It’s my weekend. I only have a couple things to do on my days off, so I’m going to try and be as productive as possible in regards to all the little projects I’m attempting to get off the ground this year. Of course, that isn’t going to stop me from enjoying some tasty brews tonight. Now that marathon training is over I can refocus my attention on that, “Try 5 New Beers Each Month” task I set for myself back when I plotted my latest Day Zero Project (aka the 101 things to do in 1,001 days list). I had to go months without trying new beers between August and December, so I’m making up for lost time now. Last week I consumed Great Divide’s Wolfgang Doppelbock, Mikkeller’s Double Eye PA, Green Flash’s Double Stout, Nøgne Ø’s Pale Ale, and Ken Schmidt/Iron Fist/Stone Mint Chocolate Imperial Stout. Yes, I know that makes six in one week, but I’ve got an entire summer to make up for! I think I’m going to star tonight with Stone’s 2012 Russian Imperial Stout, but I might go elsewhere depending on where the night takes me. Adam and I are supposed to sit down and hash out some…thing we started writing together, but I’m sure it won’t pan out because when you put two ADD/OCD people at a table together usually nothing happens. Or everything happens, only completely unrelated to the task at hand. Maybe a beer will put me in the mood to work?
Did I run down my list of the ten best beers I consumed in 2012? I should probably give you those names at some point since the calendar has changed to 2013 and a few varieties might not be available much longer (if at all). According to my Untapp’d app on my iPhone, here are the ten highest-rated beers I drank last year.
Honorable Mention: Moylan’s Hop Craic XXXXIPA (Imperial/Double IPA) – “Some addictions need to be taken to the next level. Laced with resinous oils from the lupulus cultivar, Hop Craic satiates the cravings of the hard core hop abuser. Warming alcohol and mind-bending hops will send you on a trip you will want to take again and again. 10.4% abv – draught only!”
Best Session Beer: Moylan’s Orange & Black Congrats Ale (Fruit Beer) – It’s just so damned easy to drink a bunch of these without getting drunk! “To honor our World Champions at the Cove, we have created a smooth, American black ale brewed with orange zest. A hearty brew for the bleacher bums, gardeners of turf, and patient fans who have endured 54 years of pine-grabbing torture. An adult beverage to salute the bat, the Stick, the rally thong., the crab, the seal, the chickens, the Thrill, the bowties in the office, the golden voices in the booth, and all of the San Francisco legends that helped them get there. We at Moylan’s never stopped believing and we plan to bust this rookie out on opening day for the Ortange and black faithful. WARNING: Do not fear this beer for it will freakishly offer two Cy’s of relief without putting any hair on your face. ARE YOU READY? WELL THEN GRAB A BEER, MEAT!”
10. Ballast Point Sextant Coffee Oatmeal Stout (Dry Stout) – “A dry stout with fresh brewed Cafe Calabria coffee. The flaked barley and oats serve to round out the body a little without the malty sweetness. Calabria is an independant coffee importer and roaster located on 30th st. in the North Park area of San Diego.”
09. Brasserie Dubuisson Bush de Noël (Scaldis Noël) (Belgian Strong Ale) – “This is a sweet beer with a pleasant flavour of hops. Indeed, for Bush de Noel, the brewer uses a traditional process which consists in placing hops flowers in the vats where the beer rests for four to six weeks by which time it will have reached full maturity, giving it a very distinctive taste. In the U.S the label generally reads Scaldis Noel.”
08. Oskar Blues G’Knight (Imperial/Double IPA) – “Gordon is a dry-hopped hybrid strong ale somewhere between a Double IPA and and Imperial Amber Ale (IAA). Brewed in tribute to the late Gordon Knight, Gordon is brewed with massive amounts of American hops and features about 85 IBUs and 8.7% alcohol by volume. Once a winter seasonal, Gordon is now a year-round, limited-supply offering.”
07. Great Divide Claymore Scotch Ale (Scotch Ale) – “Named for a medieval Scottish sword, Claymore Scotch ale is a tribute to the legendary “Wee Heavy” beers of Scotland. A malty, deep-ruby-hued ale, it features a generous amount of caramel sweetness, a reserved hop profile and a subtle warming character, at 7.7% alcohol by volume. Claymore will be available in six-packs and on draft through mid-April.”
06. Drake’s One Bourbon, One Scotch, Oh Dear (American Strong Ale) – “Blend of a barley wine, strong ale and scotch ale all aged in bourbon barrels.” Described by one reviewer as “viscous and warming with low carbonation.” “Jack & Coke” was actually a flavor description used to describe this beer. It was unique.
05. Deschutes Hop In The Dark CDA (Black IPA) – “Can an IPA be black? Semantics aside, this noir version has subtle coffee undertones born of a blend of oats with dark, Munich and crystal malts. What emerges is something deeper, less orthodox, and all its own. After 22 trial runs in our Bend and Portland pubs, we got it right. Malt: Pale, Crystal, Chocolate, Chocolate Wheat, Black Barley, Flaked Oats, Toasted Oats. Hops: Northern Brewer, Nugget, Centennial, Amarillo, Cascade, Citra”
04. Firestone Walker Wookey Jack (Black IPA) – “Wookey Jack is our first foray into the dark outer world of black IPAs. Rich dark malts and spicy rye careen into bold citrus laden hops creating a new dimension in IPA flavor. This brew has been left unfiltered and unfined to retain all of its texture and character. At 60 IBUs, Wookey Jack is gnarly on the outside yet complex and refined on the inside.”
03. Brouwerij Bosteels Tripel Karmeliet (Abbey Tripel) – “First brewed 1996; claimed to be based on a recipe from 1679 which used wheat, oat and barley. Tripel Karmeliet is a very refined and complex golden-to-bronze brew with a fantastic creamy head. These characteristics derive not only from the grains used but also from restrained hopping with Styrians and the fruity nature (banana and vanilla) of the house yeast. Aroma has hints of vanilla mixed with citrus aromas. Tripel Karmeliet has not only the lightness and freshness of wheat, but also the creaminess of oats together with a spicy lemony almost quinine dryness.”
02. Firestone Walker Velvet Merlin (Stout) – “A decadent Oatmeal Stout brimming with cocoa and espresso aromas. This beer features a rich, dark chocolate and roasted coffee flavor with a creamy mouth feel and wonderfully dry finish. The addition of U.S. grown fuggles hops contributes the perfect amount of bitterness to this exceptionally balanced beer.”
01. Firestone Walker Parabola (Imperial Stout) – “Parabola has been a major component of past anniversary blends and is one of our most aggressive offerings. This beer features bold bourbon and tobacco aromas and a rich dark chocolate, charred oak flavor. Parabola is best enjoyed in moderation and is a perfect beer to pair with those chocolate dessert favs. An extension of Quercus Alba —the Firestone Walker Barrel aged program. Russian Imperial Stout Aged in Bourbon Barrels.”
Mouthus – Your Far Church [MP3]