Written by John King
Whenever I foresee a big beer tasting approaching, I start to pre-plan my days in ahead to prepare myself for the event. I limit my beer intake the week prior (granted I was coming off a Final Four trip to New Orleans which involved all sorts of booze-induced revelry) and make sure I know what I am getting myself into beer-wise to be mentally prepared. Just like a race, I need to know my beers, follow a good course, and hope to be at the finish line still standing (or at least leaning a little). Unfortunately, I only stuck to one of my principles and my beer intake was pretty low going into the tasting.
Luckily, this wasn’t just a barleywine or imperial stout tasting, because some sours, kriek, and lambics were involved (my least favorite style of beer) to switch things up from the usual heavy hitting lineup. If it wasn’t for the pictures the next morning, I may have been able to remember only half of what we drink.
Here is what went down (along with two bowls of popcorn which lasted as long as raw meat in a tigers den) and was split up amongst the six of us…
- Great Divide Barrel Aged Yeti 2012
- Bear Republic Racer X Imperial IPA
- Goose Island Bourbon County Coffee Stout
- Boulevard Bourbon Barrel Quad
- Firestone Walker Sucaba
- Weyerbacher Tiny (Belgian Imperial Stout)
- Epic Brewing Big Bad Baptist Imperial Stout
- Avery Rumpkin
- Yazoo Sue (See John’s video review of Sue here)
- Yazoo Sue (infected version)
- Oude Kriek
- Odell Avant Peche Imperial Porter
- Russian River Consecration
- New Glarus Raspberry Tart
- Ballast Point Victory at Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter
- Alaskan Brewing Smoked Porter 2009
- The Duck Rabbit Porter
3. Ballast Point Victory at Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter
Unlike, Bourbon County, this beer still had a decent amount of coffee to it. Very complex beer and almost different flavors on each sip with your choice of coffee, vanilla, chocolate, or roast. A very solid with a longass name. Also, the label had a skeleton on it, that’s cool, right?
2. New Glarus Raspberry Tart
Don’t scan below where you will read that I don’t enjoy fruit beers or any type of fruit in a can, but New Glarus makes a hell of a raspberry tart beer. If the Kool-Aid man enjoyed a good buzz, he’d break through a ton of walls for this stuff. OHHHH YEAHHHHH! A smooth drinking raspberry concoction that hides almost any form of alcohol in it with a tartness biting you on the tongue in the end. With New Glarus only distributing to Wisconsin, you’re going to either have to drive up there or have a sweet hook-up. Can anyone say the Great Taste of the Midwest in August 2012?
1. Odell Avant Peche Imperial Porter
Fresh warm peaches covered in chocolate sauce. Yea, that’s the beer pretty much and it is awesome. You take a look at the dark porter and think no way is this fruity. By far my favorite, and maybe the groups, favorite beer of the night. The beer is 45% ale with peaches added, 19% ale aged in oak, 36% ale aged in oak with peaches. Peach abuses the beer as much as the Presidents of the United States of America abused the damn song (Dune Buggy was my favorite off the album).
Least Favorite 3 (No beer is horrible unless, well, you know)
3. Oude Kriek
I don’t like sours, I don’t like fruity. Good enough reason for me not to enjoy the beer, which happened to be the first beer of the evening sadly. I was up sh*t kriek without a paddle.
2. Russian River Consecration
Shoot me now if you want, but I think Russian River is over hyped…just my opinion. I’ve never liked any of their “tion” series and the only beer, which I’ve moderately enjoyed, is Pliny the Elder. Consecration disappoints as well. Their beers are just ok, not my favorite style choice or cup of tea. The rest of the tasting group agreed.
1. Avery Rumpkin
I should have listened to my Colorado friends when they talked about getting Rumpkined. This pumpkin beer aged in run barrels stood at a staggering 16% ABV, similar to their Angels of Death series, and packed a huge, sweet, burning punch. I am pretty sure I saw one guy just straight shoot the beer. This beer was only meant in small doses to say the last. It was not enjoyable and probably wasn’t a good call for our 3rd beer of the night.
Bourbon County Coffee Stout
The beer is relatively young and the coffee was Un-Starbucks like and no where to be found. None on the nose, none on the tongue, none on your breath an hour later either. For a beer as hyped as it is, big letdown. Still a good imperial stout, but the label doesn’t advertise as promise.
Great Divide Barrel Aged Yeti
The nose wreaked of infection (as has been noted with this beer), but the taste, not so much. Stankonia. If you could get past the minor funky scent, it wasn’t a bad beer. Some beers infection can do wonders to a beer (see Goose Island’s Matilda a few years back), but for this hairy monster of a beer…it wasn’t the case.
Until again, or I recover…whichever comes first.