Did we mention that last weekend was the most fun ever? To cap off Saturday we had a beer tasting (shocker) with our friend Caitlin, and discovered a couple beers that we absolutely love, and a couple that eh…we don’t love. Caitlin will definitely make a guest appearance again sometime, her input was really helpful in this write-up!
We started the tasting with the Death Rides a Pale Horse Blonde Ale. This Mexican import caught our eye with its Day of the Dead inspired bottling…totally badass skeleton cowgirl + Day of the Dead skull = I’m sold. Unfortunately, this beer was a huge let down. We found its initial corn flavor off-putting, but luckily that flavor just kind of fades into a beer taste (think Busch light). This “blonde ale” was our least favorite of the tasting.
OH MY GOD, THE TIDINGS. The tasting did a complete 180 with beer #2. Port City first impressed me with their Optimal Wit, so when we saw the Tidings sitting on the shelf looking so dang cute and Christmasy we had to try it. The 7.8% ABV is easily masked by the honey and spice flavors (Caitilin actually compared the taste to a chai tea latte). The Tidings smells great, tastes great, and looks great, making it the most dangerous beer of the season.
Another New Belgium winner! The Accumulation smells like citrus and pine needles, a combination that oddly enough works. Upon tasting, the citrus carries over pretty heavily but finishes with a nice hop presence. We found this brew to be very White Wolf-esque, so in other words, not disappointing at all. I’m starting to think that a trip to New Belgium’s tasting room is in order….Colorado isn’t THAT far, right?
We continued the tasting with another IPA, much to Rachel’s delight. Victory Brewing Company’s Hop Devil is highly rated on Beer Advocate, so we knew we were in for something tasty. The Hop Devil pours deep gold and smells of citrus, but with a hoppy bite to it. Hop Devil is definitely a fitting name for this beer, but don’t let the hops intimidate you! It has a nice smooth finish with a slight aftertaste of apple (but that could have been the cider talking).
We crossed over to the dark side with our next selection. The Raven’s Roost is the third beer we’ve tried from Parkway Brewing Company, and I must say, they continue to impress. We found this baltic porter to be super smooth, despite its strong (I’ll say it..intimidating) smell. This brew tastes of cocoa in the first few sips, but as you allow the taste to linger you start to pick up on the caramel notes. Also, check out the bottling! Parkway knows how to design a damn label, to say the least.
Finally, we’ve come to the Alta Gracia Coffee Porter. This is a strange beer in my opinion because it literally tastes like iced black coffee. None of us picked up on any taste of alcohol, and Rachel commented that it could use a little cream and sugar. My advice? Turn this puppy into a mixed drink. Add some cream, simple syrup, and a splash of Kahlúa and take this coffee porter to the next level.