May 9, 2009

Blind Tiger Ale House

One of the best craft beer bars in New York City, Blind Tiger recently hosted their annual Rogue Brewery Pacific Northwest Beer & Oyster Festival. Good thing we went relatively early on the first day, since they ran out of that day's Yakima Bay oysters by 6:30pm (event started at noon).

The oysters ($16/dozen) were huge and meaty, a little creamy with a slight minerality but not enough brininess to balance the plump meat. However, it did help fill up our stomachs for trying all the great beers on tap. And who can complain about slurping good oysters at $1.33 each!

With all the beer we sampled, we wanted something basic and salty. We opted for the Old Fashioned Plain Grilled Cheese Sandwich ($5.50). Toasted with gooey white Cheddar cheese with a side of pickle, it was the perfect comfort food to enjoy with our beer.

So now to the beer, the main focus of the night...

First up, a pint of the Rogue Mocha Porter ($7):
This was on tap, with a slight head, a little chocolate aroma, maltiness, and black in color with a light finish. Some of the aromas held up even after warming up to room temperature. This also allowed for a little smokiness to come out.

Rogue Ménage A Frog (Belgian-style tripel, Issaquah brewery, $7):
This was on draft, pale orange in color (hard to tell in the lighting, go figure), a slightly sweet and citrus nose, and light carbonation with a lighter mouthfeel than some bottle tripel's we've had. But the beer had some good hops and floralness to it. We could actually could taste the food with it.

Rogue Russian Imperial Stout ($7):
Surprising, we've have never had the Rogue RIS. A thick head on the pour, the strong, big beer had a (good) slight bitterness on the finish to balance the richness of the cocoa. Imperial stout fans would definitely like this. We would definitely have this again, although at 11% ABV you can't have too many... good thing we can take a cab home.

We also had a couple of tastes, the Rogue Signature Northwestern (cask) and the Rogue (nitro) Chocolate Stout. The Northwestern was a hoppy, grassy, floral India red. The Chocolate Stout
had a nice thick, creamy head with chocolately aromas. It reminded us of a tootsie roll.

Rogue Oak Quad Frog (Belgian-style quad, Issaquah Brewery, $7):
This was red in color with a slight sweet, spicy note, light carbonation, with dried fruit, and an aromatic nose. A lot of alcohol (about 13.5% ABV) but the subtle oak on the finish was nice.

We wanted to go back to the second night of the Rogue event to try some of the others (the Issaquah Frog beers, pale ales), but could not make it. All in all, Blind Tiger always has a great selection of beer (tap, cask and bottle including vintage and bottle conditioned beers), cheap but good eats and is always an oasis from the frat crowd in the Greenwich Village area. We'll be going back as there's always something new to try, especially the hard to find cask beers. Cheers!

Blind Tiger Ale House is located at 281 Bleeker Street (at Jones Street)

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