Nov 13, 2016
Well, for the most part at least. Sunday is usually the day that my usual partner in crime have the same day off so we can do whatever we do together. It's getting to be the busy time of the year for her line of work though so that means it's up to myself to figure out what to do. I already had plans on watching and rooting for the Tiger Cats to beat the Eskimos in the CFL Eastern Semi Finals in the afternoon (what a sloppy game and poor offense game on the Tiger Cats part but that's another post for another blog) but that was still a few hours away.
The weather was decent this morning. The sun was shining and some yard work needed to be at least considered. My secondary partners in crime, a furry beast of a feline known as the Ripperpotamus, joined me in the back forty to survey what should be done. A beverage to sip on would help with the pondering so I grabbed the Weyerbacher Sunday Morning Stout off the shelf.
I was hoping Ripper would offer some takes to make my blogging job a little easier but other than giving it a sniff, a "That's pretty cool, bro" look and then expecting some scratching behind the ears he wasn't much help. So here's my take.
The darkness in color was impenetrable as expected from an imperial stout. The head was study and chocolate malted in color. At first the aromas seemed subdued but after a few minutes of breathing a strong cup of morning coffee, oak smoke and vanilla came to a fore. Still not highly pronounced in the smell but much more noticeable.
While those flavors were laid back on the nose, they were much more pronounced in the flavor. Very creamy and smooth feeling in the mouth it became all espresso bite and chocolate cake intermingling while the woodsy and vanilla bean essences gave high fives in the background. As the brew adjusted to the air temperature the bourbon barrel aging started to make it presence known adding a hotness to the proceedings. In the finish, molasses and dark chocolate made themselves known.
After it was finished I considered opening the other one I had stashed away. Then I remembered that I still had a day ahead of me of things to do and maybe delving into another +11% abv brew so early in the day would most likely sidetrack them from getting done. What you've got here is a great take in style, flavor and and attitude of Founders KBS. That second bottle of this will serve as a good fill in when I need such a fix until the 2017 batch of that legendary comes along.
Nov 21, 2015
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.
Feb 28, 2015
Like many other people for the ages it was the first place a person in Michigan drank legally anywhere on the planet. Someone only has to be 19 years old there. Here it is 21. That means to many the first place of a beer oasis was discovered. It sorta shaped a whole outlook of what suds should be. Yep! Cue the tape and join with me into a rousing version of Oh, Canada.
When craft beers starting rolling along, Canadian beers took a backseat quickly. Some small batch and specialty breweries started to appear but some of them seemed unsure of branching away from certain ingredient profile that seemed to be a thread that ran through the most beers available in the country for eons. Sure I tried some that were decent but there was always "what's up with them always having that same aftertaste every Canadian beer has?"
The folks at Refined Fool in Sarnia, Ontario knew what was up. The town is only ten minutes away (if the bridge isn't busy) so they did their research over here quite often before opening shop. I had a chance to enjoy a handful of their beers but this is my first go 'round with the Ripsnorter Bourbon Porter. Did I mention that it's been cellaring for for a few seasons now?
Burnt burgandy in color that isn't gonna let any light in at all. A moderate pour brings out a rocky chocolate malt looking head that melts fairly quickly. Chocolate and espresso beans come out first on the nose. There's smokey and woodsy elements to it as well which bring out maple and bacon.
Slightly bitter Cocoa and sweat cream play the first fiddle from front to end here but there are little details throughout. Dark cherry tartness zig zags its way around. Tobacco makes an appearance. Charred wood stop in to say high. A fun gathering of things that seem to enjoy each other vibe.
And the finish and aftertaste? No, it doesn't taste like Burton Cummings mixed some perfume, pine needles and club soda together, smiling while serving it up and asking you if he once dated your aunt. It is a nice throat coat of chocolate and dark fruit though.
Now I just gotta figure out a way to run a pipeline through the water from their brewery directly to my house.
Nov 8, 2013
Today is National Stout Day. Now that there is a chill in the air and some people have already got their Christmas lights and decorations up (even though it's only been a week since Halloween and we've still got 3 weeks before it's even Thanksgiving) stouts always seem appropriate so why not celebrate their dark, rich, maybe coffee, maybe chocolate goodness.
I was about to head to the store to pick some sorta stout out, set on finding one that I had not tried before so I could tap out a few notes on it on the keyboard and then pass it off here as one of my beer "reviews." Then I remembered a month and a half or so ago I picked up one by the Saugatuck Brewing Company that had been sitting on a shelf in my fridge.
An imperial stout aged in an oak bourbon barrel is always a fancy thing. This one reminds you of that by a bit of showboating with the wax seal. I mean, it's does give the bottle an air of sophistication which is nice when paying 15 bucks for a bottle of beer but also seems kinda silly when it is peeled all off to reveal not a cork but an every day bottle cap. I just want to get down to tasting the brew, not dealing with with some superfluous bells and whistles y'know.
The beer pours darkand thick. No light getting through my glass at all. The two finger head is full and frothy with a color that resembles the top of a chocolate malted. Coffee and cocoa are the dominate scents backed up with a tartness of black cherry along with hints of vanilla and charred wood.
On the front end there's a bit of a cola sweetness. A bit of bite and burn in it so that cola is a bit more like Coca-Cola in a can than a Pepsi out of a plastic bottle. That is followed by the tart sweetness that was detected in the aroma. I am still thinking black cherries along with a few raspberries and black berries thrown in for good measure. That gives way to a flavor of sweet malts, dark roasted coffee and chocolate powders.
Nice and interesting but I after a couple of sips I really started to think to myself "where are the bourbon notes???" After all, it was close to $20 bucks spent on this bottle and, dammit, it I want them.
My cat was knocking at the window making his cat presence known that his furry cat ass wanted to come in because he has been outdoors for about an hour which, of course, builds up a huge cat hunger so I let him. My phone started ringing so I the call.
All the while the beer was in the glass getting more time to breath. Taking a sip after getting back to it was "Ahhh, there's the bourbon aging thing now." Then ten or so minutes it spent getting some air really made a huge difference. Mossy oak, vanilla and coconut was now enveloping around the aforementioned flavors, tying it all together while still keeping the 8% abv very well hidden and giving the brew that little extra "oomph" it needed to make it home run.