February 2013 Archives

Sam Adams Utopias 10th Anniversary

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Utopias.jpgSo three of us decided to go in on a bottle of 10th anniversary Utopias. I don't think any of us were disappointed. Very reminiscent of Sam Adams Triple Bock- haven't had it in years but the character is distinct and comes to mind the moment you taste Utopias. The rich amber color is reminiscent of a brandy or liquor, as is the flavor. Sweet of candied sugars and caramel, with no head to speak of. According to David, it has "the longest finish of any beer ever". Comments were that it reminded many of a port or brandy. The aroma is rich and sweet with just a hint of funky sulfur. When you age something that is not distilled so long, it gets just this tiny funk, much like the 30 year old mead I sampled. Definite notes of honey, caramel, and malt sweetness dominate. With just a tang in the finish. Overall very impressive. Minimal ethanol burn for such a high abv. We saved a tiny bit till next year.

Utopias2.jpgSince we were sampling we cracked open a couple other brews. Night Stalker from Goose Island. In the past this was a favorite of mine. This year it is unfortunately pine needles with a touch of infection. Not good, not finished. We had a Oskar Blues Ten Fidy, now there is a nice brew. Dark, nice head, slight tannin bite, something worthy of a full future review. We cracked open a Fifty Fifty Old Fitz. It was good, a little light bodied, nice bourbon character. A bit over priced and over rated, but a great brew over all. We enjoyed a few other brews and finished off with a 2011, 2012 vertical of Bourbon Barrel Plead the 5th from Dark Horse. The 2012 was more coffee, and the 2011 had more bourbon aroma and was a bit more mellow, and yes it is still the worlds greatest stout. 

Sixpoint 3BEANS

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3beans.jpgThis is good, very good. Maybe even Breakfast stout, Wake n' Bake good. Dark, rich, chocolate, coffee, no tannin bite. I am starting to regret only buying one can. I want some of this in my cellar. Some coffee beers are pretty lame, weak, watery, liquid coffee. Not this brew. This is the full bodied stout from heaven. In general good coffee stouts are not necessarily complex, but they are balanced, silky, smooth. Let's put it this way I just paused for five minutes last sentence to call Siciliano's to see how much they have left. I hate to cut it short but Winter Brew Fest is tomorrow and if I miss out on getting more of this I am not going to be happy. Gotta run..

North Coast - Barrel Aged Old Rasputin XV

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The initial nose of BA Old Rasputin when poured is heavenly and quickly dissipating. Dark chocolate and barrel aging really dominate the complexities of this brew. Great with chocolate chip cookies, this is a very smooth barrel aged ale with a slight and balanced tannin bite. It does not posses the the dark fruit complexity of some barrel aged offerings. Far from a flat profile, it has a rich almost maple character. While an amazing world class brew it still falls short of Parabola, BA Plead the 5th, or Black Note. Overall I really enjoyed BA Old Rasputin. I am a big fan of regular Old Rasputin and this steps it up with a  definite oakey chocolate addition.

Barrel Aged Old Rasputin was on my list of must try brews. As barrel aged brews go, this is most certainly in my top ten or fifteen. However at the end of the day many first class non-barrel aged Imperial Stouts come close to this one.


The Brewmaster


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