My buddy Chad (you may know him as @BeerPoet on Twitter) and I have been discussing for some time getting together for lunch and drinking some of our “ungettables”. For me, I brought a 2007 Pannepot Belgian Quad, and Chad brought a 750ml of Ivan the Terrible, Big Sky Brewing’s barrel aged Stout, the 2010 version. So we brought them to Brewforia, because Brewforia also has a great selection of lunch time fare, wings and craftbread pizzas.
Sounds innocent enough, two guys going for lunch and knocking back just a couple of brews on a Friday afternoon. What could be better right? So we did just that…
We started with the Pannepot. This is a Belgian quad that weighs in at 10% ABV. This was a beer that my Brother Jim sent me last year, and I decided to let it age a bit more. So at age 5 I decided to open it up and give it a try. Well the first thing that happened when opened was it fizzed all over the place. I thought Oh Oh, that could be a sign of infection, but no worries it wasn’t infected, and in fact it was quite tasty.
We tried to figure out what flavors were in there besides raisin, and best we could come up with was dried plum. Well what is a dried plum if not just a bigger raisin? It had candy sugar and a very sweet flavor that the alcohol cut nicely. It was a big smooth fruity Belgian that was quite a nice complement to our pizza and wings.
Our next and final (we thought) brew was the Ivan the Terrible. What a great Imperial stout! It was big, smooth, rich and chocolaty, with a nice bourbon finish that incorporated both the alcohol burn and a touch of oak. The 10.5% ABV fit perfectly with the smooth stout. This is truly a fantastic brew and I will make sure to get mine next year!
So we were wrapping up our lunch, and Rick the owner of Brewforia disappears for a couple of minutes and comes back with four beers that we cannot get here in Idaho (yet). One from a brewery in Michigan that I cannot remember which was a Belgian brew that smelled like dishsoap and tasted like I was chewing bubble gum with tinfoil mixed in it. It was bad, and ended up being a sink pour for all of us.
Next he had two brews from Dark Horse Brewing out of Michigan. First we tried the Boffo Brown ale. This was a 6.5 percent brew with a really nice and smooth flavor with a medium mouth feel and a good malty richness. The thing we were all trying to figure out however was the price. Rick told us that this was selling for $12 a bottle! I wonder if that is a misquote, because there is no indication that this brew would be so expensive on the web sight, and certainly not in the bottle. Don’t get me wrong it was good beer, just not $12 good.
Then we tried a beer that has perhaps one of the best beer names I have ever heard. This too was from the Dark Horse brewing and it is their version of a scotch ale called Scotty Karate. This beer too was good, but not particularly unique (other than the name). I can’t really remember the taste, other than it was a very light scotch ale and had a lighter flavor as well (I was 5 beers in at this point). Scotty is a 9.75% ABV brew and it won a Silver medal at the 2007 GABF. Interesting stuff.
We finished the afternoon with a bottle of water and a taste of Bell’s Expedition Stout. This stuff was
quite good for a stout and very big! The Expedition Stout is a show stopper. It is big, rich, creamy and produces a big alcohol burn in your chest that was quite warming. I could see this brew going well on a winter’s night with a big hunk of steak and a baked potato. It is the kind of beer you want to be in a hunting lodge while you drink, perhaps on the UP on the shores of Lake Michigan.
It was quite good but the winner of the day was, without a doubt, the Ivan the Terrible Imperial Stout. It had the most refined flavor and the well rounded character of any of the beers we had that afternoon. And let me just say that although Rick is quite generous with his sharing of beer (Chad and I shared too) geez, we both have jobs, and we both had to go back to work! Suffice it to say it was a less than productive afternoon, but perhaps the most fun I’ve ever had over lunch on a work day. Thanks Chad and Rick for making it a great day and one I won’t soon forget.