I haven’t been posting about cocktails very much in the last few weeks, mainly because I’ve been drinking through my beer cellar. I’m not sure what came over me, but I felt inspired to stop sitting on these delicious beers and just drink them. In doing so, I discovered that my preferences really don’t lie in the world of barrel aged imperial stouts, which is unfortunate given how many I have. I may, as a result, lose all credibility as a human being (I still like sour beers, I swear!) but sometimes the truth just is what it is. Nevertheless, I drank some delicious beers and thought I’d share them with you.
In no particular order…
Russian River Supplication. This beer is fantastic so find it if you can. It is an amber-colored beer aged in pinot noir barrels with sour cherries and three strains of wild yeast – brettanomyces, pediococcus, and lactobacilius. It has a nice sour tartness up front from the pedio and lacto yeast strains. The finish has a bit of funk from the brett strain and toastiness from the barrels. The acidity is well-balanced by the sourness and I found it to be delicious. If you can’t find this, try something sour from Allagash.
Bell’s Hopslam: This imperial IPA, often referred to as “hype-slam” is always a hard one to get your hands on as it is only released in very limited quantities and is snatched up by the beer-arrazi (I just made that word up) within minutes after it hits the shelves. I was able to snag a fresh six-pack this past week, bottled on 1/15/2013. It is a 10% imperial IPA brewed with honey and despite the hefty price tag, it does hit on all of your IPA fantasies. It’s bitter yet well-balanced, slightly sweet from the honey, and has a stone fruit finish from the late addition of everyone’s favorite hop, Simcoe. If you can’t get it, try Double Simcoe from Weyerbacher,
Monstre Rouge: This beer kind of sucked, so I won’t waste your time with it. It was a Flanders Red which should be somewhat sour, fruit forward and have a surprising level of richness. This was a 2010 that I had aged, but it did not do so gracefully. I actually dumped it. If you like this style, go drink Duchess de Bourgogne.
Goose Island Bourbon County Stout: I was excited to try these bourbon barrel aged stouts, since I have been sitting on a mess of them for some time now. They’re super high alcohol, clocking in at 14%, so I recommend drinking with a friend or two, as I did.
I pulled out the 2010, 2011, and 2012 regular Bourbon County plus a 2012 Bourbon County Coffee. We had a 2012 Cherry Rye Bourbon County too, but the abv caught up with us before we cracked it. The difference between the four variations was significant and, contrary to what I had anticipated going in, the 2012 was the clear winner. The 2010 was far more viscous, pouring like motor oil with very little carbonation. It had a lot of complexity to it, but the flavors were muted and the mouthfeel was off. The 2012 showed complexity and character that changed with each sip, moving you from bourbon to chocolate to coffee to roasted malt with each sip. It really was fantastic. The coffee was also stellar, but for the price ($22.99 for the 22oz Coffee vs $6 for the 12oz Regular) I’d stick with the regular.
If you can’t find this beer, there are a lot of bourbon barrel aged stouts on the market these days. Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti is more readily available and is quite tasty.
There will be more beer info to come as I continue to dig through this cellar. If anyone wants to trade some beers, hit me up at thenobleexperiment @ yahoo . com. Cheers!