Saturday, May 21, 2011


99 Bottles is having a tasting event almost every day of Seattle Beer Week this year. This morning’s tasting was a pairing of donuts from The Donut & Muffin Factory of Auburn, Washington with three different ales. The working idea was orange juice, bacon, and coffee to accompany the most blessed of breakfast foods.


Rogue Somer Orange Honey Ale

First up turned out to be my least favorite. Hazy yellow-white body smelled of wheat and paper and perhaps a hint of honey. The same flavors were there, but I couldn’t quite find the eponymous orange. This was far too subtle to match the sugar donut I selected.

Tiffany of 99 Bottles said that it was a substitute for a tangerine wheat ale that didn’t arrive from the distributor in time. Having had a flavorful and satisfying tangerine wheat in the past, I can see where it would have worked better than Rogue’s offering.


Three Skulls Buccaneer Bacon Beer

The second beer was intriguing, but as another taster stated (and I whole-heartedly concur), “This has to be paired with some sort of food. It is not a standalone beer.”

It appeared as though a pale ale in coloring. The nose and tongue rectified that notion, however. The nose was all cooked bacon, with a bit of “classic” beer aromas in the background. The primary flavor was definitely bacon. The finish lingered for a long time, which meant that the bacon did as well.

The sugar donut was actually a good pairing, tending to diminish the overall effect of bacon (and not much else), smoothing it out some, which was welcomed. I can also imagine it on a hot summer night with some ribs and barbecued baked beans.

Don’t get me wrong, I love bacon, but this was a better concept than experience. Perhaps some imagined creatures shouldn’t come into being.


Laurelwood Portland Espresso Stout

The third and final beer was the best of the three, although I’m not a big fan of coffee, let alone espresso. As Tiffany stated, this would be one beer you could carry around in your coffee mug at work and no one be the wiser.

This stout looks like espresso with a tan head, smells like espresso, and tastes like espresso. The finish that lingers is espresso coffee until it finally fades away. It was a good accompaniment to the sugar donut.

If I enjoyed coffee, then this would be my breakfast beer of choice out of the three that I tried.


As always, 99 Bottles offered another interesting food-and-beer tasting. They continue to reward their customers and lovers of craft beer with wonderful and well-planned events.

(For the record, the sugar donut was a great specimen of such.)

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