Another reminder, if you’re in the Denver area next thurs, 12/12/13, come see us at Toad Tavern in Littleton. Hit me up here for details and check out our tunes and vids on reverbnation.com/darcipaige
I didn’t take any notes on this one. I was too busy enjoying it. So I’ll just quote one of my favorite bands, Eagles of Death Metal and say “shit goddamn” this is good beer.
XVII Anniversary Ale, Firestone Walker Brewing Co. Paso Robles, CA:I picked this up at Marczyk Fine Foods in downtown Denver. If you haven’t checked the place out, it’s definitely worth the trip down there. The European style shopping experience of purchasing fresh and daily is enough to make it a great stop. But ad to that the quaint, smallish wine and beer store attached and you’ve pretty much got all you need. The selection is not overwhelming, which I love, but carefully selected and covers all budgets. And the staff will not look down on you if you ask them to help you find an inexpensive bottle of something good. So, now, onto the beer. Firestone’s Seventeenth Anniversary Ale, a blend of seven barrel aged beers, pours nearly pitch black, topped with a thin fizzy head. Slight red hues show up around the edges, but not through the opaque middle. This stuff just looks intimidating. The nose is immediately woody. Oaky and strong. Brown sugar and dark fruits, dates, plums, raisins, stand side by side through the middle making this a perfect beer for opening on thanksgiving, which I did. Booze remains throughout, getting stronger as the beer warms, until I eventually find myself swirling and inch or so of something not unlike Brandy. I found a coconut note rise up in there somewhere too, about halfway down the glass. That was unexpected and interesting at the same time. A silky mouth-feel as smooth as drawn butter delivers sticky flavors of molasses and wood right out of the gate. Bitter, almost tart, floral notes fill out the middle and at times are so strong they hold me at bay; which is fine as it gives me time to revel in the continuously changing bouquet again. The back end is sticky and boozy sweet with a tart, bitter finish that lingers long between sips, and again keeps me back until I’m ready to brave another sip. Overall, this is a fine beer and an experience I am able to enjoy occasionally. However, its a bit too much like drinking dark hard liquor, something I do not enjoy, for me to want anything like it again soon. I have a bottle of Firestone’s Sucaba Barley Wine that I’ve been aging for a year. I plan to age it one more year. By then I should be ready for something like this again.
People ask me all the time what my favorite beer is. That is such a brutal question. I don’t know, man. It depends on my mood when you ask me. But I will say this, I buy Crazy Mountain’s Mountain Living Pale Ale more often than any other beer. Does that make it my favorite? I don’t know that shit. But I do know this is one of the best damn beers I’ve ever tasted. I’ve actually reviewed it here in depth in the past. But here’s a quick overview of why I love this beer so much and why you should probably try it. Cheers!
Mountain Living pours a lovely ruby amber and is topped with a fluffy cloud of white head that leaves splotchy trails of sticky lace in the wake of its slow retreat. The nose it at first softly floral, like springtime lavender. Then notes of clementine and mango step up to the plate. A backing of toffee and sweet bread serve to balance things out beautifully. The taste mirrors the bouquet with even helpings of fruity hops and malty caramel sweetness. The finish is dry, floral and when combined with the bubbly mouth-feel and a body on the lighter side of medium, makes for one hell of a refreshing brew.
Straight from the can, Big Swell IPA is big and hoppy with a malty, biscuity backbone. The body is light and the finish is dry and refreshing. This would be a great summertime IPA. Good stuff.