Stirring The Pot: CO2 Girl Scout Cookies Hash Paired With River North Brewery’s Barrel Reserve 2014 [Column]

The tenth pairing in our weekly Food & Drinks column: Stirring The Pot. Today, Ed combines CO2 Girl Scout Cookies Hash and River North Brewery's Barrel Reserve 2014.

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Hello everyone! Good to be back! Just moved into a new apartment, so things have been crazy hectic lately. New roommate, Tim, who I just showed around Denver and the mountains the past week, and also attended the 710 Cup with me as well, has been adjusting awesomely. Personally, I’m just happy to finally be getting back to the blog!

Click through for previous Stirring The Pot entries.

image_1First up, I want to mention the great folks over there at GroundSwell Denver. Not only is their customer service top notch, but their products, whether it be flower, or hash, has been getting even better as the years roll on, which is crazy considering how good they’ve been since I started going in early 2012. This CO2 Girl Scout Cookies hash is fantastic. Gooey, and can be hard to use if left at room temps, because it seems to maintain a slightly less than maple syrup consistency, but nothing an overnight stay in the fridge can’t solve and make just a bit easier to work with. Upon opening the container, you’re met with an immediately sweet caramel like aroma, with a hint of coffee. Really nice.

The beer I’m tasting this week is from a great local brewery called River North. They’ve been making some really incredible saisons, and barrel aged stouts since coming onto the scene here locally. Great taproom as well. This beer is their 2014 barrel aged reserve series, which they claim no two will ever be the same year in and year out. This version boasts a malty dark ale 55% of which is aged in whiskey barrels, 31% aged in Sherry barrels, and 14% aged in Chardonnay barrels, so you know you can expect complexity of the highest order. Cheers to thinking this will go great with the CO2 extraction GSC.

CO2 Girl Scout Cookies Hash
CO2 Girl Scout Cookies Hash

image_3I ready up my pen, but decide to start with the beer first. My first sip and I’m hit right away with some boozy whiskey notes, which settle upon swallowing, allowing some oak, malts, cherries and a hint of vanilla to come through. Pretty good for a first sip! Now I take a toke from my pen of the Girl Scout Cookies hash. I really wasn’t that far off with the caramel notes that I mentioned earlier from the sniff test. The smoke tasted of chocolate, burning wood and caramel upon inhalation. The exhale then brought about hints of lavender and mint that played off the remaining flavors of the River North beer. Mind blowing to get those flavors out of this. Another sip of the beer brings some notes of cocoa nibs, and candy coated almonds. The smoke from the pen now as I begin my back and forth starts finding some interesting notes of whiskey and molasses, lots of oak, sugar, and hints of grapes on the very end, definitely from the chardonnay barrel. It’s crazy, the beer smells like a bowl of Frosted Flakes did when I was 8 years old, surprising me with its sweetness. This beer probably could have done with aging a year or two so that those sugar and whiskey notes, which are very up front in this fresh version can soften over time and create a better balance of the complex flavors present here. Regardless, it’s going great with the hash, and even near the end I’m getting sugared plums, bourbon and oak, and berries soaked in syrup. Extremely impressed, and would be more so if I had aged this beer.

The buzz I’m experiencing is very uplifting, and I don’t feel as sluggish as I do after some pairings, and could totally get up and accomplish something if I could drive legally, haha.

So on that note, I would definitely recommend the River North Barrel Reserve 2014 edition, however i would caution anyone buying this to age it if they can. Great beer, but some flavors were overpowering as fresh as they were. Meanwhile, the CO2 hash was spot on incredible and super potent. Hints of chocolate, caramel and sugar really come out in this baby, and you can find it at my favorite dispensary, GroundSwell, over on Colfax.

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I hope everyone enjoyed this edition, and as always, comments and feedback appreciated! Stay lifted my friends!