Archive for the ‘Stout’ Category

This past weekend a wedding happened in the family. All was perfect: the conversation, the reconnecting to seldom seen relatives, the accommodations, the food, and the drink. Well, the beer was fine and there was plenty and there were a few varieties. Nothing more could be asked for… except… what if the beer guys created the beer list for the wedding?!

Now a wedding brings all ages together; it brings all tastes together. There are always surprises, folks from far away, different cultures, different languages, heritage, traditions. And that was just what made this wedding great. So what would the beer list be?

Must have an American light, maybe Coors – a crisp clean drink. The quintessential pedestrian brew, Budweiser. Corona for those favoring south of the border? Maybe Dos Equis too. Heineken, no one in western Europe would fault that pick (remember this is a wedding not a bachelor party). Now, specialty brews – for the smart set – the young professionals – should have micro brew status but be familiar (this is not a beer tasting – beer complements the evening not commands it). New England should be featured, especially for those from afar who are sight-seeing in the area. Harpoon or Smuttynose IPA, there! two NE states and lots of character.  Samuel Adams Boston Ale… yes, good pick and a Long Trail Ale, there is Vermont, maybe Tuckermans, that is a well known landmark but a quiet brew fresh from the White Mountains. Now the old timers need attention, well certainly the IPA should fit but how about a stout…

An American stout, Sierra Nevada? if we can find a supply, Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout? but a New England stout??? Ah, two birds with one beer, 6288 Stout from Tuckermans. A great label, a solid regional brew, a reasonable stout and of course the title refers to the altitude of Mount Washington, site of the worst weather in North America.

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MooButternuts Beer and Ale Brewery in Garrattsville, New York packages their products in cans. After a sit down with Dales Ale with Nate (see the previous posts), he gathered up a few cans from Butternuts to sample. The brewery website is underwhelming but promising. I don’t have patience for some things. Oh well. 

Well, this evening as the sun slid down the west side of the Sandwich Range and the sky turned that dark blue of sunset, I grabbed for a black can from Butternut.  “Stout” said the label under a cartoon cow. “Moo Thunder” stretched over the top. I must say the label is a complete turn off but I didn’t waver and cracked the top and tipped into the glass.

The “stout” expectation was in the forefront of my tasting sense. The first long pull of the Moo Thunder was, well… not at all like thunder. Watery maybe, dry for sure, placid yes, respectable drink, well, yeah. I could call it a cream stout, a light duty stout, but not a bad stout. This is not a “knock your socks off” stout. Would I have another? … rather than nothing, yes of course! Rather than Guinness? Never!


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Luckily, as the cold rain set in yesterday, I had just restocked the fridge with  my  Beer of the Month Club   allotment. This is a grand club, beats Book of The Month all hollow, no long term storage problem and renewable adventures to boot. I had puttered inside the house all day, slipping out into the driveway every so often scoping out whether the weather would break enough to get some outside work done. To no avail, alas, so as evening settled I reached for an adventure in a bottle. There was  Lion Stout cooling its heels alongside three other offerings. 

IMG_3241As soon as the cap came off, an intense dark chocolate, fudge, mocoa aroma spilled into the room. I do not usually lead with my nose on such things but this filled the air. Then the pivotal sip and multiple tastes of darkness and stoutness swam in my mouth. The 8%ABV tingled around the edges just enough to give fair warning. This stout reminds me of a slightly weaker cousin of Southern Tier Chocolate Sout. Definitely a tasty brew that brings more flavor out as it warms in the glass.

This noble brew came from Sri Lanka no less, a product of the colonial days and concocted by a Britisher to satisfy the home boys who were managing the Empire. Their web site is under construction so it is unclear if this brew is available in the US. Regardless, it is a quality chocolate-like stout, on the sweet side, smooth,with undertones of the alcohol just enough to enhance the taste. Not bad at all but if I had a choice I’d take the Southern Tier relative, Imperial Chocolate Stout, to satisfy that type of chocolate and stout craving.

Oh, by the way, I caught, on what remains of Lion Beer website, that they manage Carlsberg! On of my earlier beer experiences as noted in another post.

Post Script: Lion Brewery Beers are carried by Elite Brands in Michigan, a distributor of tons of beer and wine from all over. Check it out.


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