeeses 2008
De Glazen Toren Jan De Litche
De Glazen Toren Saison De Epmere
De Glazen Toren Canister
Cuvee De Angelique
Konnenings Hoeven Quad
Chimay Tripel
Cantillon Gueuze
Cantillon Cuvee De Champions 02-03
Cantillon Lou Pepe Kriek 2006
Cantillon Vigeronne
La Trappe Brother Isdor
Abbey ST Bon Chien 2006
Abbey ST Bon Chien 2007
Abbey St Bn Chien 2008
BFM Le Muele
BFM Toriple
Brooklyn Flemish Gold
St. Bernardus
And a few other rather interesting things being poured as well 😉

It’s easy to be excited about everything on that list.  Considering that something as amazing as Koningshoeven Quad is the low point (as in, easiest to acquire outside of this event) , I don’t know how a beer fan could not be incredibly excited about this event.  I find it too hard to even list the stand-outs—they are all stand-outs.  But on March 5 I’ll have to decide what to drink first, so based upon what information I have now, I think I would have to order a Kabert.  Don’t go looking for a beer Advocate listing for Kabert, you won’t find it, this beer is too rare.  It’s a special blend of Portsmouth’s Kate the Great and De Struisse’s Black Albert.  Is it possible for two of the greatest beers on Earth to be made even better?  I’ll let you know on March 5th.