Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Vacation Beers 4: The Final Night

Twas the last night of vacation,
and all through the house,
I was drinking beer,
not just one but four.

Okay enough of that.  The last night of our trip to Vermont I went through a bunch of quality beers and had a grand old time.  After discovering that absolutely everything was closed in Brattleboro on Christmas Day including McNeill's brewpub, we stopped at Brattleboro Discount Liquors on our way back to the house.  I like to check random beer stores in hopes that they have interesting things.  Nothing super here although they had some local stuff so we picked some up including bottles from McNeill's.

When we got back I started with a bottle of Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, a Russian Imperial Stout.
Smells slightly of chocolate and vanilla.  Note that the beer doesn't have any real chocolate in it, but instead Brooklyn is referring to the chocolate malt used to brew it and the aroma and flavors that exist.  Flavor had some chocolate and vanilla followed by some warming alcohol.  No bitterness at all which is good.  It took me a while to drink this one and it just got better as it warmed up.  Try not to drink it cold as you get a lot more alcohol than when it's a bit warmer.

After that, I split a bottle of McNeill's War Lord, a Double IPA, with my brother in law.
Very nice looking pour with a blurry picture.  Mostly hops in the aroma.  Initially get a mouth full of hops but more citrus than bitterness.  Not sure if that means this is an older bottle or if this is how it's supposed to taste, but I liked it.  Looking at Beer Advocate, seems like this is how it tastes.  Makes me want to get more, that's for sure.  The rest of the glass continues in the same vein and no lingering bitterness occurs.  It was almost juicy to me.  Really pleasant surprise from a local brewery.  I have a bottle of their Russian Imperial Stout, Dark Angel, which I'm excited to try.

After that had a bottle of Mad Elf.  I've definitely talked about it enough but here's a nice picture.  Oh and it was tasty.
Finally finished up the night by sharing another Vermont beer, Rock Art Double Porter Smoked, a Baltic Porter.
I've had one thing from Rock Art and wasn't terribly impressed, but this one was quite good.  Mild smokiness in the nose, a little campfire mixed with bacon.  Basically get a mouth full of smoke and roast with a little alcohol in each sip.  There's a little bitterness but not strong and it disappears quickly.  My sister in law commented on how well the smokiness blended with our dinner and I'd totally agree.  Pretty good beer.  Smoked beers are interesting since they don't use a ton of smoked malt to get the smoky flavor.  It's impressive how much flavor it imparts into a beer.

All in all, just a fantastic vacation for beer.  Pretty much everything was great with some stand outs like the Bell's Expedition and the Troegs Splinter Blue.  You can't find the Troegs but the Bell's Expedition is readily available.  Probably won't post again until this weekend when I'll recap our Central PA brewery tour over New Years.  Six breweries in 24 hours!  I'm super excited and can't wait.

1 comment:

  1. Rich, the Rock Art Double Porter Smoked was so good! Like you said, it went great with the food. Excellent pairing. Thanks for sharing all the beer with us. Fun!

    Hope you guys have a great New Year's tour. Look forward to reading about it.