Well, another Baronial Event has been successfully navigated. Lochmere's Winter Revel was yesterday; my Lady Wife was the Head Cook, and I co-hosted a Cheese and Beer Tasting, in addition to having my Brew Cart on premises.
The feast (in the style of 'Georgia-the-Country') was phenomenal. Some of the presentation and preparation was perhaps not quite as it was in Georgia, but the flavors were all just right--and they were good. :) The Tasting went about as smoothly as I had honestly figured it would. One of the planned cheeses (a Swiss-style) went moldy and had to be tossed. The ideal venue would have been almost a classroom setting, instead of the "buffet-style" we had. All the same, it went quite well; we had the opportunity to educate more than a few people, and everyone enjoyed our offerings. The runaway hit of the tasting was a 5-year-old aged Gouda, paired with Schlenkerla's smoked UrBock.
The beers on tap were CC's Blackberry Stout and a Scottish 80/-. It's hard to say which was the more popular; predictably, the women were drawing more of the Stout, and the men more of the Scottish. I was most pleased with the Stout, personally--too often, fruit beers are overly sweet; this was nicely dry, but the blackberry flavor was quite easily discerned. It was crisp and clean, and very satisfying. The 80/-, though, confirmed my original impressions of it from when it was kegged--under-attenuated, and overly rich. It was certainly pleasant enough, and not what I'd call "bad," but not everything I was hoping. Still, I had intended it as a jumping-off point to make an 80/- to my taste, and as such, it fit the bill quite well.