Monday, January 14, 2019

Fremont B-Bomb Bourbon Abominable Winter Ale

My habit of amassing bottles of beer to consume at the end of the year over the holidays yields all kinds of goodies that i'm then spending weeks to catch up on and write about.  Over Christmas of 2017, an amazing friend of mine was visiting from Washington state and delivered a veritable smorgasbord of fantastic brews from the Pacific Northwest.  One of those was the B-Bomb Bourbon Abominable Winter Ale from Fremont Brewing.  Keeping it stowed away in a cupboard for a year was a challenge, as i desperately wanted to try the thing, but i'm glad i did, as it was the perfect brew to spend Christmas Eve with after the kids had gone to bed and we'd finished wrapping and putting out the presents.  This wonderful 14% ABV brew pours a dark brownish black with a light tan head and smells of oak, bourbon, spices, vanilla, coffee, and maybe even a little bit of tobacco.  The flavor is a warming mix of caramel, vanilla, roasted malt, oak, spice, and booze.  I should drink one of these every Christmas.

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Monday, January 7, 2019

Hole Lang Syne

Here we are, a week into the new year, and while i didn't really do much on New Year's Eve (stayed in with my wife and kids, a fire, some football, and some kind of serial killer hunting game after the kids went to bed), i did have a fantastic beverage in hand as the proverbial ball dropped.  Hole Lang Syne, a Belgian strong ale brewed with raspberries and blackberries from the good folks at Rabbit Hole Brewing near Fort Worth, was the perfect libation to ring in the new year.  The 10% ABV brew poured a lovely amber with a white and quickly dissipating head.  Aromas of fruit (raspberry and blackberry of course), sugar, and some mild spices were prevalent, while the flavor was sweet, but not too sweet, fruity, but not too fruity, and with just the right amount of subtle tart and alcohol notes.  May our 2019 be as great as this beer was.

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Monday, December 31, 2018

Jester King Montmorency Vs. Balaton

At the start of every year, i gradually begin a procurement of different bottles of beer that eventually amasses into a veritable smorgasbord of libations that i drink away at Christmas time, only to then start collecting again.  It's become kind of a ritual.  At any rate, of the several different bottles i consumed over the holiday, one of the very best was the meal time accompanying Montmorency Vs. Balaton from Jester King.  Acquired from the brewery on Father's Day, this 6.1% ABV barrel aged sour beer, refermented with two different kinds of cherries, pours a beautiful transparent red with a quickly dissipating pinkish white head and smells of fruit and cherries with tart notes abounding.  The flavor is sweet and tart with a light and crisp mouthfeel that gives the brew some wine and champagne characteristics, the sourness only slight subsiding from start to finish.  This was a wonderful brew, perfect for a big holiday gathering or meal, and i really wish i had purchased more than one bottle.

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Monday, December 24, 2018

TUPPS Full Grown Nick

Well, tomorrow's the big day.  Are you ready?  Are you prepared?  Because i'm sure not.  I have yet to wrap a single gift, instead deciding to go to sleep last night, and to rewatch Indonesian action film "The Night Comes for Us" the night before that.  I stand by my decisions, but that means there is probably not a wink of sleep in my future tonight.  And tomorrow is going to come so very, very early.  The 5-year old and the 2-year old will see to that.  Anyway, at least i've got plenty of beer.  Much like the Halloween variant of their Full Grown Man stout, the holiday version, Full Grown Nick from TUPPS Brewery, is loaded with season appropriate flavors and spices.  The 12.1% ABV imperial stout pours a dark black with a creamy, tan head and smells of chocolate, nutmeg, gingerbread, vanilla, roasted malt, and cinnamon.  The spices are heavy in the flavor, but retain enough balance to not go overboard, and ends things in a nice, boozy finish.  Merry Christmas everybody.

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Monday, December 17, 2018

Galaxy Grove

I just can't seem to help myself with brewery collaborations.  I find one, and i must try it.  And so i was rewarded with the excellent Galaxy Grove, a wild ale collaboration between Indiana's Upland Brewing and Florida's Cigar City (a perennial favorite).  The 7.3% ABV concoction pours a hazy gold with a foamy white head, aromas of tropical fruit, peach, and hops prevailing with some very subtle notes of oak and a little bit of funk.  The flavor is juicy fruits, peach, pineapple, and grapefruit with some bitter grass notes and a tart finish, a pretty complex brew overall.  It would be in our interest if these two collaborate together again.

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Monday, December 10, 2018

Sol Vinum

Last week i wrote about my post-Thanksgiving dinner beer, a veritable alcoholic dessert, but this week, it seemed i should complete things by taking on my dinner beer.  I'm not really a wine drinker, so instead i went with a wine-ish brew.  Marble Falls' Save The World Brewing makes some pretty knockout stuff, so their Sol Vinum, a Belgian strong ale aged over crushed red grapes proved to be a perfect beverage to accompany a table of family and food.  The 9.3% ABV brew pours gold with a bubbly white head and smells of spice and fruit.  The flavor was the same mix of spices and fruit with a kind of lacy alcohol feel in the mouth, and it paired wonderfully with our Thanksgiving dinner.  I can imagine it pairs nicely with most other meals as well.  I'll be having this one again soon.

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Monday, December 3, 2018

Prairie Artisan Double Dunk

Illness has blanketed my household the last few weeks, with adults and kids alike getting bouts of flu or worse.  I've been battling a walking pneumonia myself, which hasn't been very fun.  Lots and lots of coughing.  But, i did manage to have a few tasty brews over Thanksgiving, and one of the best was my post-dinner dessert beverage, the Double Dunk Imperial Stout with Oreo from Oklahoma's Prairie Artisan Ales.  The 11.9% ABV brew pours jet black with a quickly dissipating tan head and smells of chocolate, cream, and roasted malts.  The flavor was a little boozier than i was expecting, but sweet and smooth as well, notes of chocolate and cream hitting the palate like a decadent dessert, all with some hints of Oreo throughout.  Yum.  It's a great, night time winter brew.

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