Showing posts with label American Strong Ale. Show all posts
Showing posts with label American Strong Ale. Show all posts

Nov 21, 2015

Stone Brewing's Bourbon Barrel Aged Arrogant Bastard

     The first snowfall of the season is happening here in the Great Lakes State as I type this. Seems a good as time as any to make a plate of smokey cheese, pop the top off a bourbon barrel aged brew and sip while watching the white stuff pile up outside my window.
     It's been awhile since I've had an Arrogant Bastard of any sort, There's been so many choices of things coming out of Michigan what seems everyday now some of the older stand-by's get been neglected. When I saw that their bourbon barrel aged version on one of the most unique American Strong Ale's there is in the world though it was time to make some time to hang out again.
     Luminous chestnut in color with chocolate malted colored, pinky finger thick head that takes it own sweet time melting (and not shy about leaving a thick lacing behind in its wake) it takes me back to the time when its parent brew was a major go to for me.
     Giving it a sniff though I am about to get into something that is totally turned up a notch from something that already had great things cranked up. Oak, dark cherries and vanilla scents give off an sensory trigger in the brain of eating ice cream around a fireplace. The bourbon aroma hangs back in the being understated.
     Wheat toast with almond butter is a thing that comes to mind on first sip. Sweet but not sugary with a warm, soothing feeling as it goes down. Cherries and plums bring a tart and earthy flavor to dance around in the middle. They then let the slightly smokey oak and the shy whiskey along with some caramel and cream take a bow in the end. Coffee and roasted malts linger around for a few minutes in the aftertaste.
     This wasn't as bourbon forward as a lot of beers the sort can be but it was also interesting because it took the standard Arrogant Bastard solid flavors down a slightly different path yet kept it from getting lost in some deep woods. A nice diversion while wondering if that blanket of precipitation outside is going to stick and if I gotta break out the shovel sometime later this evening.
www.stonebrewing.com

Jan 16, 2010

Victory Yakima Twilight Ale

It's no secret of my alliance and affinity to Michigan made beers. With the way the state's economy is I figure that the more money spent in Michigan on Michigan made products the more people it keeps working here. There aren't many job prospects out there right now so any way of keeping the people of this fine state working the better. This does not mean that Michigan breweries are exclusively 100% on my radar. One of my favorite ever NON-Michigan breweries is Downington Pa's Victory Brewing Company. While taking a beer hunting trip a county over finding some of this, a recent addition the brewery stable, was on the top of my trophy list. At the time I wasn't even too sure it was being sold in Michigan (and even if it was figured that our local distributor blew off getting it in stock because it would leave less room on their warehouse shelves for something stupid like Bud Lime Wheat Light Ice or some other macro aberration). I was very happy when I spotted this at Champane's in Warren.
Dark mahogany in color and a 3/4 inch tan colored head that holds on for quite awhile leaving a thick lacing behind all the way to the bottom of the glass. Scents are quite robust with a Rye ale characteristic big on the tip along with aroma's of brown sugar malts and a pine forest after a summer rain. Sweetness & earthiness rolled into one.
The brew's flavor has quite a levels of complexities to it. A molasses & perhaps cardamon flavor steps up first with some toasted bread right behind it. Very piney hops quickly follow it pushing the OOMPH factor up a bit more. It's almost along the lines of an IPA but there's a dark fruit thing instead of grapefruit and pine that those usually carry. I can't quite put my finger on what I am tasting but it is tasting very interesting and quite good. The finish then throws in another curveball in the taste with a ginger hotness chocolate notes and rye. The mouthfeel is full yet bubbly and has quite a chewiness to it.
Ron Barchet, co-brewmaster at Victory, has said “I thought of hop farmers as I formulated this beer. I wanted to create a malty platform to showcase the intense flavors and aromas that these dedicated hop-farmers have developed in their wonderful hops” concerning this latest brew from their always impeccable company. Using hops from one of the most noted area's for such things this tribute to them shows much respect and honor.
http://www.victorybeer.com/