Thursday, November 29, 2012

Long awaited conclusion

I just can't seem to stay consistent with this damn thing, can I?

I figured since another Month of Awesomeness is just around the corner, I'd better finish off the last one.
Yes, I did end up drinking the beer but sadly fell short with posting the results.

Let's take care of that old business so I can get started with the next one when it arrives.

December 26th saw several beers, these being the highlights.

My favorite beer to pair with my Monte Cristos. A great way to kick off your morning too!.


My birthday beer (12/27)

December 28th.
December 29th

December 30th

And of course, celebrated the New Year with a very appropriate beer.

Now let's just hope that I can be a little more consistent for the next Month of Awesomeness and finish off this part of it in a timely manner.  Let the games begin!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

December 25th - St Bernardus Christmas Ale

The most special day of the month (of awesomeness) deserves the best beer, right? I guess it could be up for debate but considering that St Bernardus Abt 12 is my favorite beer and the St Bernardus Christmas Ale is a very similar beer, it's hard to argue too much.

It's a great beer for a good price too, maybe a buck or two more than the regular St Bernardus offerings. I shared some with my nephew who lacked proper glassware but it resulted in demonstration of just how luscious of a head this beer gives you.

It was my only beer of the day. Well, by day I mean hours during which the sun was in the sky. We later ventured over to the Nortons' for several more beers including something I brought, another can't-go-wrong beer for the season. I bought two bottles and only made it through one. We'll see how that second bottle tastes next  year.

Monday, January 9, 2012

December 24th - Nøgne Ø/Jolly Pumpkin/Stone Special Holiday Ale

Christmas Eve had rolled around finally and I got to bust out some of the beers that I had been saving for this exact holiday. The first was an unofficial entry into the MoA but still worth mentioning.

Goose Island's Christmas Ale didn't seem like the most intriguing beer since brown ales are usually at the bottom of my list of styles to try but I really liked the label and always appreciate a nod to a great holiday. The beer was about what I expected, nothing special but a solid and very drinkable example of the style.

The next beer was one I've had for a long time and was a bit nervous to try because I wasn't sure how it would hold up. Luckily, not only did it really seem to hold up well but unless I'm not remembering the last time I had this accurately, I think the flavors and aromas really came out more after sitting for awhile. This version of the Special Holiday Ale was the one that was brewed at Nøgne Ø.

This is a super unique beer that I grabbed a few bottles of because not only did it sound good but I really loved the label artwork. After sipping on this one again I'm happy to say that the beer inside definitely matched the spirit of the holiday because this stuff just tasted like Christmas. The spices really worked well, specifically the juniper.  I'm not sure if they'll ever make this one again but put it on my Christmas list if they do.

December 23rd - Great Divide Belgian Style Yeti

Belgian Style Yeti is a beer I've been siting on for about half of the year and I really didn't know what to expect. Alvey was sampling some at the Four Firkins last month and while it's tough to get a good gauge on a beer in that setting, I knew that I liked it.

I also have some Tiny from Weyerbacher which is also described as a Belgian style imperial stout. When I first heard about this style, I half expected some odd spicing to be thrown into the beer. Since I was trying to keep to beers that I had matching glassware for in the MoA, I opted for the Great Divide instead.

I'm not sure exactly what about this beer made it a "Belgian style imperial stout" but I know that it was probably my favorite of the Yeti varieties. Not to say I didn't like the others but this one seemed to have a deep, rich chocolate flavor that really stood out to me. I'm glad I have another bottle or two stashed away.

December 22nd - New Belgium Lips of Faith - Transatlantique Kriek

By now, you shouldn't be surprised to see a Lips of Faith beer from New Belgium in the MoA lineup. This is another one that I've been sitting on for awhile and really looking forward to drinking.

As has been discussed before, I'm a sucker for beers with cherry and I've had the kriek style before. Interesting story behind this beer:

In a never-ending quest to create new beers and defy category, New Belgium Brewing and Brewerij Boon of Belgium have partnered together again to create Transatlantique Kriek - a spontaneously fermented lambic ale made with Polish cherries. This authentic kriek beer began life in the oaken vessels at Frank Boon’s brewery in the Lembeek region of Belgium. After more than two years aging, Boon’s offering shipped across the Atlantic and found its way to the intuitive palate of New Belgium’s Brewmaster Peter Bouckaert. After much sampling and internal consultation, Peter and his brew staff created a full-bodied golden lager to round out the light-bodied kriek.

I think this one's done and gone so I'm glad I got a shot to try it when it was still available.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

December 21st - Boulevard Smokestack Series Bourbon Barrel Quad

December 21st saw a night of beer for dinner. By that I don't mean meticulous menu planning meant to pair wonderfully with the complexity of a wonderfully crafted Belgian beer. I mean I started drinking beer and forgot about eating dinner.

Not that that's a bad thing. Nothing wrong with being extra happy on a Wednesday night. It was actually a two-fer that night (well, maybe one and a halfer) because I started off with St. Sebastiaan Dark.

Admittedly, I do things bass ackward sometimes and it's not usually by choice. This time it happened because of my unstoppable habit of collecting beer glassware. I saw a St. Sebastiaan glass at the Four Firkins a couple few months back and loved it. So naturally I needed to find the beer to drink out of that glass. This night the glass got broken in.

The beer was really nice. Not mind blowing by any means but it was a very nice easy to drink belgian (maybe dubbel?) beer to sip on when you have no agenda and want to utilize a cool drinking glass and pour out of a bad ass bottle.

Next up was a Boulevard Smokestack Series beer and not just any one, probably my favorite one to date. And that's saying a lot.  The first time I had BBQ I thought it was one of the five best beers I ever tried. It was a combination of everything that I loved in the beer world. Quad+Bourbon Barrels+Cherries. What wasn't to like?

Subsequent experiences of it weren't quite that good with a couple of them being downright disappointing (more on that down the road... maybe). I wanted to see how this bottle would treat me.

I was pleasantly surprised. It wasn't as good as that first bottle and I'm not sure if it's because I changed or the beer did. Didn't matter. All that did matter was that it wasn't the same bad experience again  and even though it was a lot boozier than I remembered, I was happy to drink this one down all by myself.

December 20th - New Belgium Lips of Faith Le Terroir

Alright, back to this. I've fallen behind in writing about the Month of Awesomeness but I kept up the important part, the drinking.

December 20th saw yet another visit to the New Belgium Lips of Faith lineup, this time with a personal favorite - Le Terroir. This is a unique sour beer in that it was dry hopped which gave it an unusual extra dimension over other sours out there.

This has to be the Lips of Faith beer that I've bought the most of and with good reason. Not only was the uniqueness of it a draw but it's not too often that you can get a quality sour for less than $10 a bottle. Sadly, I think this was my last one. Here's hoping that I stumble across one more in the back of a fridge or in a hidden box.