Blog by Nigel Walsh


Lost Weekend



Blog by Nigel Walsh


Lost Weekend

Mmmm, Lost Weekend.

Possibly my favorite of all the beers brewed by Bluejacket down in DC.

A 7% juicy fruity hazy American IPA, which I have sampled many times on cask, both unadulterated and also with all kinds of dry-hop treatments, all equally delicious.

Sadly, that is not what I will be going on about this week.

If you live in NYC, you must have noticed this beautiful end-of-summer weather that we have been experiencing over the long Labor Day weekend.

If you were the Cask Whisperer, you would have noticed it through your apartment windows, while you fought off the dreaded lurgy from the discomfort of your living room couch.

So, I ended up missing out on what appeared to be an awesome brewery crawl through Gowanus and Industry City on Saturday and found myself searching through my kitchen cabinets on Sunday afternoon for a suitable bottle of patent medicine.

It is a known fact, that when all else fails, a beer is the best cure for whatever ails you.

I am happy to report that I had some success and found four candidates hidden at the back of one of the top shelves, behind some half-emptied liquor bottles.

I decided to hold off on the two KCBC sours (perfect for a New Year’s Eve toast) that had been delivered to my doorstep in 2020 when we were all stuck behind locked doors and concluded that an equally aged Rum-barrel Imperial Stout, from MIA in Florida, would be a beer best shared.

That left me but one choice; I had been hanging on to a 1997 bottle of Gales Prize Old Ale for, I don’t know how long, but it was for a ‘special’ occasion.

It had sat there through numerous special occasions over the years, including many family birthdays and even its own 25th (and possibly 26th) birthday.

So, what could be more special than sitting miserably indoors by myself when I could be outside enjoying the glorious weather with my fellow New Yorkers?

Nothing, that’s what.

So, I cracked it.

I have had about a dozen of these over the years with vintages from 1969 through 2001, and ages from 9 to 21 years, and have gotten very lucky not to have come across any real duds so far; we don’t count the occasional soy sauce flavors, and we don’t count the disintegrating corks on the older ones, we just decant…

So how was this one?

It was absolutely incredible… the best yet:

  • It took three different corkscrews to successfully remove the cork from the bottle, and by successfully, I mean adequately.
  • The bottom third of the cork did come out in chunks, which required filtering through a fine kitchen strainer.
  • The nose was a little sketchy while the cork was still partially in place; yes, there was this wonderful warming rich note of fine aged port, but also a hint of the stilton that usually accompanies it.
  • It poured a very deep opaque amber with, as expected, absolutely no head.
  • In the glass, with the errant corky bits removed, it lost the funky cheesy notes, replacing them with a distinct dried fruit aroma.
  • The taste was exquisite; raisin and port again dominated up front, but no residual sweetness.
  • There was a certain warming booziness to the entire glass, with some faint funky leather notes and a very dry oakiness.
  • No soy sauce this time… yay!

Awesome stuff, why did I wait so long?

This is nominally a 9% beer but is reckoned to get up to around 12% by the time that the residual yeast has done its thing. I am pretty certain that this one got there.

It performed its task perfectly, I was grinning like an idiot from the first sip and had totally forgotten about my poor diseased body while consuming it, and for a couple of sleepy hours afterwards.

Did it cure me?

Well no, it is now holiday Monday, and I still feel kind of crappy, but I no longer consider this to be a totally lost weekend.

Mmmm, Lost Weekend.

Now somebody just has to persuade Bluejacket to drop off a cask or two here in NYC.

Living Beer Quarterly Report – June / August 2023

Over the past three months, The Cask Whisperer has enjoyed the following living beers, many as part of the Jones Wood Foundry Summer Cask Ale Series:

  • Barrier Simple: Lager (Handpump)
  • Dutchess Avalon (Handpump)
  • Dutchess Halcyon (Handpump)
  • Dutchess Parallax (Handpump)
  • Endless Life from a Great Height (Handpump)
  • Fifth Hammer Steelin’ Hearts (Can Conditioned)
  • Fifth Hammer Unlicensed (Handpump)
  • Gales Prize Old Ale (Bottle Conditioned)
  • Gun Hill Mayhem (Handpump)
  • Old Glenham Weavers (Handpump)
  • Old Glenham Winders (Handpump)
  • Strong Rope Good Job w/Brett (Gravity Pour)
  • Strong Rope Good Job (Handpump)
  • Strong Rope Tippler (Handpump)
  • The Seed Unhurriedly (Handpump)
  • The Seed Stay Awhile (Handpump)
  • The Seed Can it be so Simple (Handpump)
  • The Seed After Winter (Handpump)
  • Threes Brewing Closer to the Point (Can Conditioned)
  • Threes Brewing Tiny Montgomery Summer (Handpump)
  • Transmitter Ginger Lemongrass Saison (Handpump)
  • Wild East Prudence w/Brett (Handpump)
  • Wild East Radiance (Handpump)
  • Wild East Dry Hopped Radiance (Handpump)

Upcoming Cask Festivals

This Saturday 09/09/2023: 8th Annual Noah Webster Real Ale Harvest Fest


Leave a Reply

Sign Up For News

    Sign Up For News