Sunday, June 7, 2009

Double Bastard

The Beer:
Double Bastard Ale
The Brewery: Stone Brewing Company of Escondido, California
The Style: American Strong Ale (doesn't quite have a specific category per se)
ABV: 8.3%
Brewer's Description: This is a lacerative muther of a beer. The evil big brother of Arrogant Bastard Ale. It is strongly suggested you stay far, far away from this beer. Those foolish enough to venture close enough to taste will experience a punishingly unforgiving assault on the palate. ’Course there’s always the masochists...

Color: Poured into Allagash 40cL Belgian glass, deep rich chocolate copper in color. Bright red and clear copper highlights when held up to light. Small compact, off-white head.
Aroma: dark, dried fruits. I get plums, dates, and some alcohol.
Taste/mouthfeel: medium-low carbonation. Mouth-filling hop bitterness and deep, bittersweet caramel notes. Alcohol is very apparent and ready to slap your sorry ass in the face!
Finish: Bittersweet is the best word I can come up with. It packs an intense deep burnt caramel sweetness that is quickly bitch-slapped by a fierce hop bitterness. Finish mellows with every sip!

Purchased in Carlsbad, CA. This beer is a hard one too pin down. It evokes feelings of an imperial IPA, barleywine, and imperial Russian stout (albeit without any roasty notes whatsoever). The beer can be thought of as a "more Arrogant" bastard, but the added strength evokes a different sort of beer. I enjoy Arrogant Bastard on tap at local bars in Spokane, it's becoming my session beer of sorts. I could not say the same thing for this beastly brew. This is a beer to take to the top of a mountain and split with your best bud. Savor every sip as you gaze out over the land before you. The beer is challenging, but worth the effort.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Flying Dog Wild Dog Collaborator Doppelbock

The Beer:
Wild Dog Collaborator
The Brewery: Flying Dog Brewery of Denver, Colorado
The Style: Doppelbock
ABV: 8.3%
Brewer's Description: It may seem like we say this every time we release a Wild Dog beer, but our newest brew really is Flying Dog's most unique beer to date. Collaborator Doppelbock was created through Flying Dog's Open Source Beer Project, which gave amateur brewers a chance to give our brewing team recommendations and feedback on the everything from the grain, hops and yeast to the brewing process itself. We combined your feedback and created a unique Doppelbock recipe to brew up and release.

Collaborator has a full body with a sweet malt profile and a slight roast character. The complete recipe and printable labels are available for download at We want to thank everyone who contributed to creating this beer, it truly was a collaboration.

Original Gravity: 1.093
IBU's: 80
Specialty Malts: 120L Crystal, Chocolate Malt, Black Malt
Hops: Warrior, Northern Brewer, Cascade
Process: Aged in used Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey barrels

Color: Poured into Ayinger bock glass, deep, bright and clear copper in color with sparse suds floating on the top
Aroma: perfumey almost vinuous alcohol aromas with sweet maltiness, no hops in the nose.
Taste/mouthfeel: medium carbonation, medium-full mouthfeel. Bready, doughy malt flavors up front. Surprisingly well-attenuated, especially for a beer of this style.
Finish: the malts quickly give way to a firm, if non-descript, bitterness. Some gentle warming alcohol in the finish, it is not at all harsh and quite welcoming.

Notes: Purchased at Huckleberry's Fresh Market in Spokane, WA. This is a surprisingly quaffable beer, given its strength. Finish is surprisingly dry and avoids being overly sweet (something hard to do with the bold, sweeitsh doppelbock style). Kudos to Flying Dog on the nice, corked bottle. I do find it odd that they chose to use a green bottle, which exposes the beer more easily to UV rays. As this is not a hoppy beer, it seems to have not impacted the flavor to negatively. Flying Dog Ales (oddly enough, this beer is a lager) have attained fairly wide distribution for a craft brewery, thanks in no part to their wild, surrealistic labels. I must confess that I'm not a huge fan of most of Flying Dog's typical offerings, but their seasonal and "imperial" brews always leave me with a smile.

Pairings: game meats, brats, desserts