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Foggy Noggin Anniversary Ale Vertical: It’s ALIVE

Foggy Noggin Brewery celebrates their anniversary by crafting an English Old Ale. Each year, Jim Jamison and his family replicates their Anniversary Ale recipe and releases it to celebrate the Foggy Noggin anniversary. My favorite part of Foggy Noggin Anniversary celebrations is the private vertical tasting. For the last several years, Jim has offered a private tasting of all of the Foggy Noggin Anniversary Ales that he still has cellared. This year, the vertical flight included: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.  I love vertical tastings of beer because they highlight the living features of beer.

Foggy Noggin Anniversary Ale

Listen to Jim Jamison talk about his Anniversary Ale recipe and why it is so great for cellaring.

Foggy Noggin 2016 Anniversary Ale Vertical

Foggy Noggin 2016 Anniversary Ale Vertical

2016 Foggy Noggin Anniversary Ale

The 2016 Foggy Noggin Anniversary Ale will be released to the public in the tasting room March 26, 2016. The best word to describe this beer is FRESH! The UK Golding hops aren’t your NW hops, they are more earthy and dry than bitter. The malts give richness and warmth vs sweetness to this beer.

2015 Foggy Noggin Anniversary Ale

The 2015 Foggy Noggin Anniversary Ale tasted a little flatter than the 2016 but a little more balanced. This Foggy Noggin Anniversary Ale had a really long finish on it that tasted more bitter and dry than the 2016. Although it was a tasty beer, it was the least interesting beer in the lineup for me personally.

2014 Foggy Noggin Anniversary Ale

The 2014 Foggy Noggin Anniversary Ale samples were bottle conditioned as there were no more kegs of this vintage left. The 2014 had a distinct sour aroma and was the most opaque beer of the flight. It was also the most carbonated ale. It tastes slightly sour but not overwhelming so. Jim reminded us that 2013 tasted slightly sour last year and thinks it is part of the aging process. I looked over my notes and I had written down that the 2013 had “tart tangerine notes”.

2013 Foggy Noggin Anniversary Ale

This is the first aged ale to show some sweetness on the nose. The 2013 ale is very clear and was keg conditioned. The 2013 Foggy Noggin Ale is a great example of why beer is aged. It has some lovely caramel notes and great integration of flavors. It is an elegant ale. When Jim asked the group which beer would they want to drink all night long, the 2013 was the winner. It was definitely my choice. I wish I had more bottles of the 2013 Foggy Noggin in my cellar.

2012 Foggy Noggin Anniversary Ale

2011 Vintage on the left - 2012 Vintage on the right

2011 Vintage on the left – 2012 Vintage on the right

The 2012 Foggy Noggin Anniversary Ale was dessert in a glass. It was the sweetest and the darkest of the flight. We were drinking from the last keg of the 2012 Anniversary Ale. This was too sweet for some people but I have had many a stout sweeter than this. It wasn’t too sweet for me. It is one of those silky smooth sippers that you want to have a long date with. It definitely is NOT a gulper.

2011 Foggy Noggin Anniversary Ale

I don’t have any notes from the 2011 Anniversary Ale. I was too busy sipping and savoring. I didn’t want to distract myself with my notebook. It was “heaven in a glass”. This ale was so smooth and integrated, that it was reminiscent of fine scotch. It had some sweet notes but it isn’t a sweet drink. When Jim asked the group if they could only have one beer what would it be, the 2011 Foggy Noggin Anniversary Ale was the clear winner.

The Foggy Noggin Anniversary Ale Vertical Event always sells out, so be sure to get your tickets early next year!

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