NEW JERSEY – SOUTH
To begin March ’05, went to gambling mecca, Atlantic City, visiting Firewaters at Tropicana Resort (tasting draft selections while admiring 101 bottled beer assortment) before landing at TUN TAVERN BREWERY. Located next to Convention Center in Sheraton Hotel since ’97, Tun’s known for the “best steaks in Jersey.” Opening to a U-shaped bar with left side brew tanks and secondary loft bar, this commodious blue-walled sienna wood-furnished public house had high ceilings, open kitchen, roomy dining area, and routine mash tun aroma.
Brewer Ted Briggs (replaced by Flying Fish Brewery’s Tim Kelly after accepting Lake Placid Brewery job) obligingly offered chewy Freedom Ale 2004 Barleywine, a dazzling 11% alcohol specialty brew aged in Jack Daniels barrels. Its dry-hopped chocolate liqueur frontage picked up bruised orange, plum, raisin, prune, and cherry jubilee nuances, settling to bourbon-warmed vanilla finish.
Alcohol-soaked banana-ripened cherry-stained Quafdruple, caramelized mocha-seeped coffee-bottomed Nut Brown, and exquisite peachy-keen floral-hopped candy-sugared All American IPA were highlights.
Band-aid-nosed perfume-hopped corn-malted Tun’s Best English-Style Bitter, diacetyl apricot-slacked, wheat-strawed,maize-dried, club soda-like, herbal tea-tinged Tun Light Golden Ale, citric-prone cocoa-powdered dusty-floral hop-roasted Irish Red, and mild oats-faded, black chocolate-waned Black Jack Oatmeal Stout soothe less discrete tastes. Light-finishing autumnal Pumpkin Ale brought pumpkin pie spicing to cinnamon-nutmeg-allspice grip.
During January ’07 Tun Tavern revisit, tried worthy red-fruited juniper-hopped raw-grained fig-date-dried Devil Dog Pale Ale (though full-bodied barley-flaked cappuccino-chocolate-serenaded Leatherneck Stout was unavailable).
In November ’07, brewer Tim Kelly sat along as I quaffed astringent pumpkin-spiced hop-spritzed butternut-squash-quince-dabbed cinnamon-ginger-nutmeg-pinched salt-watered Chuckin’ Pun’kin. Thereafter, he brought down interesting, if green, Gruit-styled Winter Warmer, an easy flowing curative with primary sassafras theme overlaying eucalyptus, caraway seed, dried fig, and radish illusions.
Finally, sampled elusive Leatherneck Stout, a leather-dried cedar-singed Band-aid-nosed medium body placating burnt coffee frontage with ample toasted nuttiness. Afterwards, quaffed 22-ounce bottle of Tun Tavern Grand Cru, a terrific medicinal-honeyed Belgian-styled ale with caramelized apple hook, Drambuie liqueur line, and bruised banana-orange sinker overriding brown-sugared clove-coriander spicing.
During April ’20, tried sessionably soft-toned Eldorado Splash, a brown tea-hued English-styled IPA scattering dry earthen pine, herbal musk, bracken fern and sawgrass illusions across apple-skinned grapefruit, brown pear and apricot sedation.