Monthly Archives: November 2016

Black Friday

The best part about Black Friday is the release of Goose Island’s Bourbon County beers.

In Indiana, the quantities handed out by the distributors are extremely limited.  Today, a Facebook post from the best beer store in town suggested I needed to hit one of their stores at 5:00 in hopes of procuring a bottle or two.

I showed up at their least accessible store at 4:40 and was amazed to see only one other customer in the store.  I asked the young lady at the rexisted if I was too late and I heard the beer guy yell, ‘We’ve only got one bottle left.’

Beer geeks started showing up at 4:00 to get their tickets and once they were down to the final bottle, the owner of the stores said to go ahead and start selling.  Next year I’ll know better.

My guess is they limited each customer a couple tickets, but I was happy to get a single bottle since it wasn’t their stout that was the lone bottle left, but their barleywine, something I’ve never had before.

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Weyerbacher–Insanity

Weyerbacher is a brewery from Pennsylvania.  Indiana doesn’t get Weyerbacher because Indiana sucks, but I typically pick up something from this brewer when I’m on my golf trip in Florida. Weyerbacher is known for their high gravity beers with several tipping the scales at 11% ABV or higher.

This Insanity beer is actually their Blithering Idiot barleywine beer that has been aged in oak barrels.

Being a barleywine, it pours an extremely rich looking medium brown color with a slight ruddy look.  The cascading head forms slowly and eventually presents as several fingers of thickness, slightly offwhite bubbles.  Moderate retention with decent lacing.

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The nose is true to the barleywine style.  Oak, vanilla, malt, bourbon, and either brown sugar or molasses dominate.  This beer is quite a few months old and the alcohol scent has been subdued over time.

Insanity tastes amazing.  Full of dark fruits, think red apples and dark grapes, and figs, it reminds me of a fruit cake that doesn’t suck.  An earthy leathery taste evolves from mid sip on before the bourbon finally shows its head.  The generally aggressive hopping has taken a back seat.

Weyerbacher impresses with the drinkability of this beer.  Dark fruity sweetness meets the tongue first before those earthy tones come to life.  Bitterness never overwhelms.  Only in the swallow does the strength from the 11% ABV show its hand and even then, it’s fairly mild.  This is one of the smoothest barleywines I’ve ever had.  So drinkable.

I can’t think of anything that needs to be changed.  Weyerbacher has created an incredible beer.

Stone–Enjoy After 10.31.16

Most of Stone’s new IPA series consists of beers that are brewed to be consumed within 37 days for maximum freshness.  While hops are a preservative, their yummy aromas and flavors will dissipate over time.  The beer doesn’t go bad due to the preservative characteristics of the hops, but the beer won’t typically smell or taste very good.

Enter this new series, with a funky strain of Brett yeast added.  You’re encouraged to wait until at least a year before popping the cork.  That lets the Brett yeast (a yeast of the gods) do it’s job.

This Enjoy After beer is very pale for an IPA, even by normal pale ale standards.  Even after the chill haze is gone, it’s a bit on the cloudy side, making the color a milky gold.  A pour produces a very thick head, bubbles in a variety of sizes, all bright white.  The head is frothy and has nice retention.  A thick lace attacks the glass.

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Several hops varietals make up this beer, mostly Pacific Left Coast stuff, but the citrus aromatics are completely swallowed by the funky, peppery yeast.  More than anything, it smells like a Belgian saison.  Hops typically dominate the olfactories in an IPA with a light malt backdrop, but this is exceptionally yeast forward.  White pepper seems to be the only ingredient present.

Enjoy After tastes nothing like I expected.  Again, white pepper stands front and center.  No hint of aroma hops exists, only bittering hops…not really a good thing.  Even after warming, the peppery yeast overwhelms.  There is no ‘flavor.’

Honestly, I can’t recall an IPA that was so harsh on the palate.  It’s plenty bitter, but lacks balance.  Completely devoid of flavor, there is no complexity and the palate tires quickly.  This feels like a spirit instead of a beer.  ABV only clocks in at 7%, but it feels stronger.

Enjoy After reminds me nothing of the Enjoy By series.  It resembles no other Brett-infused beer I’ve had before.  Stone misses the mark with this.  It lacks flavor, works the palate, and is simply hard to drink.

The chip factor will be high on this and that’s if I can manage to finish the bomber bottle.  Skip this.