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Monday, January 14, 2013

My Favorite Beers {Updated}

Alright Cats and Kittens, here's THE LIST!  Updated to reflect some changes.

Allagash Curieux
This 11% ABV Bourbon Barrel Aged Belgian Style Tripel is truly heaven sent.  I watched at the bar as it poured a beautiful golden orange, with a fleeting foamy head.  The nose is filled with clove, light honey, sweet floral orange blossoms, Belgian yeast, and sunny grain and wheat fields on a hot summer day.  Yes, it is that complex and wonderful.  The flavor matches the amazing scent - with an added bonus of a faint bourbon alcohol heat surrounding your taste buds, but no where near overpowering them.  Dear Allagash, I wish you were in California, not Maine, so I could come thank you in person for brewing this gem of a beer.  Cheers!

North Coast PranQster
Ah, PranQster, you devilish trickster, you marvelous con artist.  You make my taste buds giggle and my spirits laugh out loud.  PranQster is a Belgian style golden ale with a flowery nose, a fruity and ever-so-slightly sour flavor typical of Belgian style ales, and very smooth mouth feel.  This 7.6% ABV session beer is my everyday after dinner beer and I can’t imagine my life without it.  Using a wide mouthed goblet (my New Belgium goblet was best until I broke it {boo!}, so now I use my Duvel tulip goblet), pour most of the beer, swirl to release the yeast sediment at the bottom of the bottle, and then pour the rest.  Pair this beer with anything you eat – it’s that good.  Perfection.

Dogfish Head Midas Touch
King Midas was the man.  His recipe, dating back to the 8th century BC and recovered by a molecular archaeologist, is craft beer perfection.  With flavors of white Muscat grapes and smooth saffron and a delicious sweet honey aftertaste, the only reason this beer falls at #3 on my list because it retails for about $13 for four 12 ounce bottles.  But this kingly nectar is worth every penny when you’re feeling the need to spoil your taste buds.  For best flavor, pour this heavenly 9% ABV golden ale into a wide mouth goblet (I prefer it in my Duvel Tulip goblet).  Allow it to sit for a few minutes to shake off the chill and let the flavors warm.  This beer makes me wanna dance!

Affligem Noel
Let's not forget about my favorite winter ale!! Affligem Noel is the ultimate Winter Warmer and is truly a treat for me in the cold winter months.  I get ridiculously excited when I see it on the shelf for the first time in the winter. It is a complex, malty 9% ABV treat that warms the body from head to toe.  The cork and wire 750ml bottle makes it perfect for sharing (or hoarding for yourself!).  Despite its depth and complexity, Noel is an easy drinking dark copper colored ale with hints of sweet dark fruit and brown sugar.  Some winter ales are too spiced up for me, but Noel has mellow hints of spice that are complimented by a smooth warm alcohol taste.  I suggest using a tulip glass to savor the holiday spirit of Affligem Noel while wearing fuzzy slippers and a warm robe fresh from the dryer.

Schneider Aventinus and Eisbock
These beers share a spot because they go hand in hand.  Aventinus makes me want to wrap myself in a soft blanket and curl up by the fire with a giant slab of dark chocolate and a vat of Belgian pot roast.  This deep, hazy brown colored doppelbock casts a long shadow on American doppels.  At 8.2% ABV, this beer will warm your heart with scents of dark fruit and flavors of dark clove and banana, with a deep caramel malt character and silky mouth feel.  Also try Aventinus’s big brother, Eisbock.  Eisbock is made when Aventinus is frozen and the ice is shaved off, leaving a 12% ABV powerhouse.  Eisbock tastes similar to Aventinus, but with a warm brandy alcohol essence that enhances the flavors of dark stone fruits and brown bread.  Pour this beer into a snifter and prepare to melt into your sofa, folks.  

Tripel Karmeliet
This crystal clear Belgian golden ale pours like pure gold.  Like most beers of this style, flavors of cloves and Belgian yeast are forefront, with hints of banana and honey, and a dry and lightly hoppy citrusy finish.  This easy-drinking beer surprisingly weighs in at 8.4% ABV.  Use a Tulip glass, you won’t regret it.

Anderson Valley Brother David's Triple Abbey Style Ale

Brother David’s Triple is a citrusy, mildly spicy version of a Belgian style golden ale, though a little darker in color than most golden ales.  It has a hint of clove and the classic Belgian sourness and a nice, dry finish.  At 10% ABV, this is a beer that I reserve for weekends and special occasions.  I apparently like beers that are best served in a wide mouthed goblet.  Good thing I own several!

As a self-proclaimed beer semi-connoisseur, I reserve the right to add to, reorder and/or change this list at any time.  

Speaking of which... I need to revisit some old favorites to see where they rank in this list!



1 comment:

  1. So need to try Oakshire Brewing...That's my cousin's company...pretty good stuff. =)


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