what to eat tonight

It Was a Very Good Beer ...

Sigma Phi Epsilon’s image was never the same after the notorious “four beer” party.Photo: Melissa Hom

This morning we reported that Gramercy Tavern has a new menu; this afternoon we’re recommending that you check out another new thing at the restaurant: their program of vintage (that is, aged) beers and ciders, one of the few of its kind in town. Kevin Barry — the restaurant’s assistant beverage director and the list’s co-creator, along with Brooklyn Brewery brewmaster Garrett Oliver — shared his enthusiasm for some of the highlights with us.

Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, 2005: “This one has typical stout flavors of chocolate, espresso, and malt, but with the aging, those flavors integrate and move into the background. This is very mellow.” (12 ounces, $15)

Etienne Dupont 2005 (cider): “A classic, unpasteurized Norman ale, with muted apple flavors and almost funky, raw, elemental tones. It’s earthy, yet sparkling and refreshing at the same time.” (375 milliliters, $11)

Schneider Aventinus, 2002: “It’s a wheat beer, but when aged, those yeast and banana flavors evolve from fresh banana to something like bananas foster, with sugars that are darker, sweeter, and more developed.” (16 ounces, $16)

Thomas Hardy, 1992: “This is one of the best-smelling things I’ve ever experienced, with a nutty, caramel flavor. It’s probably the most sought-after vintage beer in the world.” (12 ounces, $23)

Earlier: Everything Topsy-Turvy at Gramercy Tavern

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