I got to spend about six hours yesterday hanging out with Garrett Oliver and Mark Witty (Garrett's mentor & former Senior Brewer & Sam Smith).
This was all to do with the launch of Brooklyn in France, so of course we got to taste Local 1, 2, Monster, Black Ops, Brown Ale, EIPA, Sorachi Ace Saison, Lager... All that stuff. But we also got to taste two ghost bottles Garrett brought over for the occasion:
Cuvée de la Crochet Rouge (Red Hook = Crochet Rouge). This was Local 1, aged for (two?) years in bourbon barrels on lees from old riesling barrels. It was winy as all get out, and really fantastically complex. Not too much carbonation to speak of, kinda expected though. Lots of acidity, some honey-ness, apple-y but not acetyl. Really really nice.
Cuvée Elijah, which is Cuvée Noir aged in Elijah Craig barrels. This one was very Belgian-y but with some super strong bourbon-y ness and a hint of port/oxidation. I liked it, but not as much as the Crochet Rouge.
We also had some fun at this new bar where they had 1 eur a piece oysters. I'm lucky I don't have a headache this morning.
Also as an aside... I was talking w/ Garrett randomly about Vinny @ RR and how I heard he was trying to cover up some off flavors on a stronger Blind Pig, and dry hopped it to hell and back, and that was how IIPA was born. Garrett said, "What time is it in California? We're going to have some fun." And he proceeded to text Vinny and ask him. Basically he said that it was to cover up potential problems but Pliny came about entirely different.