I apologize in advance for the title of this post. It’s a bit misleading.
My time in Lake Placid, NY, over the weekend led me to the Great Adirondack Brewing Co., at least in spirit. As part of Great Adirondack Steak and Seafood, the brewery itself wasn’t open during my visit to the home town of the 1980 Winter Olympics.
But that didn’t stop me from trying out all seven brews that the company offers inside the parent restaurant. And what the brewery offered was a consistently decent selection of beers in all varieties with a few standing out above the rest.
First of all, before even touching on the beer, the way in which the seven four-ounce samples are brought out is quit impressive as a very rustic, woodsy tray carries out all the sample glasses.
For me, the best sample was of the Adirondack Abbey Ale, a 7% ABV Belgian Dubbel. It was a solid example of the type of beer, with clove and banana notes apparent throughout and a smooth finish of Belgian yeasts.
Also very good was the Haystack Blonde — a crisp, light and refreshing beer — and the Ausable Wulff Red Ale , which boasted the caramel and malty sweetness of a good red. The Avalanche IPA was a brute at 8.1%, but wasn’t overwhelmingly bitter, featuring some tasty floral hops and the Summer Wheat was a unfiltered beer reminicent of a decent hefeweizen.
Slightly disappointing for me was the Whiteface Stout. It was a solid stout, with notes of coffee and chocolate throughout, but tasted no different from dozens of average stouts I’ve had in the past. But it was nowhere near as disappointing as the John Brown Pale Ale, described as the “House IPA.” While the description spoke of crisp and sharp citrus hops flavors and aromas, the beer itself was lackluster with little flavor or character.
Overall, it was an impressive selection of several beer genres. With all the good that the Great Adirondack Brewing Co. produces, it’s fairly easy to overlook the misses it comes up with along the way.