Saturday, November 5, 2011

EVENING BEER-DOWN w/ JESTER KING, LAGUNITAS & SOUTHERN TIER

The other evening I was invited to the home of a fellow beer enthusiast. Finally, a chance to divest myself of that insane JESTER KING "BLACK METAL" imperial stout, a 10%+ dark lord of intense drink that I swore I wouldn't drink alone. Don't get me wrong - I can still handle beers of this ilk (I'll bow to no man in my love for 12% quadrupels and imperial IPAs that clock in at the double digits), but I just can't finish one of these pound-packing stouts by myself anymore unless I'm really, really up for it.....or if it's called THE ABYSS or something.
Anyway, so I carted over a couple of things I received in trades from different parts of the country. My compadre met me at the door with a 22-ouncer of his own as well. As things turned out, with 70-degree weather in late October, BBQ'ing in the backyard while the children made themselves scarce and my wife agreed to drive home, it was a mighty fine evening of beering down. Here's what transpired:

LAGUNITAS "BAVARIAN-STYLE DOPPEL WEIZEN" - This is where we started, and good as the others were, I could have had two more bottles of this one. Bavarian-Style Doppel Weizen is a limited seasonal release that comes in at 9% ABV and is a revelation. It's packed with wheat malts, sugars, cloudy yeasts and a slight boozy taste that's covered up by oceans of flavor. Apples, spices, cloves - that sort of thing. It actually sells for less than $5 a bottle, which has to be the steal of the year. I bought one last week and will review it on its own once consumed. 9/10.

SOUTHERN TIER "FARMER TAN IMPERIAL PALE LAGER" - Received in a beer trade and while it's likely something I'd have never pulled for myself, this distinct and robust lager was so good I'd be tempted to call it an ale, nyuk nyuk. It's a floral, melon-flavored, hoppy lager. Very crisp in the aftertaste, and something we were both surprised to really dig greatly. It's Southern Tier - I knew it - these guys almost never go wrong. 7.5/10.

JESTER KING "BLACK METAL IMPERIAL STOUT" - And so then we arrived at this beast. It may be the beer that tips me over into the camp that just doesn't really pursue imperial stouts. Like most beer dorks, that was one of my key styles for a long time, but I've had enough of burnt malts, burnt coffee and big headaches at the end of the evening. As much as I love a big beer, I'm begging to question the utility of paying $15-20 for something so harsh, when I can get a much more enjoyable drinking experience from a Lagunitas bottle (forgetting their IPA, of course) for a third or fourth of that price. Anyway - this was complex, interesting but overpowering. I'd respectfully pass on it if it were put in front of me again. 6/10.

1 comment:

Barleywhiner said...

Had the Lagunitas last night and was surprised by how good it was. For some reason, I had low expectations.