Christmas 2011: Skunked Twice!

Let me begin this post by saying I am in no way complaining!  I had an absolutely wonderful Christmas this year, which was hard to believe given all the current challenges my family currently faces.  It was great.  We opened gifts, truly enjoyed each other’s company and with the exception of an overdone beef roast (shouldn’t have trusted the new thermometer) the meal was magnificent.  No it was a truly blessed Christmas.

But this was also the first Christmas that I have had (or any gift giving holiday for that matter) where I received nothing beer or whiskey related.  No beers, no Whiskey, no glass wear, no books, not even a gift certificate to Brewforia! I was skunked.  Don’t get me wrong, I got some very nice gifts, but nothing for my whiskey and beer loving self.  I guess this blog has gotten too quiet in the household.  I need to strat talking it up more so people still realize that it is an integral part of who I am, and that all Beer and Whiskey related gifts are greatly appreciated!

That was the first skunking.  The second skunking happened later that evening when I broke out a desert beer that I was really looking forward to having and sharing.  I mentioned earlier on a post that I was really looking forward to sharing a bottle of Southern Tier Creme Brulee.  This is a fantastic sweet stout that really reminded me of Bailey’s Irish Cream, with a sort of beery kick.  It is fantastic and I was really excited about sharing this wonderful brew.

Well that was until I actually shared it!  To a person EVERONE in the room hated it!  My Son who loves craft beer kind of put it down once it warmed up a little, but the rest all took a sip and had vial reactions to the stuff.  Mostly they made faces like this:

It certainly wasn’t the reaction I was looking for.  All the weeks of planning just the right moment to break out this brew was for naught.  All the anticipation I had about how great it was going to be, and the fact that I would be able to convert some people to the wonders of craft beer, and what a range it had, and how awesome it could be, all wasted on this group.  Oh well, I guess you can’t convert everyone, and that night I converted no one!  I just hope I didn’t push them in the other direction.

Well, I enjoyed the heck out of it, and in the final analysis it improved my holiday, so it wasn’t a total loss.

How about you?  Did you have a beer or whiskey Christmas?  Did you get that brew or piece of brewing equipment that you had asked Santa for?  Let us know below, and beer porn pictures or links are greatly appreciated!



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44 Comments on “Christmas 2011: Skunked Twice!”

  1. Jeff
    December 27, 2011 at 2:18 pm #

    I got two bottles of Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout from my girlfriend’s mother. My girlfriend hooked me up with two bottles of Victory Dark Intrigue. Also, this evening we’re going to Three Floyds brewpub AND Beer Geeks.

    • Don
      December 27, 2011 at 2:22 pm #

      Nice, the Yeti is one of my favorites! I’d also love to get a bottle of the Dark Intrigue, but living in Idaho it probably isn’t going to happen anytime soon.

      • Jeff
        December 27, 2011 at 11:49 pm #

        I might be up for a trade for something interesting…and holy shit…as we were leaving Beer Geeks (where I tried this year’s Stone Vertical Epic and Oak Aged Yeti…both draught) tonight…my girlfriend’s cousin handed me a bottle of Three Floyds Ballerstout…I was speechless.

        • Don
          December 28, 2011 at 10:47 am #

          Nice! 🙂

  2. December 27, 2011 at 2:30 pm #

    I did well on the beer end…a beer (bear+deer) t-shirt, Troegs mechanic shirt, beer art, coasters, 2008 Schlafly RIS, etc.

    You have to choose more wisely when trying to convert folks to craft beer. I love Creme Brulee, but it’s not for everyone. Chokolat would have been a better selection. Maybe even going for something different like a New Glarus Wisconsin Belgian Red would have been preferable. Let’s hope the damage is not irreversible.

    • Don
      December 28, 2011 at 10:32 am #

      I don’t think it is,but I certainly didn’t get the reaction I was expecting.

  3. Manny
    December 27, 2011 at 2:39 pm #

    I have not had the Creme Brulee, but my daughter loves it. And we both enjoyed the Wells Banana Bread Beer. Maybe you’ll have better luck with that.

    • Don
      December 28, 2011 at 10:33 am #

      If you like a sweeter beer it is great stuff.

  4. December 27, 2011 at 2:45 pm #

    The wife got me The Oxford Companion to Beer, and I also received a digital scale for measuring out brewing ingredients. The OCB is fairly comprehensive, I’ve only just began perusing it.

    I got my sister in-law to think differently about craft beer when she had my milk stout; she was kind of meh about craft beer before she tasted something other than Fat Tire or Blue Moon, but was impressed by the stout.

    I also had the first taste of my recently brewed IPA and was quite satisfied. Finally getting the recipe right on my ideal IPA was a Xmas gift to myself!

    • December 27, 2011 at 3:00 pm #

      Will, you may want to check out the OCB Commentary Wiki as you read the OCB. Apparently, it’s loaded with errors.

      • December 27, 2011 at 4:58 pm #

        Thanks Zac, I will definitely cross-reference the entries. There’s also a few notable omissions regarding hops that I saw on just skimming through it. Makes me wonder about what else is left out, especially considering that it’s supposed to be a comprehensive guide.

        Forgot to note the ‘funnest’ gift I received for Xmas: Beerfest on Blu-Ray!
        DAS BOOOOT!

      • January 1, 2012 at 10:57 am #

        I got both the OCB and The Brewmaster’s Table for Christmas from my fiancee. Both are excellent and I don’t think anyone should be dissuaded by some of the errors in the OCB. The book is truly massive in scale and, by its very nature, will have several revisions and clarifications in future editions. It’s worth reading Garret Oliver’s Q&A in the Commentary Wiki, where he puts the controversy in perspective:

    • Don
      December 28, 2011 at 10:35 am #

      The home brew sounds like great stuff. Is it going to be your new years go to?

      • December 28, 2011 at 12:32 pm #

        The IPA definitely will be a go to for me, the stout was brewed for the wifey who is a stout fanatic, although I will be drinking it also; I’ve come to the conclusion that I really do like milk stout as opposed to regular stouts.

        Next on my list to brew is some kind of amber/IPA/bitter frankenbeer that uses Summit hops, as soon as I figure out the proportions and ingredients that I want to use. 🙂

  5. beercommdood
    December 27, 2011 at 2:46 pm #

    Creme Brulee is not a beer for everyone (but is one of my top favorite off the wall beers). Hey, more for you!

    I received some beery presents from coworkers, but all I received from family so far (xmas part 2 comes on NYE with my side of the family, who are one state away) is a butterfly knife-like bottle opener. …And that was for my birthday (Christmas baby).

    Last year I received “The Brewers Association’s Guide to Starting Your Own Brewery” along with some new recipe books, a siphon racking tube, and a magnetic bottle opener from one of my family member’s trips to Germany.

    The childish geek in me is hoping for a chest freezer that I can convert into a keg machine, but the adult geek in me is hoping for a nice mixed 6-pack.

    • Don
      December 28, 2011 at 10:37 am #

      Love those bottle openers. Just be careful with those things, I would imagine it would hurt to accidentally get clinked on the head with one of those things.

      • beercommdood
        December 28, 2011 at 10:56 am #

        I think you’d have to really try to hit yourself in the head with them, but I did rap my knuckles a few times. Practice, practice, practice.

  6. December 27, 2011 at 3:32 pm #

    Just saw a post from Brewforia. Turns out he may found a bottle or two of Creme Brulee in the back room. If you’re looking to give it another chance. Oh and a Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Rasputin. Which I can attest to, is absolutely glorious.

    • Don
      December 28, 2011 at 10:39 am #

      Sounds good. I’ll have to swing in and see what they have.

      • December 29, 2011 at 12:14 am #

        Not sure if you made it in or not, Don. But Rick did set aside his last Creme Brulee for you when I was in yesterday. And there were still a couple bottles of BBA Raspy on the self (or in the cooler…can’t recall).

  7. Dave SDC
    December 27, 2011 at 3:41 pm #

    This year for me was definitely a Craft beer/home-brew Christmas! I received 2 home-brew recipe kits from Northern Brewer, 3 recipe books, a book on the history of beer, Beer Wars on DVD as well as the first season of Drinking Made Easy. I have been trying to convert as many people as I can over to the craft beer side, so I gave out some Stone Vertical Epic 11.11.11, Sam Adams Infinium, and Anchor Steam’s 50oz Christmas Ale as gifts to my buddies this year. Hopefully it works, if it doesn’t, more beer for me!

    • Don
      December 28, 2011 at 10:40 am #

      Wow! Nice 🙂

  8. December 27, 2011 at 3:50 pm #

    I received my first-ever bottle of Canadian whisky, Collingwood (neat bottle, looks like a giant bottle of cologne, made me wonder if I were a stinky boy at first), and one each of Michter’s bourbon and American whiskey.

    I also received a set of whiskey stones, very cool.

    As far as beer, well, I have a gift card to Iron Hill. Saranac’s 12 Beers of Christmas used to be a traditional gift but it’s fallen by the wayside, so I bought one myself. That’s fine – my first batch of homebrew is bottle-conditioning in the fridge right now.

    On Thursday, I’m going to help Boxcar’s Community Supported Beer bottling as a volunteer.

    • Don
      December 28, 2011 at 10:42 am #

      Sounds great! I’m suspect about the whiskey stones. Let me know what you think about them.

      • beercommdood
        December 28, 2011 at 11:00 am #

        I’m borrowing some Whiskey Disks (great name) from a friend. They’re stones, but are supposed to be more efficient than cubes (more thermal mass) and not rattle or scratch the glassware.

      • January 3, 2012 at 11:25 am #

        If, like myself, you don’t mind (or even like) room-temp beverages, the stones would seem superfluous. My vote is British style beers–room temp and whisky/whiskey neat!

  9. Greg H
    December 27, 2011 at 5:08 pm #

    Considering I’m in VT for The holidays, it’s all beer, all the time. A stop at Long Trail Ale on the way up for a glass and hat that ended up being gifts, a new (to me) corny keg, temp control, 3 Perlick faucets and shanks and the coup de grace, I picked up a case of Heady Topper from The Alchemist mere minutes after it was canned. Beer Advocate currently rates this beer number 7. I won’t bore you with the other beer I picked up, but it really is beer heaven up here.

    I’ve had that Creme Brûlée and, yeah, it’s tasty, but not really for me.

    • Don
      December 28, 2011 at 10:44 am #

      VT is by far the best (yes I said best) beer state per capita in the nation. Enjoy!

      • January 3, 2012 at 11:22 am #

        I agree w/ your assessment Don!

  10. December 27, 2011 at 5:52 pm #

    Hey buddy, I have one bottle of Creme Brûlée left and I am setting it aside for you. Swing by when you get time and pick it up.

    • Don
      December 28, 2011 at 10:45 am #

      Sounds great Rick. I’ll be in soon. Thanks!

      • December 29, 2011 at 12:15 am #

        Guess I should have scrolled down further before posting above.

  11. December 27, 2011 at 6:36 pm #

    A book: Beer Craft by William Bostwick and Jessi Rymill; it’s a smallish book but packed with good info for beginning to intermediate brewers. Its strong point is that it’s geared toward people in apartments who want to brew their own. I may make some mini batches to try out a recipe.

    • Don
      December 28, 2011 at 10:46 am #

      Good idea, a brewing book for people in small places.

  12. December 28, 2011 at 11:54 am #

    Let’s see… I got a bottle of the Laphroiag 10, a bottle of The Balvenie 15 Single Barrel, a book called Drinking Japan, and a dear old friend stopped by on the 26th with his family for lunch and brought a bottle of Rodenbach Grand Cru (delicious!) and a bottle of the Dogfish Head Pearl Jam beer (have not tried it yet).

    On Christmas Eve, I got to sample some Compass Box Great King Street along with a few glasses of Italian wine. On Christmas Day, I had a Victory Prima Pils and some of The Balvenie. I also used a gift card to pick up a 4 bottle sample pack of the Jim Beam Small Batch Collection (Bookers, Bakers, and candle stick makers… err, I mean Basil Hayden and Knob Creek). All in all… a booze infused Christmas for sure!

    Buon Natale Don!

  13. Rob
    December 28, 2011 at 2:05 pm #

    Received a 21yo Aberfeldy, 15 yo Balvenie Single Barrell, and a Yamazaki 12yo. Gifted a Balvenie Tun 1401 Batch 3 (or at least I will as soon as it arrives, stinking shipping time).

    • Don
      December 29, 2011 at 2:09 pm #

      Nice Rob! Sounds like that will set you up for at least a month 😉

      • Rob
        December 31, 2011 at 1:05 am #

        I am absolutely stunned by how much I enjoy the Yamazaki. A friend referred to it as “smooth as silk” and I have to say I completely agree. And you cannot beat the $50 price tag in the state of Idaho.

  14. December 28, 2011 at 2:26 pm #

    Will do.

    They are pretty smooth, without really being polished. They’re granite and have enough mass that I wouldn’t go chucking them into a glass.

    I drink most of my whiskies neat because I actually want to taste them, so I’m thinking that I will use the stones mostly with the high-proof versions to tame them a bit.

    • Don
      December 29, 2011 at 2:11 pm #

      I drink mine neat too, because once I got more into it, that clearly is the best way to drink them for flavor. Those Whiskey Disks look like they could hurt if you drank to the bottom of the glass and it hit you in the mouth! Be careful! 😉

  15. December 29, 2011 at 1:16 pm #

    I only gave one bottle this year, an Aberfeldy 21 but I received several:

    a Macallan 21
    a Balvenie 21 Port Wood
    a 16 year old Lagavulin
    a Balvenie tun 1401 batch 3

    Clearly I failed at giving. I shall try to do better in the future.

    • Don
      December 29, 2011 at 2:05 pm #

      You didn’t fail, you got a C+. But I know you can do better! 😉

      • December 29, 2011 at 3:15 pm #

        I’ll do better shortly; Rob has come up with a superb idea. He or I email you about it later today after we sort out the details.

  16. January 3, 2012 at 11:20 am #

    Just saw this post Don. Jim’s came thru the mail but yours didn’t–probably something I didn’t do right.

    In re you getting skunked on the beer/whiskey stuff, could be its cause they’re concerned about doctor’s orders.

    As for the Creme Brulee, I expect it’d turn me off too if I was expecting a beer rather than a dessert. Its all in how you advertise it.

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