After that butt-kicking that was the Untappening, I took it a little easier this past week. Or so I planned. I had a pretty big beer on Wednesday (full review coming up soonish) and a beer-filled and rather painful football Sunday (being a Philly sports fan, I’m used to it). Thankfully, the sting of loss was soothed by the salve of new to the area big beers and a couple long journeyers via Kentucky and Maine. Big thanks to all the sharers for kindly including me on the pours. Here’s the most noteworthy of last week:
Avery – Tweak
Location: DBR Manor
Style: Imperial Stout
Original Comment: Bourbon, coffee, malty RIS aroma. Syrupy, medicinal body/finish. Sweet, heavy malt and mild coffee, choco, char. Needs age
Additional Comment: Booze and syrupy thick malt dominates Tweak, weighing heavily on the delicate touch of char, coffee and tobacco. Usually, I don’t consider those flavors to be delicate, but the medicinal alcohol is such a bruiser that everything else is dainty in comparison. I like the base beer, Mephistopheles, and the additions make it even better, but the bump up in alcohol makes this tough to drink young. This has potential to be aged into perfection, backing off the heat and blending into a luxurious coffee RIS with bourbon, deep, dark sweet malts and char. It’s a theory I plan on testing. As it stands, the balance is so firmly slammed down on the boozy heat side that the small pour I had is enjoyable, but enough.
Anderson Valley – Blood Orange Gose
Location: Bulls Head Pub
Original Comment: Floral, sugary citrus aroma, Insanely acidic, dry tart, taste of pink grapefruit/orange. Bready fin. Seed spittingly fruity. Intense!
Additional Comment: Wow is this a tart acid bath that doesn’t relent. Great palate cleanser if you want to shift from an IPA to a stout, but a full glass exceeds my tasting limits. As much as I can appreciate that BOG doesn’t back off its mission to implode your mouth into the back of your cranium, it overwhelmed and fatigued my tongue. By the end of drinking it, and I even cut it with some Old Rasputin on nitro, I’d lower my rating to a 3 or even a 2.5. Good for those that can’t get enough tart on their fresh squeezed lemonade and want to dissolve a layer of tissue from their mouth.
Founder’s – Big Lushious
Style: Imperial Stout/Dessert Beer
Original Comment: Like rubeaus mixed with a chocolate stout in a 50-50 blend. Berry sweet on aroma and taste. Chocolate and a med/rich mf. Near cloying.
Additional Comment: I probably should have written up a full review as my brief Untappd comment doesn’t do it justice. The aptly named Lushious has a mouth feel just shy of velvety and a hit of big berry and dark chocolate. It’s definitely a sweet beer, but not offensively so. The closest comparison I can think of is Bourbon County Backyard Rye, but Lush lacks Backyard’s maple syrupy thick body and complex layers of dark berries. That said, I may actually prefer Big Lushious for the drinkability. Backyard is decadent and delicious, but a 6 ounce pour is enough. Founder’s brewed a tasty and balanced beer, but not one that will be thought of as a highlight of the Backstage series. Side Note: You may not want to age this more than a year due to the already sweet edge and lack of booze/complexity.
Boulevard – Love Child #4
Location: DBR Manor
Original Comment: Cherry, lite metallic/malt tang, aroma, med/prickly mf, bright, tangy sour/acidic vinous, biscuity tart/dry finish. Touch salt. Nice
Additional Comment: This came with some expectations that were mostly met. Certainly a good beer with the wine barreling providing a tangy white grape that makes for an interesting transition to the biscuity brett on the finish. The cherry and salty sour with just a suggestion of metal is appreciated, but not enough there to separate from some of the other great sours I’ve had recently. The whiskey barreling was lost on me as was any oak presence. It’s only a small percentage of the beer, but I would have liked a few more layers to play around with the lacto sour. I’d love it to dial up the funk too, but a solid sour with a price point ($17-$20) that gives me pause. I’m more critical on beers than most and if you like sours, you’ll want to try this beer at least once regardless of the cost.