I took a look back to see just how many times I have posted from the Super 8 hotel in Grangeville, Idaho, and believe it or not this is my 9th time posting from this hotel. Well like John Candy in Splash, when I find something that works I stick with it! What’s even a little more pathetic is I only post from here about 50% of the times I stay here. Too bad they don’t have a frequent stayers program.
Above is the lineup for the evening. I picked up the Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter a couple months ago after Jim tried to write off this brewery entirely and so many of you said he was wrong. Many of you suggested the Imperial Porter for Jim to try as an expression from the brewery that was inspired. So when I saw it at Brewforia, I picked it up. The Winter’s Bourbon Cask Ale was a complete impulse buy this morning while I was travelling to Grangeville. I stopped in a Jackson’s C-Store, and as usual I checked out the beer selection. I’m always looking to see how much shelf space craft beer is getting. The good news is it is on the rise.
Anyway, I’m sure you have noticed the red ribbon on the label. Yes it is a Michelob brew, but I decided to get it anyway for a couple reasons. First is I actually kinda like Michelob. Yes it is a guilty beer pleasure of mine, Michelob was always the expensive beer, and Dad would buy it about twice a year. When he did I always waited until a couple were gone, then I would sneak one and go off into the night with my other guttersnipe friends and drink it. So I have a history. It was my favorite brew during my Sneakaschlitzacus stage of evolution. The second reason is I have yet to see a brew from a macro that used Bourbon barrel aging, so I was intrigued enough to buy one.
So, ever since Ernies Steakhouse burned to the ground I have been struggling to find a good dinner in Grangeville. The plan was to run to Subway, but I decided to eat out of the Deli from the local grocery store. I picked up a couple pieces of chicken (that they put into an enormous box) a small container of Potato Salad and some cheese and crackers to have while I drank, wrote, and watched the Spurs and Jazz shoot it out on ESPN. Lets just say the Cheese and crackers are the best part of the meal. Hard to screw up Wheat Thins and Babybel cheese.
I started my evening with a couple of Knob Creeks to “set my palate” then I poured the Michelob.
Let me say that there were a couple indications right off the bat that this was going to be less than stellar. First when I bought it I noticed that I could clearly see my hand through the bottle. Not very dark at all. When I poured it, you can see that it is the color of a very light bock beer. It also has just 6% ABV which is probably the lowest ABV for any barrel aged brew I have had. Unfortunately the flavor reflected this.
The nose was very Micheloby, with just a touch of barrel. The flavor was…well bad. It tasted like Michelob that had bourbon extract squirted into it. There was also an unpleasant astringent aftertaste that tasted like barrel wood and corn. So it was a bust, and I wished that I had just bought a regular Michelob. I would have liked that better.
The second brew of the night was the Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter. I was hoping that this brew would be a lot better than the first of my evening, and as soon as i popped the cap I was rewarded with a great chocolaty and malty smell that permeated the area.
This poured a beautiful dark chocolatey Brown with a thin cappuccino colored head. Like I said the nose was huge. This also has 9.2% ABV Which makes an appearance on the first sip. It has a finish that reminded me of the Bourbon I was drinking earlier today. This was a big chest warmer. It has a great flavor of roasted malt and chocolate. It says it has 87IBUs, but it is very well masked by the malt and alcohol.
The mouthfeel on a porter is very important because thin is out. This is a medium bodied brew that is barely acceptable for a porter this big, but at least it wasn’t a distraction.
One other thing is I appreciate the fact that this is available in 12 oz singles. So often the imperials are only available in 22 oz bombers, which is good for sharing but limiting if you don’t have someone to split it with. I think that more breweries ought to consider putting their larger brews in smaller bottles.
All in all a mixed review, and the Jazz lost, so it was kind of a mixed night all the way around. Hope my meetings go better tomorrow. G’night.