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When West Coaster posted that Karl Strauss would have its Bronze Medal Winner from the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) on cask last Friday, I called up the Sorrento Valley location to make sure they still had some flowing before heading their way.  Karl’s Holiday release, Two Tortugas went up against 73 others in the Belgian-style Abbey Ale category and was the only Quadruple Ale to medal in the category.

The beer was malty and sweet with a definite warming affect from the 11% ABV.  It wasn’t served too chilled, and seemed to coat my tongue well.  This beer was definitely heavy to me, and I’m not saying that in a bad way.  Ben met me there after just coming from Alesmith.  I found it really interesting that he thought of it more of a Red than Belgian at first.  It wasn’t until we requested two samples of their Red Trolley to test side-by-side that his taste seemed to recalibrate his sensory system.

So complex, we had to put our “thinking” faces on.

Did I enjoy this beer?  YES!  It went well with my Mac and Cheese although I wouldn’t have more than one glass at a sitting.  If it were on tap again, I’d definitely grab another.  The Karl Strauss website states the beer should change in spice level as it ages.  I hope I get to taste the same batch again when it’s a few months older!

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