The Top Ten Beers Of 2015…So Far
As much as I love a memorable meal, or a great record, or a roll in the hay with a young woman who just arrived in Los Angeles with dreams of breaking into the industry, nothing beats a cold beer. Beer (and by extension fine wines or small batch bourbons, I suppose) elevates those memorable meals. Drinking a good beer goes hand-in-hand with listening to good music. And, of course, beer makes rolls in the hay with aspiring actresses possible.
I take my beer very seriously. How seriously, you ask? Well, take a look at how I try to fit the best bottles possible into my tiny apartment:
What we have here are 36 bottles of the Bruery’s finest, broken down into “Heavy” (Black Tuesdays, Chocolate Rains, Grey Mondays, Mocha Wednesdays, etc.), “Sours/Anno” (Anniversary variants like Bois and Coton and Sucre), and “XMAS/Collabs” (Everything from the 12 days of Christmas series minus A Partridge In A Pear Tree, collaborations with other breweries). This is in my bedroom closet. They stay here because it’s the coolest room in my apartment. My Bruery collection has since spilled over into two other locations, the floor of my kitchen and a countertop in my kitchen.
Here we have the heart of the collection, a cabinet that houses whatever “rares” I’ve come across that I’ve not yet consumed. Everything from Cantillon variants (all the Lou Pepe’s and Fou’), Duck Duck Gooze, Speedway variants, Dark Lord, Bourbon County and its variants, Hill Farmstead, Firestone Walker, 5050 eclipse variants, Westvleteren, etc.). The cabinet has since spilled over onto the counter above it.
I’ve taken a hiatus from buying more bottles for the rest of the year so I can work through a lot of what I currently have sitting around the house. With LA Beer Week approaching I will likely find myself buying some special limited bottles from certain local breweries, but other than that I’m done trading online and buying for a while. Don’t cry for me, there’s plenty here to blow my mind for the remainder of 2015. Until such time as I crack the Dark Lord and Parabola and Sucaba and Veritas…here’s my list of the best beers I’ve consumed so far this year.
This list was compiled and calculated using my ratings on both BeerAdvocate and Untappd. If we’re not already drinking buddies on Untappd, you can add me as a friend. Who knows, maybe I’ll invite you over when it’s time to open up that Bourbon County Vanilla Rye I’ve been saving for a special occasion. Rather than bore you with my own reviews I’m using the commercial descriptions where possible.
The Bruery “Melange 10“, FiftyFifty Brewing “Imperial Eclipse Stout (Java)“, The Bruery “Mocha Wednesday (2015)“, Southampton “Imperial Russian Stout“, Toppling Goliath “King Sue“, Hair Of The Dog “Cherry Adam From The Wood”
10. Alesmith “Speedway Stout (Kona Coffee)” (Untappd: 4.5, BeerAdvocate: 4.49) – AleSmith Brewing Company is proud to introduce another great addition to our Specialty Coffee Speedway Series. Mostra Coffee carefully roasted 100% Kona beans to showcase the coffee’s nutty sweetness and floral aroma, a seamless complement to our award winning Imperial Stout. Huli Pau!
09. Brouwerij Westvleteren “XII” (Untappd: 4.5, BeerAdvocate: 4.49) – Westvleteren has the smallest output of the Trappist breweries, with only a small part of their production available outside of Belgium. Is it the best beer in the world? Probably not. Is it damned good? Yes.
08. Hill Farmstead “Susan” (Untappd: 4.5, BeerAdvocate: 4.49) – Susan was our grandfather’s sister. Our release of a beer brewed in her honor completes the ancestral series of our Grandfather’s generation… Susan is an IPA brewed with Riwaka, Citra, and Simcoe hops. 6.2% abv.
07. The Bruery “Grey Monday” (Untappd: 4.5, BeerAdvocate: 4.60) – Grey Monday is a special version of our Black Tuesday imperial stout that has been aged on hazelnuts.
06. Three Floyds Brewing Company “Dark Lord (2012)” (Untappd: 5.0, BeerAdvocate: 4.39) – A demonic Russian-Style Imperial Stout brewed with coffee, Mexican vanilla, and Indian sugar, this beer defies description. Available one day a year, in April at the brewery: Dark Lord Day.
05. The Bruery “Coton (100% Bourbon Barrel Aged)” (Untappd: 4.75, BeerAdvocate: 4.53) – Coton is our second anniversary ale. It is the same recipe as Papier, but created using the Solera method. We blended a portion of Papier that had been aging in oak barrels with this new batch of the same beer, adding an additional layer of complexity that will grow over time as we continue to age and blend with each anniversary, creating an older average age to the ale.
04. Westbrook Brewing Company “Mexican Cake” (Untappd: 4.75, BeerAdvocate: 4.59) – Happy birthday to us! To celebrate our first year as a brewery we brewed a serious imperial stout and aged it on cocoa nibs, vanilla beans, cinnamon sticks, and fresh habanero peppers. This is the first offering in our annual Anniversary series. Here’s to many more! 50 IBU.
03. Cigar City Brewing “Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout” (Untappd: 4.75, BeerAdvocate: 4.60) – In Mayan myth, Hunahpu gave cocoa to the Mayans. An Imperial Stout Aged On Cacao Nibs, Madagascar Vanilla Beans, Ancho Chilis, Pasilla Chilis and Cinnamon. 80 IBU.
02. Lawson’s Finest Liquids “Sip Of Sunshine” (Untappd: 5.0, BeerAdvocate: 4.60) – This lupulin-ladin India Pale Ale is packed with juicy tropical fruit character, bright floral aromas and delectable layers of hop flavor. Pour mindfully, inhale deeply and enjoy a tropical vacation in a glass. Always store cold, enjoy fresh and stay cool!
01. Russian River Brewing Company “Pliny The Younger” (Untappd: 5.0, BeerAdvocate: 4.61) – Pliny the Younger, the man, was Pliny the Elder’s nephew and adopted son. They lived nearly 2,000 years ago! Pliny the Elder is our Double IPA, so we felt it was fitting to name our Triple IPA after his son. It is almost a true Triple IPA with triple the amount of hops as a regular I.P.A. That said, it is extremely difficult, time and space consuming, and very expensive to make. And that is why we don’t make it more often! This beer is very full-bodied with tons of hop character in the nose and throughout. It is also deceptively well-balanced and smooth.
Cut Hands – Fruit Is Ripe [MP3]
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