Merry Christmas to you and yours. I hope this final blog post of 2017 finds you happy, healthy and ready for an amazing 2018 in just a few short days.
It's been a pretty good month of reviews if I do say so myself. Usually by this time, there are a handful of beers that I wish I never chose. I don't honestly think that was the case with any purchase that I reviewed this month. There were some beers I subbed out at the last minute just because I didn't need to put my palate through that awfulness. Sorry dad, but the Hamm's Light and Coors Light are still in the fridge.
Tonight we're pulling out all the stops and busting open a bottle of Founder's Canadian Breakfast Stout (2017). The hype on this thing is ridiculous, which may not be a good thing. I read this quickly the other day via the Tavour blog and after reflecting on what I read felt that I get caught up in some hype from time to time with respect to beer and its availability.
I still need to try the Russian River Pliny the Elder and Pliny the Younger. I don't care how much hype there is behind those. Other than that, there isn't really anything else I just have to have.
Last brewed in 2011, about the time craft beer and I were getting to know each other, tonight's choice is an 11.7% imperial coffee chocolate stout aged in bourbon barrels previously used to store maple syrup. It is what some craft beer enthusiasts refer to as transcendental. I know that sounded smart, but I borrowed it from this article here. You wouldn't have known that I didn't know the meaning, but I figured honesty is the best policy.
This was a gift that had to be shared, and since my brother- and sister-in-law and I didn't exchange gifts this year, I guess this was the next closest thing, right?
I actually went to my local stop in Selinsgrove, Keller's Beer, to find this just before 9PM one night earlier this month because I got a hot tip that there were some bottles left to be purchased. I swung by but to no avail, they just sold the last bottle 20 minutes prior to my arrival.
|I know, I overuse Ralphie...but come on! It's Christmas!|
About a week ago, my wife needed a DVD returned to the DVD Express box at the Weis Markets in town. I volunteered to help out and while I was there, like I always do, I checked the beer selection just in case there was something that I wanted to snag quick.
There is was, with no price tag on it. Actually 3 bottles to be exact. I quickly copped a feel with one in each hand to be sure I didn't miss out on it again. I asked the clerk working the register to do a price check on the bottle. He replied, "$24.99 sir." I told him, "I'll be right back." I proceeded to place the bottle from my right hand back on the shelf. One would be all I was going to be able to stomach purchasing that particular December night. I knew then that this would be my December 25th blog post, without question.
So, without any further adieu, I bring you Founder's Brewing Company and their 2017 version of Canadian Breakfast Stout:
With an ever-present creamy brown head the beer poured jet black into a white wine glass. My brother-in-law and I were basking in fanciness this evening for sure sans proper glassware.
Crazily enough, this may have been a pretty decent choice to pour into, allowing the head to be constant and a massive area for aromas to collect and diffuse towards. The aroma was a caramel booziness with heavy doses of dark and chocolate malts with just a hint of sweet maple syrup. Since this had to be enjoyed over quite a long time period (I poured what I didn't finish at my in-laws back into the bottle to finish at home, honestly), it should be noted that there was more of a bourbon strength in the aroma as the beer warmed up slightly. As for the taste, again, there were lots of chocolate malt, dark chocolate and cocoa flavors with maybe even some brown sugary goodness and a maple syrup goodness that coated the throat. The maple syrup makes the mouthfeel thick, but not too heavy, despite all of the dark malts I assume were used to brew this beer. The flavors really pop on the palate and the overall impression is that syrupy thickness with virtually no bitterness until a slight amount hits you halfway through the sip. I assume it's either the bitter chocolate malts or some coffee hitting there. Even though the bottle mentions coffee, I don't get a ton of that here, but just enough to do the job and clear the palate. Hints of vanilla pop up occasionally as well.
For being aged in bourbon barrels there is just the ever so slightest goodness and residual sweetness here. Honestly, I expected more bourbon, but I'm glad it didn't come through any more as it may have been too overpowering.
In closing tonight, if you're up to spending the $25 or so bucks for a bomber bottle, I would highly recommend it, but that's too much cash for you to fork over, a cheaper substitute would easily be Weyerbacher's Sunday Morning Stout. A lot of the same flavors, minus the maple syrup are present in that selection as well and it's just as good! I'm glad I grabbed one of these, and probably will do so again if given the chance. A no-brainer, solid 5 out of 5 to wrap things up this year!
Reflections for 2017:
What started as a bad idea (and bad writing) 5 years ago has become a pretty fun thing to do. This is something that is rather time consuming, especially in the month of December. However, with the readership going up each year it makes it all worth it. You get to enjoy some comedy in some capacity. My poor jokes. My borrowed and well-placed memes. Or maybe you're here for the beer review and, what I think compared to what you think. Either way, I appreciate you sticking with me during a very busy time period for everyone.
This month I've learned to prepare ahead of time because, again, this is rather time-consuming for me to put together. There were many nights where I started either a backstory or a tasting profile ahead of time just to be sure I met my own deadline.
I've also learned that the IPA is still, by far, my favorite style of beer. I've said that before and I'll continue saying it even though I do enjoy a good, flavorful stout when the weather turns cold this time of year.
In addition, I'm glad that I signed up for the Tavour delivery service. I'm able to enjoy some stuff that is nowhere close to my own market, for a really fair price point and flat rate shipping. I apologize if you got sick of hearing about it, but for what I got it was worth bragging about and getting some good PR out there for them. Did I mention we both get $10 free if you sign up? :)
In closing, if you stuck with me all throughout the month, I appreciate the time. I'd be enjoying the beers anyway, but the blog gives me another reason to do so and an outlet to share my own experiences.
Here's to a happy, healthy and prosperous 2018!
|Cheers, Prost, Salud, or whatever works for you!|