Alright, we are only one week away from the 2014 Parish Grand Reserve Day! If you already have your tickets (they can be purchased here) then you have made a great decision. If you're still unsure, I'm here to tell you that you don't want to miss this.
The tickets for the day are only $25, which doesn't include any bottles to take home, but it does include all sorts of good beer while you're there. You will get a commemorative snifter glass and 10 pours of all the special beers. They will have 2012, 2013, and 2014 batches of Grand Reserve, the new Imperial Reserve (more about that one later), the Milton Teagle Jr. Jr. sour ale, the new batch of Ghost In The Machine, plus some specialty casks. Just in case that's not enough, you can also have unlimited pours of the three flagship brews, Canebrake, Envie, and South Coast. Bottles of the Grand Reserve and Imperial Reserve will be available for sale as well, so let's get more into those.
First, the latest batch of Grand Reserve. It's packaged the same as before, in 750ml bottles with a wax seal over the cap. The label is the same other than the 2014 marking on the side, but why mess with a nice clean label anyway?
The beer pours fairly dark as you can see with a large foamy head. The carbonation level is pretty high, but nothing like the Farmhouse IPA.
The aroma is rich and flavorful, with sweet malty notes combining well with the strong hop presence. The easiest way to describe it is that it smells exactly how a barleywine should smell.
The taste is more of the same, an excellent blend of malt of hops in a robust flavorful package that threatens to overwhelm your taste buds. I think, at its freshest, this 2014 vintage is even better than the 2012 or 2013, and I see no reason why it shouldn't age with the best of them.
I think Parish nailed it with this one, taking even another step forward. There will be a barrel aged version in the future as well... so that might even be a leap forward.
Also available in 5 oz. pours and for purchase will be the 2014 Imperial Reserve. This is an imperial stout in the 12% abv range, bottle conditioned and cellared in the same manor as the Grand Reserve.
The labels are very similar, just with a blue tint to them and a star in place of the castle that we all associate with the Grand Reserve. Like the previous one, the Imperial Reserve bottles have a marking for the year of release.
You can see the pour to the left... rich and dark, similar carbonation to the Grand Reserve above, and a massive bubble tan head. I think it looks like an imperial stout.
The aroma is what you would expect as well, rich malt with a good roasted bitterness and a hint of hops to balance it all out.
On the taste buds, it's just as good... and excellent balance between sweet and bitter for such a big in your face stout. I had no problem finishing off most of the bottle by myself, so the 12% abv is sneaky and doesn't interrupt the other flavors at all.
You're going to want to bring a few of these home as well, and get excited for the barrel aged version coming in a few months.
Thanks again to Andrew for sending me a few advance bottles. As expected, they didn't disappoint at all. If you're on the fence, click on this link and buy a ticket, they won't be on sale at the door and you will not be sorry you did.