Fear and Loathing in an Imperial Tasting
The (soon to be) Texan’s Texaness is getting closer and closer. He’s probably all excited about finally being entitled to a ten gallon hat and a lone star belt buckle, but us local beergeeks are less than thrilled. For once, who will treat us to guided tastings of beer that will never, ever be available in our neck of the woods?
In the past couple of months The (soon to be) Texan held 3 themed tastings of mostly American beer, with some German and Belgian sidekicks. The first and the second tasting were seasonal: Christmas/ Winter ales and Springtime beers. The third and last tasting took place the Friday before Last and was imperial-themed: heavy brews, rich in aroma and flavor, that are meant to be shared, because drinking straight bottles of their content almost makes no sense. We sampled seven beers, three of which are in the book and one was already ticked, Ommegang Abbey Ale.
Southampton Double White opened the event and poured cloudy pale golden with a nice frothy white head. It had a fine orange and bun aroma which sadly didn’t match the taste: soft, forgettable, watery bitterness. Medium body, short, yeasty finish and not quite imperial in my books.
However, Flying Dog Gonzo did the job. Nothing short of amazing it was, as the insane label predicts. Opaque, brown-black with a dark tan head, great aroma of coffee, cocoa and delicate roast, bitter and dry with a full body and roasty finish, it immediately became a favourite (mental note: find the time to re-read Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Oh, retirement, when do we meet?).
We also tasted Mad River Steelhead Double IPA, Thirsty Dog Siberian Night that The Actuary brought to one of the recent tastings, Flying Dog’s Double Pale Ale and Augustiner Maximator. All were great, but Gonzo and Double White are beers #58 and #59 I must try before I die.