Monday, July 21, 2008

Imperialize Me

Somewhere between hype, leg work, and a little bit of timing, good things do come to those that wait. Sometimes that means a road trip to another state to wait in line, other times that means waiting for the right opportunity to simply present itself.

Before i ramble on again (funny, i post less but let my thoughts wander more) i'll just get right to the point. And that point is that a few of us got together to drink rare beer last night. The cause for celebration? Call it a house warming, call it realizing how unique of an opportunity we had, call it an excuse to listen to a Ryan Adams it whatever. Last night beyond a big plate of cheese sat three beers that you don't see in the same room too often. So we put them to the test against each other. Nothing rigorous just some good ol' fashion, "I like you better than you, but i like you better than both of you."

A night of mighty and limited Imperial to

The Abyss - Deschutes Brewery Portland, OR

My night started with Abyss. A really roasty Russian Imperial Stout. The 11% was masked pretty well and this had a lot of deep flavors that kept presenting themselves as it warmed. We started these bottles all out pretty warm as it was, so first sips weren't miles from last sips, but still each had a chance to show itself a bit differently from the top of the glass to the bottom.

Kate The Great - Portsmouth Brewery Portsmouth, NH

If you go to that website, you might actually be able to find Mr. Steele somewhere in there. He made the drive and did the wait and brought Kate home to PA. There's a bit of write up on Kate's big day on there too. This was a great Imperial Stout, less roasty and more on the deep sweet flavors that i enjoy, this one was worth the hype for me.

Dark Lord Imperial Stout - Three Floyds' Brewing Co. Munster, IN

I drank this one second, but reserved comment until now, because it was my favorite of the night. We did a lot of talking about how to taste these beers. Blind, side-by-side, one at a time and ended up all just doing what we preferred. If i'd have gone blind i still definitely would have put this at the top of my list. No fancy label's gonna tell this guy what he likes. The Dark Lord, in my opinion, is just in a league of its own. Thick and almost a bit gritty, this was as viscous a stout as i can ever recall having. A bit hot, but only a bit, everything worked really well together here. It's like a beauty pageant of dark malts.

On the drive to Hellfish Headquarters i was wondering if any or all of these were going to live up to all of the hullaballoo that surrounds them and i would say that they were all really, really good beers, but the one that definitely took hold was the Dark Lord.

And the storm that rolled in during this whole thing was just awesome.

So for those interested, this is a link to Beer Advocate's 100 Top Beers on the Planet. It is an ever changing list (sort of) that represents the most highly reviewed beers on their website. I post this for obvious reasons and for those who don't care to click i will just tell you...the beers we tasted last night apparently represent 3 of the 5 best beers on the globe. Now thats just good ol' fashion fun.


Scott said...

I would say they all lived up to the hype as well, though the Abyss was still a little rugged for me. I look forward to pulling out our other one, and another DL, in a few months and seeing what happens then. Too bad there will be no more sock-encased KtG. That was my favorite.

Med said...

Interesting. I've only had 2 of the 3, but I found Dark Lord to be way to sweet; cloyingly so in fact.Also I found the Dark Lord to be very hot. Abyss on the other hand I found to be a much better balanced beer.

To each his own!

Dr Joel said...

I can see the sweetness thing, but i think within that there was a good deal of complexity.

I had some more Abyss last night and am still blown away by how masked the 11% is.

Of the three on Sunday i had Abyss as last of them, but when i tasted it again last night i had to question myself, because it is so darn good. Looks like i'll need a refresher on the other two as well.

Scott said...

By the way, didn't this blog used to have pictures? :-)

Med said...

I should point out that I've only had relatively small sample of 2008 and 2007 DL, so it very well may be the case that I didn't have enough to appreciate the complexity. Of course I'm willing to give it another shot ;-)