Archive for the tag “2013”

2013 Black Tuesday – The Bruery

black-tuesday-beer

18.9% ABV
Purchased through The Bruery online shop and poured into mini tasting glasses.

This already legendary bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout from Orange County-based The Bruery pours a midnight black with a vaporous, light brown head.  It smacks you with hard alcohol aromas upon the first crack of the bottle, but chocolate, coffee and wet wood notes emerge when you dial in further.  An eye popper upon first swallow, with the flavors working on two different levels – throat-clearing booziness on one end of the palette, spectacularly strong and nuanced chocolate and coffee on the other.  Black Tuesday is a masterful slow-sipper, and not as grossly sweet as some of The Bruery’s other big-ass brews.  The beer works wonders if you take your time with it, growing a little more peppery on the aftertaste, and with vanilla bean and wood growing stronger the longer it warms.

   4.5 Toasts

BlackTuesday

   4.5 Toasts

 

Old Scallywag – Coronado Brewing Company (2013 vintage)

scallywag_bttl

11.4% ABV
Purchased at Pangaea Bottle Shoppe ($16.99/22 oz. bottle) and poured into an oversized wine glass [cage of emotion].

This “barley wine aged in oak bourbon barrels” is from Coronado Brewing in San Diego, which of course in German means “a whale’s vagina.”  Old Scallywag pours as silky smooth as the beard of Zeus, a clear and dark maple with a tight tan head.  The aroma is a formidable scent.  It stings the nostrils…in a good way, with waves of bourbon, dried and dark fruits, roasted nuts, barrel wood, brown sugar, and maple candy enticing the nose like a jazz flute solo.  I wanna be friends with it.  It’s delicious on the first swallow, more English than American barley wine, with brown sugar sweetness, wood bitterness, and a bready texture dominating up front, and ending as clean as a nice pair of slacks.  Some apple and tea enter the picture as the beer rests on the tongue, and the overall effect is not unlike a wood-fired apple pie drizzled in scotchy scotch scotch. Beer drinkers assemble!

toasts-4   4 Toasts

OldScallywag2

 

toasts-4   4 Toasts

 

Top 10 Beers of 2013

Top10-2013

We were lucky enough to drink so many great beers for the first time in 2013, we had to find ways to pare this list down to a reasonable number.  For that reason, we decided to omit from consideration any beers that we tasted solely through the generosity of others.

For example, our friend Nick leapt into the world of beer trading this summer, and he was kind enough to allow us to taste such Beer Advocate Top 100 mainstays like Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout, Three Floyds Zombie Dust, Heady Topper, and Perennial Abraxas.  Meanwhile, our beer bar owner friends Clay and Rob gave us the opportunity to sample such legendary beers as Three Floyds Dark Lord (a 2010 vintage that was truly the best beer we had all year), Allagash FV13, and Cascade’s Kriek and Vlad the Imp Aler.  Our Michigan native friend Matt brought us Bell’s Two Hearted Ale and Founders Centennial IPA back from a holiday trip home.  None of those beers were considered for our list.

For the sake of inclusion, we also left off any new vintages of classic beers we’ve tried before, such as Black Butte XXV, The Abyss 2013, or Dark Horizon 4th Edition.  Additionally, we omitted any beers that only one of us was able to try, such as Drake’s Blue Bottle Coffee Imperial Stout, the Danish “Atheist” Imperial Stout Gudelos, Jester King Black Metal, or the Harviestoun Old Dubh 18 Year.

Within those parameters, these are our consensus best beers that we tried for the first time in 2013:

Top 10*

  • AK Alive! (Mikkeller/Anchorage)
  • Breakfast Stout (Founders)
  • Double Eye PA (Mikkeller)
  • Farkin Wheaton w00t Stout (Stone)
  • Imperial Biscotti Break (Evil Twin)
  • Pupil/Apprentice IPA’s (Societe)
  • Pure Hoppiness (Alpine)
  • Saison-Brett (Boulevard)
  • Salty Beard (Solemn Oath)
  • Triple Olde Gnarlywine (Lagunitas)

*In Alphabetical Order.

10 More Amazing Beers

  • Almanac Beer Company sour beers
  • Berserker (Midnight Sun)
  • Café Racer 15 (Bear Republic)
  • Czar (Avery)
  • Dark beers by Clown Shoes – including Vampire Slayer, Very Angry Beast, Blaecorn Unidragon and Porcine Unidragon
  • Hop Zombie (Epic)
  • Prairie Bomb (Prairie)
  • Sans Pagaie (The Bruery)
  • Steel Dawn (Columbus)
  • SweetWater B.A. IPA (SweetWater)

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