Monday, January 4, 2010

Top 10 of the past 10: Beer

I had originally planned on doing a few more of these lists, especially since I figured I would have some time over the holidays but after finishing my papers I found I had little inspiration to waste time! I had a couple lists written down beforehand waiting to post so there are a few more for all of your eager ears. Then it will be back to regularly scheduled programming - and with school officially starting back up today (I know! How was the break that short?) I'm sure I'll have need for a blog when I have assignments due....

Without further adieu - Top 10 Beers I've had in the past 10 years (click on the links to find out more!)

1. Deschutes Brewing - The Abyss (Russian Imperial Stout) - Released once a year from Oregon, this big stout has lots of "roasty" malt, vanilla notes from barrel aging, milk chocolate, molasses, and hints of licorice. Hands down the best I had.

2. Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery - Masala Mama (India Pale Ale) - Stopped in Minneapolis specifically for this beer when I was hauling our belongings cross-country. Smells like tropical and citrus fruits, lots of hops makes this bitter, yet a sweet caramel malt body gives balance. Like a glass of grapefruit juice - bitter and quenching. Only on tap in Minneapolis so you have to get it there!

3. Founders Brewing - Canadian Breakfast Stout (RIS) - A one-time brew (they just announced that they'll be doing a 2nd run) that I stopped for in Grand Rapids, MI when moving. Huge, thick imperial stout aged in maple syrup barrels makes this a true dessert beer. Sweet maple notes mix with vanilla and chocolate, enough roast from the malts and a hint of oatmeal and coffee to balance. Tastes like maple oatmeal with a cup of coffee - breakfast!

4. Brasserie Dieu de Ciel - L' Aphrodisiaque (Stout) - When we went to Montreal this summer Nolana let me take an afternoon off to visit this, the best Brewpub in Canada! This one is their stout made with vanilla beans and cacao. A rich, decadent dessert beer, rich chocolate and vanilla - I've had it in the bottles too and it doesn't compare to how great it was on tap.

5. Brasserie Dieu de Ciel - Peche Mortel (RIS) - Number 4 and number 5 on the list - it was a good afternoon! This is their coffee stout, tastes like someone threw a couple shots of high end espresso into your beer! If you don't like coffee, you won't like this beer. I happen to love coffee and love this beer. Highest rated beer in Canada.

6. Bear Republic Brewing - Hop Rod Rye (IPA) - A traditional citrusy IPA from California but, whereas most beer is brewed with barley, this one adds some rye to the mix and gives it a nice spicy, earthy backdrop. Very tasty!

7. Founders Brewing - Kentucky Breakfast Stout (RIS) - Same beer as the one aged in maple syrup except this one is aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels which makes it taste like bourbon (obviously), vanilla, as well as giving it a drier, earthy finish.

8. Brooklyn Brewing - Local 1 (Saison) - Spicy, dry Belgian styled beer. Lots of lemon, peppery, fruity, carbonation almost like a champagne. So satiating and perfect for summer.

9. New Glarus Brewing - Raspberry Tart (Fruit Beer) - Only made and sold in Wisconsin, this equally tart and sweet fruit beer is made with over a pound of fresh raspberries per bottle. It's almost like drinking raspberry lemonade - even Nolana loved it!

10. Moylan's Brewery - Hopsickle Imperial IPA (Double IPA) - If you think an IPA is bitter, try this one! Called a triple IPA by the brewer this is loaded with hops which makes this probably the most bitter beer I've ever had, feels like it's stripping your tongue clean of your taste buds - those Californians know how to do hops! Wickedly good.

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