Saturday, May 14, 2011

Recent beer tastings

Below are some of the beers that I've tried recently and a brief thought on each. Most of these were consumed at my bachelor party last weekend. Without further ado...

 Dark Horse Double Crooked Tree (Imperial IPA, MI)
Very good. A little sweet and malty for my tastes, though.

 Short's The Curl (Imperial Pilsner, MI)
Really, really enjoyed this one. Crisp and refreshing. Not enough imperial pilsners out there.

 Great Divide Titan IPA (IPA, CO)
Solid, but nothing crazy. Tastes about like what you'd expect an IPA to taste like.
 Dark Horse One (Oatmeal Stout, MI)
I had really been looking forward to this part of the night. A tasting of the 1-5 stouts from Dark Horse. This oatmeal stout might have been my favorite drink of the night. Smooth and creamy, tasted a lot like chocolate and a little like coffee. Really good stuff.

 Dark Horse Too (Cream Stout, MI)
As the style implies, I remember it being creamy, but not much else other than that. Hard to follow the last beer.

 Dark Horse Tres (Blueberry Stout, MI)

 I've had this once before and didn't care for it, but was pleasantly surprised. I don't have fruit stouts often, so the blueberry smell and flavor was peculiar. Smelled like blueberries more than it tasted. Reminded me a little of a blueberry pancake. Decent, but probably won't try it again.

Dark Horse Fore (Smoked Stout, MI)
 Don't particularly care for smoked beers, either, but this one only had a faint hint of smoke. Not a smoke bomb like some of the other smoked porters and stouts I've had. This one would go great with a steak or other red meat.

Dark Horse Plead the 5th (Imperial Stout, MI)
 This was a delicious beast of a beer. At 12%, it was probably good that I was sharing it. Pretty well rounded between malts and hops. The high ABV in it is pretty much completely hidden. This could make for some sneaky drunkenness.

Mikkeller and BrewDog I Hardcore You (Double IPA, Denmark/Scotland)
Hops, hops and more hops. As advertised, this is about as hoppy a beer as I've ever drank, which is strange consider that it's a European collaboration. At $7.99 for a 12oz bottle, this isn't something I'd have often, but it was a nice treat.

Lagunitas Maximus (IPA, CA)
This seemed pretty standard, too, but it was about 4:30AM when I drank it, so I could be forgetting a bit.

Allagash Black (Belgian Stout, ME)
A strange brew. A stout fermented with Belgian yeast. Almost tastes like a really dark, malty dubbel or tripel. Not a big fan, but it is a popular beer. I believe Wine Enthusiast rated it their favorite beer of the year. Perhaps it just takes a bit of getting used to.

Alesmith Speedway Stout (Imperial Stout, CA)
Another monster of a beer. I've had this guy sitting in my closet for months to find a special opportunity to try it. At 12% and 750ml, this is about the same, alcohol-wise, as drinking a bottle of wine. You'll definitely want to split this one. An intense-flavored beer. A lot of coffee and heavily roasted malts. There is a good deal of complexity here.
Great Divide Hercules Double IPA (Imperial IPA, CO)
This didn't blow me away at all. It seemed like a pretty standard malt-forward IIPA. It was passable, but doesn't measure up to some of the better offerings out there.

So, what were my favorites? I'd go with the following:

Short's The Curl (Imperial Pilsner, MI)
The entire Dark Horse 1-5 lineup other than Tres
Mikkeller and BrewDog I Hardcore You (Double IPA, Denmark/Scotland)
Alesmith Speedway Stout (Imperial Stout, CA)

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