PDA

View Full Version : It's an early-winter beer thread!


Ace309
12-06-2006, 12:49 PM
In beautiful Buffalo, New York, we just got the first couple of inches of snow to stick on the ground. [Yeah, we had a big storm a month and a half ago, lost power, yadda yadda, but 1) losing power hinders the ability to sit and enjoy good winter beer, 2) the beer stores were all closed anyway, and 3) the snow didn't stick.] With that in mind, I made the It Just Snowed run to Premier (http://premiergourmet.com/catalog/information.php?info_id=14) and picked up an assortment of winter beers.

I just finished off a four-pack of [http://premiergourmet.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=45_106&products_id=1241&osCsid=dda0bb752908d2695b9f8372c37390a8]Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter[/url], which was a Perfectly Acceptable Beer but didn't really hit in the flavor department. However, it being winter, I definitely had porter on the mind.

I bought the Seasonal Sampler, a 10-beer mixed bag, mainly out of curiosity. There were a few things in there I've had before (Sam Adams Winter Lager, Brooklyn Breweries Black Chocolate Stout, Saranac Nut Brown Ale, Sierra Nevada Celebration), a few I'd been looking forward to trying (Southern Tier Old Man Winter Ale, Harpoon Winter Warmer), and a few that just looked interesting (Clipper City Winter Storm Category 5 Ale, Boulder Beer Company Never Summer Ale, Roxy Rolles from the venerable Magic Hat Brewing Company, and Middle Ages Brewing Company's Wizard's Winter Ale).

I also picked up a 750ml bottle of Unibroue's sour cherry Belgian style, Quelque'chose, for no reason other than it warms me up.

The star of the trip, though, is Ithaca Beer Company's smoked porter, Gorges. Normally I go for something quite a bit bolder in the flavor department (I got spoiled on Sierra Nevada Porter lo these many years ago and very little has measured up since), but I'm really pleased with this. The smoke and peat flavors weren't subtle, but they didn't cominate the character of the beer, either. Ithaca's getting to be one of my favorite New York breweries. (I think Blue Point's still going to win the summers, though.)

So, what's your winter beer selection look like? Any recommendations?

pulykamell
12-06-2006, 01:09 PM
So, what's your winter beer selection look like? Any recommendations?

If you can find Goose Island Bourbon County Stout (Chicago, IL) anywhere, get it. It's an imperial stout, so not one you'd drink more than one or possibly two of in a sitting, but next to Three Floyd's Dark Lord, I haven't found a tastier and more nuanced imperial stout.

Otherwise, Okocim Porter is a favorite, although it gets a little cloyingly sweet if you drink more than one bottle. I'm normally a hop-head, so I'll go for something like Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale, or the Dogfish Head 120 minute IPA (or the 90-minute for normal drinking) to mix things up. Winter tends to bring out the malt-lover in me, so I usually find myself leaning more towards the porters, stouts, and occassional Belgian. Unfortunately, Bell's is no longer distributed in Chicago due to problems with the distributor, but otherwise, I love all their stouts: the Kalamazoo, the Double Cream, and the Expedition Stout. (Not a huge fan of the Cherry Stout, and their Java Stout is good, too).

Ace309
12-08-2006, 11:51 AM
Busted out the Boulder Beer Company's Never Summer Ale last night, and I can't say I was impressed. Sure, it was smooth and had a nice mouthfeel and dark-amber color, but it felt like it was the base to something bigger. It was almost entirely lacking in flavor. At least I got it out of the way in a sampler pack.

I'll see what I can do about the Goose Island. I've heard good things about it before.

DrCube
12-08-2006, 02:40 PM
So, what's your winter beer selection look like? Any recommendations?
I tend to mix it up with a delightful selection of Hamm's, Pabst, and Stag. That trio, I have no doubt, is what the Greeks were thinking of when they came up with the "nectar of the gods".










Yeah, I know what you're all going to say, and I drink the "good" beer a lot, too, but for everyday affordable enjoyment, you can't beat the holy trinity of beer described above.

jacob wrestling
12-08-2006, 02:46 PM
If it's available in your area, pick up a six pack of Two Below from the New Belgium Brewing Company (Fort Collins, CO). It's fantastic.

Autumn Almanac
12-08-2006, 03:08 PM
Nothing to add, but I wanted to thank you guys/gals for all the recommendations!

Ace309
12-08-2006, 03:37 PM
New Belgium's hard to find around here, but when I was out in New Mexico last winter I snagged some of the Fat Tire and 1554. Very tasty stuff.


I tend to mix it up with a delightful selection of Hamm's, Pabst, and Stag. That trio, I have no doubt, is what the Greeks were thinking of when they came up with the "nectar of the gods".
Nothing wrong with that, I'm just not a big fan of lager.

beowulf573
12-08-2006, 03:44 PM
The St. Arnold's (http://www.saintarnold.com/) Christmale Ale this year has been one of the better ones. And luckily the pub I got to regularily has had the cask conditioned in stock.

Their Octoberfest was good this year too, so it's been a nice fall.

Least Original User Name Ever
12-08-2006, 04:01 PM
Ace309, on Delavan had a pretty decent selection of beers, if memory serves me right.

The liquor store across the street from We Never Close on Elmwood by Buff State and the Albright Knox had a big selection of hard alcohol, too.

Least Original User Name Ever
12-08-2006, 04:02 PM
That's Gates Circle on Delavan. Gah.

pulykamell
12-08-2006, 05:35 PM
Yeah, I know what you're all going to say, and I drink the "good" beer a lot, too, but for everyday affordable enjoyment, you can't beat the holy trinity of beer described above.

Nothing wrong with those beers--I like nuzzling up to an Old Style when the mood for an American light lager hits me. But for the winter, those beers are too light for me.