Friday, December 30, 2011
Brewer: Rivertown Brewing Company, Lockland, Ohio
Alcohol Content: 7.8%
Official Description from Brewer:
"Brewed with imported sweet vanilla beans, cold pressed espresso/coffee & raw cane sugars. Like a big, chewy, vanilla, coffee infused brownie, Roebling Porter brings tons of chocolate aroma & a docile acidity."
First and foremost, thank you to my sister-in-law Danette for feeding into my beer obsession with a variety pack for Christmas. Nothing warms my heart more than an endless supply of beer to opine about. The first one I grabbed was the Roebling due to its compact 12oz bottle that looked oh so cute in my fridge next to its big brothers.
Roebling pours like liquid red rocks. It settles in the glass a hearty brown, but held in the right light, the ruddy, reddish brown that originated in the pour can be caught. In direct contrast to the brewer's description, Roebling reeked of espresso right out of the gate; coffee heavy to the extreme. I really buried my nose in the glass to capture the vanilla and chocolate but kept coming up short.
I dove in for the first drink and the taste sensation that settled over my tongue defied what my nose just got done telling me. The bitter smell of espresso gave way to a taste of chocolate heaven. I actually said out loud "the taste defies the smell." The chocolate led the charge with the espresso in a close second trailed by the vanilla bean. Frankly the vanilla bean was only evident on the inside of my cheek after I swallowed.
Roebling surprises as you drink it. As I neared the bottom of my glass the aroma that lifted into my nose was that of chocolate and no longer espresso. The taste of coffee virtually disappears as well and all that is left is a full flavored porter and I wish I had another one in the fridge to grab. Alas, I'll have to track it down another day or forget about it when I have another beer.
Suggestion: This is my first time even seeing a beer by Rivertown Brewing Company. I'm sure Danette will tell me where she got it. Find this beer and try it. While you're at it, might want to invest in another Rivertown beer, as this one is a rare breed (as offered on their website).
Value: I can't really speak to the value of Roebling. As part of a variety pack I can only imagine that it ran anywhere between $2-3 for the bottle alone. That's better than any bottle you can buy at a bar.
Michelle Factor: Not only did Michelle give it a whirl, so did special guest Melanie. Both liked it and Michelle agreed the taste defied expectation.
Monday, December 26, 2011
Brewer: Founder's Brewing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Alcohol Content: 10%
Official Description from Brewer:
None that I could find
Founder's does it right. This beer came to me via eBay. I felt this strange desire to grab a hard to find brew because it seemed like getting one would be akin to finding the Holy Grail. I know that's a bit of an exaggeration, but I am seeking the best. When I say Founder's does it right, I am comparing them directly to Three Floyd's, our local champion. Although Founder's Brewing had a CBS release party, the beer was not limited to the brewery; it was distributed across the state of Michigan and even made its way to Indiana. Retail stores had the right to sell the beer on the shelf. After my experience at the Three Floyd's anniversary party and the stories I've been told of Dark Lord Day, I was glad to find out that Founder's doesn't take itself too seriously.
The bottle, not labeled for size, was probably 750mL. And let me tell you, it took me four hours to drink it over the course of Christmas Eve. It poured out of the bottle like used motor oil and even my guests "oohed" and "aahed" as it hit the bottom of my glass. I raised the glass to take in the aroma and every note Founder's wanted you to grab was there: coffee, chocolate, maple syrup, and bourbon. The most subtle of these was bourbon. From my previous encounters with bourbon stouts, most smell so sweetly of bourbon that it could be off putting for those who detest it. With CBS, the bourbon is just right.
I had CBS stored in my cold room downstairs and I put it in the fridge prior to serving. I tried it fresh out of the cold bottle and it was delicious. I let it warm up to room temperature and it was even better. I am constantly amazed at how different a beer can taste as your progress through the glass and even how it can change from the front of your mouth to the back. Of course, the tongue has different taste buds at different locations so this makes sense, but CBS defies the logic. The bitter coffee notes (and bitter might be too strong to describe it) resonated most clearly at the front of my mouth whereas the sweet maple chocolate taste was caught on the back end, which let the beer flow smoothly down the throat. I didn't want to rush through this beer, I wanted to drink it forever. Only one beer competes with that sensation and I'm sure you can imagine which one it is.
Suggestion: If you can find it, try it. If you know someone who has it, ask for a taste as I doubt anyone would want to part with a whole bottle.
Value: I wish I could tell you. My eBay purchase cost me some serious coin, but I'm glad I did it. I don't even know how much it retailed for, but I'm sure it was worth it too.
Michelle Factor: None. Michelle was relaxing with some egg nog. I wonder if CBS mixed with egg nog would be good.