Here’s to upgrades.
When you more often than not drink your beer in tasting sessions that on average contain 18 bottles/ cans, you are bound to bump into beers that are on your 1001 beer list.
Such was the tasting at REL’s, several weeks ago. He shared with us a big bottle of Great Divide Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout his sister brought him. The book lists the regular version, i.e the one without cocoa nibs, but special versions count, don’t they? They do, in my book. It is a really, really great beer. It came late in the tasting – the last beer out of 14-15 beers and according to my tasting notes, my senses weren’t tuned: stale aroma with faint ash, taste of blackk pepper, ash and wood and in the finish, guess what – ash, along with full body and soft carbonation. Don’t let these weird notes turn you off, as I truly enjoyed this beer: it’s currently #9 out of more than 750 beers I’ve rated in the past year. My more experienced friend, The Dead Swedish Girl, also liked the beer and actually noted the chocolate and the espresso one would expect to find.
Another special edition of a beer that appears in the book was sampled a couple of months ago at a tasting we hosted. Troubles, a seasoned beer traveler who spent many a days in Italy over the past year, brought Birra del Borgo ReAle 7 Anniversario, which once again I can’t compare to the original ReAle. This one has the aroma of tropical fruit such as mango and also of some paper, the bitter taste of hops and also fruit and sweetness, medium body and a long fruity finish.
Back to the tasting at REL’s, New Kid also brought a version of ReAle. This time the ReAle Extra that pours hazy amber with white head and hoppy aroma that also contains roses and faint fruit. It tastes fruity, a little sweet and really nice and has a peachy finish. My tasting notes say that I like the latter better, but I wish I could try them head to head, along with the original ReAle, of course.
Before any smartass purist says that it’s not the beer The Book means that I’d drink: shut up. It’s my journey, and as far as I’m concerned, (Chocolate) Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout and these two variation of ReAle are beers #134 and #135 I Must Try Before I Die.