Another guest post from the awesome Tentacle Toast!
Founders’ “Bolt Cutter” is another perfectly crafted brew. On the spicier side of the barleywine spectrum, Bolt Cutter has a little bit of a cinnamon kick, with what seems to be a mix of hops layered in that classic caramel body. I never heard of Founders brewery prior to picking this up, but the care that was obviously put into Bolt Cutter persuaded me to try a couple more of their products (with great results, but more on those another day). Next time I grab a bottle, I’m going to grill up a couple steaks, & have some brown sugar spiked acorn squash as a side. I can’t imagine a better pairing. 15% ABV
Another fabulous guest post from Tentacle Toast!
One of the most unique barleywines out there has got to be Mikkeller’s “Big Worse.” It’s quite woody, but also ripe with candied fruits. Floral nose, with more than a hint of apple. It’s like drinking a fruitcake with a carmel topping. Very strange, but well designed, & worth a go. A liquid conversation piece, if you serve it in a glass to friends. 12%ABV, but be warned, its well hidden! I wouldn’t be surprised if the alcohol percentage turned out to be higher; while I was drinking it, I thought that it was exceptionally low, as it was virtually indiscernable… I took my time consuming a single bottle, & found myself to be MUCH more affected than usual. I am by no means a small man, nor am I unfamiliar with stronger brews, so here would be a good place for a friendly reminder to play it safe, as you never know how it’ll hit you!
My dear friend and co-art and -beer conspirator Tony Steele has kindly opined on a beer for us! Thanks, Tony! Go check out his art – it’s perfectly cromulent!
Old Chicago Black Diamond Chocolate Porter by the Boulder Beer Company made specifically for Old Chicago is a treasure. Drained from a unicorn and the beast was better for it. It not only wants you to be happy, it is the president of your fan club. It does a dopamine tango made of love right down your throat dressed in smoky chocolate lingerie and a viking hat. A petition to the company to produce this in the non pizza world would be a grand thing. Stop short of eating the glass. I love you Old Chicago Black Diamond Chocolate Porter and I want to have beer babies with you.
Yet another delicious beer guest post from Tentacle Toast:
A yearly treat is The Brooklyn Brewery’s “Black Chocolate Stout.” As the name suggests, this beer is black, chocolatey, &, um, “stout-y”… very good, almost a dessert beer; I’ve honestly contemplated making a float with this & vanilla ice cream, but (as of yet, anyway) refrained, due in part to its being released annually as a “winter beer,” & would seem to run contrary to the spirit of the season, or something. Plus, it’s almost like a milkshake right out of the bottle; thick, creamy, & delicious.
Meg note: I rated this one back in 2007, but it is definitely worth revisiting!
Tentacle Toast is at it again! Plus I accidentally stabbed my hand with a knife last night, so art is on hold for a few days.
Dogfish Head’s “Palo Santo Marron” is worth a mention. This used to be in my top 5, but has slid a few in the rankings because of what tastes like – and this is hard to describe if you haven’t been a consistent consumer – committee involvement. Don’t get me wrong, this is still a solid, great tasting beer that’s blacker than night with the viscosity of motor oil. It’s like drinking a cigar. But for some reason, the last year or two it seems like they’re playing it safe, & not being quite as daring with tweaking of the recipe…or it could be that they’ve decided one more stroke would ruin the painting. I don’t know, as mentioned, I’m no expert. It’s available year round, & I used to be able to tell when a new batch came out instantly upon taking the first sip (sometimes just by pouring it into the glass by the nose alone). Now it’s so stable, that there’s no variation at all. Still ripping with alcohol though, 12% by volume, & worth picking up a 4-pack, if you’ve never tried it.
It’s time for another guest post from Tentacle Toast!
This is one of my favorites from year to year. The 2012 batch is probably the best it’s ever been, & I’ve been a long time fan! This year the ABV is lower than in past vintages that I can recall (9.2%), which I think actually allows the wholesome flavor (not even going to mention “notes” or “hints,” just down-right yummy goodness…in my opinion, the existential dark beer experience) to soak more readily into the tongue. Plus now it comes in 6 instead of 4-packs!
I admit it: I get lazy about trying new beers. You have $5 to spend on a nice big bottle of a beer you know is delicious, or $5 to spend on something you might not like at all… especially during this season, when some of my favorite beers are available for only a few months of the year. So I don’t try as many new ones as I should. Luckily for you, I’m going to have a series of beer-related guest posts from a certain “Tentacle Toast,” who has kindly offered to opine on beers I have not yet tried.
“First on the docket is the Great Divide Brewing Co’s Yeti, a most delicious imperial stout. It’s thick, dark, & malty, with a more than subtle coffee note. It leaves the glass tinged an ochre hue several minutes post consumption, to the point of being able to tell which side was tipped! 9.5% ABV.”
Thanks, Tentacle Toast!