Saturday, March 19, 2011

124 Rabbit Club

Another guest review from Alex on his recent trip to New York, sampling some fine belgians at 124 Rabbit Club:

For starters, the Rabbit Club is well named, with a below street level location, VERY low light and a close environment reminiscent of an actual rabbit hole, though a bit less dirt but an appropriately grungy mood. The Friday/Sunday bartender Drew likes his music a bit loud, but his choice of punky and rocky beats nicely rounded out the vibe. Menus are readable only by candlelight, and the dude who lit up half the bar with his apple laptop was sent packing: moral being to just chill for a bit until your eyes adjust to the light, and leave your laptop at home.
The bathroom had a hilarious caged pissing black cherob statue on a giant pile of bottlecaps and rarer bottles, and there were several pony kegs scattered around and piled up in the corners.

I first ordered the Petrus aged sour pale ale at 12floz for $8, which pleased me thoroughly. After popping the cap, it poured with a thin head but good carbonation, a slightly cloudy light color, a went down with a crisp dry finish, and just enough sour to make it awesome. This beer had none of the excessive sweetness or sourness which sometimes kills an otherwise nice sour, and was pleasantly drinkable beginning to end. I will definitely return to the pale sour at some point.

After chatting with Drew a bit about the bar and the Petrus, he recommended another sour: Oude Geuze Boon, which ran $14 for 375ml: a bit pricey, but I haven't seen this beer elsewhere so for rarity the price is justified. The cork popped loudly and when poured, this beer had a tall head which wouldn't be tamed by pouring down the side of the glass, and a light color similar to the prior beer but less cloudy. After the pour we had maybe 80% head, and only 20% beer by depth, with a growing head which overflowed substantially and made me sad to spill some uncommon beer. We chatted for a while for the head to calm down, and it eventually settled to a 60% deep beer pour. When I finally got to give it a try, the nose and flavor both reminded me of fresh earth and strawberries with another awesomely soured crisp finish. It sort of reminded me of eating strawberries from the garden in the rain, while drinking good beer, an all around positive impression and consistent with the rabbit hole mood of the bar.

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