Like many beers I've logged on this site, this is the first time I've ever had Old Viscosity. Port Brewing's beers don't make it to my neck of the woods so I had to bring this bottle back from a recent trip across state lines. While I haven't had Old Viscosity before, I have had Older Viscosity, a non-blended version of the barrel aged beer that goes into Old Viscosity. I had the Older on tap in the middle of a day of drinker other huge beers. What I remember of the Older Viscosity is hazy, but I remember liking it quite a lot. Before returning home, I grabbed a bottle of Old Viscosity and waited patiently until I could give it the attention it deserves.
Victory HopDevil is a year round IPA out of Downingtown, PA. It's 6.7% alcohol and brewed with some mediocre hops and barley. I don't know a whole lot more about this beer because I'm completely disinterested in it. It's an IPA that has a reference to hops in its name and it comes from a brewery I don't really care too much about. I'm trying to keep an open mind because I felt the same way about Hopslam and it ended up being one of the best beers I've ever had. I'm hopeful for HopDevil, but I won't be surprised if it's just another IPA I'll never drink again.
I've pretty much sworn off Lagunitas. Well, more-or-less sworn off... With the exception of Hop Stoopid I have not enjoyed any of their beers. After the third or fourth "Pale Ale" from Lagunitas I bought that tasted exactly like the last Lagunitas beer I had before, I got a little burnt out on this brewery. I like their stoner ethic and approach to making beer, but I don't like how each beer in their lineup is essentially the same as the last, just with more hops. Hop Stoopid was a great beer and I continue to drink it when I'm out and looking for a cheap bomber. I've heard Cappuccino Stout is similarly different and even more enjoyable.
Oops. It's been about seven months since I brought this beer home. I didn't intend to "age" it... I just kind of forgot about it. It was tucked away in the basement behind some 750ml bottles that won't mind sitting around for a while. A Prickly Pear Braggot though, that's not really the kind of beer you should keep waiting for too long. I'm hoping the past few months have been kind to this beer, but I'll understand if it has grown a little tired of waiting on me. Sorry about that...
In terms of hype Bell's Hopslam is right up there with Pliny the Elder and Dark Lord. An important difference here is that Hopslam is actually available down the street from me, even if it sells out in a matter of hours. I've had both Pliny and Dark Lord and only one lived up to the hype. I could see myself happily standing in line for Dark Lord with a thousand other beer nerds. Pliny was a different story, it was good but I prefer a dozen similar style beers, I just didn't see what the big deal was. Pliny is similar in style to Hopslam so I was a bit hesitant to drop nearly $20 on a six pack, but here we are...
My first experience with Ten Fidy was... different. Last fall I took a trip out to Denver, Longmont, Fort Collins, etc. I was making my way around north central Colorado, stopping at as many breweries as I could, when it came to my attention that Oskar Blues has a Firkin Friday even each week. Since I was in Longmont and it was Friday, I figured I should at least stop by and see what the big deal was. This week it was a blended barrel of Oskar Blues' Dale's Pale Ale and their Ten Fidy Imperial Stout. Interesting, a Pale Ale blended with an Imperial Stout? Sure, I'll try that at least once...
Dogfish Head's 60 Minute IPA may be their best selling beer but I've always regarded 90 Minute as the beer that took them to the next level. 60 Minute is a solid beer and back when it was first brewed, it may have been revolutionary... but now, it's just another continuously hopped IPA. It's a good beer, which is why it sells in such huge quantities, but it's not what I'd call World Class. 90 Minute is a different story, it was more than just 1.5x the beer 60 Minute was.
At one point of another I drank each of Avery's beers at least once. Well, most of their beers at least once. I've even visited their tasting room in Boulder on three different occasions, but somehow there is a year round beer I seem to have over looked. I can't say it was entirely by accident... it's their Barleywine. Barleywines are beers I feel like I should like, but they always leave me a little disappointed to say the least. Hog Heaven is Avery's attempt at a Barleywine and I'm hopeful it is the Barleywine that will sway my opinion of the style.
Schlafly's Raspberry Coffee Stout was released this past summer, an odd time of year to release a dark Coffee Stout. Not being a fan of coffee flavored beer during any season, I didn't pay too much attention to it, at least not until I got to sample a glass of this limited release at a fall beer festival. This beer was surprisingly light, it's only 7% alcohol, and there wasn't an overly bitter coffee flavor to it. This was the kind of coffee beer I could get behind. I tried to get my hands on a full bottle but the first run was pretty limited and it seemed to sell out really fast, so I was surprised on Christmas morning when I tore through my presents to find a bottle of Schlafly Raspberry Coffee Stout.
Russian River's Belgian and barrel aged beers have a near legendary reputation as some of the best beers produced in this country. That reputation also means they are also some of the most sought after beers, making them difficult or impossible to find in most markets. I returned from an out of state trip a few months back with a few bottles of Russian River beers so I could try them out and see if they live up to the hype. This is the first bottle I'm reviewing, Russian River's Supplication, a Sour Ale aged in oak barrels.