November 28, 2012

Into the Black

Last Friday was Black Friday and many bars in the area easily used this as an excuse to have dark beer events, many with clever names. The only one I went to was at City Taphouse and the event was called Into the Black. I thought this was an apt name not only for the event, but also for where my tastebuds have been going lately. Not satisfied anymore with just dark beers - stouts and porters - my tastebuds suddenly seem to be wanting bourbon-barrel aged dark beers. I hardly recognize myself! Just a couple of years ago I tried a Lost Abbey Angel's Share. I even wrote about it here. I didn't love it. The taste of the bourbon was too overwhelming. Well, I'm happy to report that no longer seems to be the case. Now, I can't seem to get enough of the taste. Next thing you know, I'll be loving bourbon on its own. Or sour beers. Who knows how far the madness will go.

I've tried a number of fantastic beers over the last week or so. Without further ado, some of my very favorites.

Avery Brewing Uncle Jacob's Stout. This big 17.4% ABV beauty is aged in first-use bourbon barrels for 6 months. Yes, it's boozy but not as much as one might expect. While definitely a sipper, it's still supremely drinkable. Be careful with this one. It will knock you out.

Founder's Kentucky Breakfast Stout. I said to someone at the bar that it was the first time I was enjoying the KBS. They were surprised that I'd never had it before. Me, too! But I can tell you it won't be my last. So delicious! It's aged in oak bourbon barrels for over a year, but you would never know it.

Dock Street Barrel Aged Prince Myshkin's Imperial Stout. Aged for 11 months in oak barrels that previously held pinot noir, the Prince Myshkin is wonderful. Creamy, smooth, and full of roasted chocolate, dark fruit, caramel flavors this is a must-try.

Were there others I enjoyed? You bet. But these were the standouts that I'm still thinking and talking about, and the ones I would encourage you to try if you have the chance.

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