The Session is a monthly event for the beer blogging community which was begun by Stan Hieronymus at Appellation Beer. On the first Friday of each month, all participating bloggers write about a predetermined topic. Each month a different blog is chosen to host The Session, choose the topic, and post a roundup of all the responses received. For more info on The Session, check out the Brookston Beer Bulletin’s nice archive page.
The theme this month was Tripels, and was hosted by David Turley at Musings Over a Pint.
The late great beer writer Michael Jackson described a Tripel as 8-9% alcohol by volume, orangey-gold in color, with distinctive herbal and orange-fruit notes, a juicy malt middle, and, despite the alchol level, a dry finish. A tripel is one of a range of Abbey-style beers, a reference to the beers of the six Benelux brewing Trappist monasteries. The Beer Judge Certification Program, and others, confusingly mention Belgian-style Golden Ales as a separate style, a distinction of no meaningful difference.
I may have missed the Friday midnight deadline for posting a story, but I was right on time in a different sense.
Alan McLeod at A Good Beer Blog had suggested that participants post their comments on Tripels —in real time— via Twitter. (What's Twitter? Go here.)
And, that I did.
A friend stopped by the house, and we opened a bottle of Allagash Tripel Reserve —Batch 117 to be precise. (Allagash is a brewery in Portland, Maine, named for a town of the same name.)
Here's how we Twittered our tasting:
- Preparing to Twitter Session Beer Blog Friday-http://tinyurl.com/cfv53z Flying Dog Kerberus and/or Allagash Tripel Reserve. #TheSession
- How American homebrewers view Abbey-style tripels: http://tinyurl.com/dlh3s2 I wonder, did they ask the monks? #TheSession
- Opening Allagash Reserve Tripel. As with a Champagne bottle, keep thumb on cork and turn the bottle, not the cork. #TheSession
- Allagash Tripel Reserve,Batch #117:hints of apricot,honey,waxy orange peel,cardamom. #TheSession
- Beautiful color, says drinking partner: deep golden, long-lasting but not moussy white head of foam. Allagash Tripel Reserve. #TheSession
- [A fellow Twitterer, in fact Alan of A Good Beer Blog, replied: @Cizauskas In 2006, My notes said the Allagash tripel finish = sea salt with old bitter greens - sounds like I was full of it! #thesession.]
- [I replied] @agoodbeerblog "sea salt with old bitter greens"- sounds like Ralph Nader vacationing in Nova Scotia. #TheSession [to which Alan Twitter-responded: @Cizauskas Hey - watch it! I'm a bluesnoser expat...though I suppose a Chesapeake Bay man can get away with that #thesession]
- Allagash Tripel Reserve: paired with 'Asian' spiced prepared tofu. Nice match. #TheSession
- Beer style nonsense. Whats the difference between a 'Belgian strong golden 'and a 'Belgian tripel'? Merely more alcohol? Feh! #TheSession
- Music for a Tripel? Going against the grain (barleycorn?) for a Friday night: Beethoven Piano Trio. #TheSession.
- Friend (a wine preferer, gasp) and I are going for a cheesey dessert with Allagash Tripel. #TheSession
- For dessert with Allagash Tripel, we nibbled on Neal's Yard Dairy Shropshire Blue. "Oh, yum", or variations on that theme. #TheSession
Nerdy? Yes. Fun? Yes.
- Note the #TheSession tag. During the day, participants could monitor the postings —as they occurred— by going to Twitter.com, navigating to the Search page, and typing in #TheSession.
- The next Session: Beer Blogging Friday will be on 6 March 2009 with a new theme.
- I am employed by a wholesaler that distributes Allagash beers.