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"The law of averages: A brew pub puts out seven beers. One is superb, five are OK, and one you pour on the floor akin to pawning off your Brussels Sprouts to Fido when you were a tyke. Well averages be damned at Great Adirondack - seven beers on tap and all seven deserving of a gold medal.
Consistency and quality are the operative words here. As always I jumped head-first into the Red Ale (Ausable Wulff). My eyes were as wide as saucers right about the time Hutch wandered in from the brew house. I was having a hard time getting the words out but I do recall saying it was the best one I’ve ever had. Finally a red ale that’s not too dry, sweet but not sickening. The six varieties of English specialty malt is probably the key, combined with an absolute perfect balance of East Kent Goldings and Target hops.
I then ordered the sampler so I could better identify and choose my next “victim.” The Haystack Blonde was most intriguing as I cannot put my finger on the nose except to say “clean and crisp.” Now I glance at the beer menu and lo and behold that’s how they describe it – “clean and crisp!” This would be a delight out on the veranda on a hot sunny Adirondack afternoon or at the ballgame. This is also the perfect beer to introduce to the stoic BL, CL, ML crowd to break them gently from that ugly rut and awaken them to the world of fine craft-brewed ales.
The John Brown Pale had just a hint of hops in the nose with a very slight but clean malt kicker. The taste was exceptionally clean and was a delight across the palate. The Adirondack Abbey Ale I wrote down “sweet sweet sweet” describing both the nose and the palate. The Adirondack Gold Cream had a most atypical nose (in a good way) and was smooth as silk. The Cloudsplitter Barleywine was like your favorite candy as a kid. The menu concurs saying, “…with pronounced fruity notes.” The Skyward Stout had a wonderful nose and the flavor I wrote down as, “mild but full.” It had all the superlatives a stout is supposed to have.
I forgot how close Lake Placid is – I hadn’t been in a while. I guess the 75 (er, 65) mile per hour speed limit on the Northway did it. This is a town where you park your car at the hotel and leave it, and walk on up Main Street for some serious quaffing at Great Adirondack. Bar-keep Jim was a gentleman and exquisite host, and it was a special treat for Master Brewer Hutch to come in and have a chat as well. This place is worth a drive from anywhere. If I said this is one of the top two or three brewpubs for beer in the US and beyond, I wouldn’t be lying. Finally, other half ate an appetizer of four shrimp, each the size of a Volkswagon, baked in a breading of light and fluffy cornbread. It was reported to have been excellent. I just stick to the beer. I always have peanuts back at the hotel…
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