Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Getting up to date
Now that most of the background information has been taken care of, let's get caught up on what beers I've tried so far this year that have been memorable.
The first one that struck me (and eventually led to Furious) was Hopslam by Bell's. I rated it a very solid 4.4 (out of 5.0) on the www.ratebeer.com website.
Of course Furious is the champ so far with a 4.8 rating by me. I'm not sure if I'll be able to give out a perfect five because it doesn't leave room for finding a better beer. Although maybe if I find the perfect beer I'll know it. Eventually I could see myself saving perfect fives for a short list of beers.
Bender and Coffee Bender by Surly are also very solid options with the Coffee Bender receiving a 4.2 from me and Bender having yet to be officially rated. The previously mentioned 16 Grit was given a 4.1 by me, but in hindsight that might be a tad low.
Southern Tier's Un*Earthly is a solid challenger to the top spot with a 4.6 rating that could climb the more I expose myself to it.
Sierra Nevada's Southern Hemisphere Harvest Fresh Hop Ale was one of the first beers I bought at the Firkins and is one of my favorites so far. It's a less intense but very flavorful IPA that is refreshing and goes down very easily.
Some quick notes on others:
Avery's Maharaja Imperial IPA & Great Divide's Hercules Double IPA - Both recommended by the Firkins along with the Un*Earthly, which ended up being their downfall. They were good but no comparison to the nectar made by Southern Tier.
Sierra Nevada's Torpedo IPA - Solid beer at a good price (around $8 per 6 pack).
Avery's 16 Saison Anniversary Ale & St Feullien's Saison - both very interesting, the first saisons I've tried. Good enough to try again sometime.
Hoegaarden White Beer - Recommended as something for a Blue Moon drinker. Not bad, good summer beer.
Smoke Ale - I've only sampled at the store but bought a bottle for further investigation. I'd like to experiment pairing this with food. It's very similar to their Chipotle Ale which I couldn't resist trying. It is what it says it is and is very interesting. I shared it with Paul and Noe, 22oz is too much for one person. I sampled the Yellow Snow IPA and also bought a bottle for further testing. Bough the Northwestern Ale because I heard the Liquor Barrel was the only place left with any. It was OK but not good enough to get me to go back for the rest of it. The best one from them was the one I feel a bit girly for liking, the Somer Orange Honey Ale. Nowhere near in the league of my favorite beers but what a great refreshing summer drink. I went back for four more bottles.
Others from the Liquor Barrel
Hop Devil - not terrible but no Hopslam
Heavy Handed - didn't care for it, a but too heavy and chewy and malty for an IPA for me.
Bought but haven't tried yet, from the Four Firkins
Lagunita's Hop Stoopid Ale
Magic Hat #9
Southern Tier's Creme Brulee Stout
Founders Devil Dancer Triple IPA ($19.99 for four 12oz bottles!)
Goose Island Bourbon County Stout ($5.49 for a 12oz bottle!)
Yeti Imperial Stout
From a trip to Casanova in Hudson
Stone's Arrogant Bastard, Oaked Arrogant Bastard, Smoked Porter, Pale Ale, IPA and Dogfish Head's 60, 90 and 120 Minute IPA's.
Sampled and purchased from the Four Firkins on July 28th the following beers from Point - Nude Beach (tasted a bit more flavorful in the store than at home but still a great summer beer), Belgian White and Whole Hog Six-Hop IPA.
Next we'll get caught up on some journal entries from the past week.