Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Birthday Tradition

I turned 33 on Sunday.  I usually celebrate my birthday by having close friends over for a good BBQ and drinks.  This year I decided to turn that into a beer tasting event in addition to the 2 smoked pork shoulders for pulled pork.  The party was on saturday.  We feasted on BBQ and enjoyed countless beers.  Included in the beer sampling was Barrel Aged Alpha Klaus, KBS, Speedway Stout, Hop Stoopid, La Roja, Dark Mild, Scotty Karate, Maduro Brown, and several local selections including Sun King Popcorn Pilsner, Firefly Wheat,  Bare Hands Thai P.A., and Peoples name a few.  We had a blast at the party.  Many thanks to my friends and family who were able to attend this year.  Birthdays are much more special when celebrated with loved ones.  Unfortunately, nobody took any photos....complete fail on that picture front.  Whoops!

On Sunday I decided to add to the birthday tradition and open my first Three Floyds Dark Lord.  I plan to have 1 bottle of Dark Lord on my birthday from now until I no longer have it or have access to it.  Right now I have 4 left, so the next 4 years I'm all set :-)  Anyway, here are the notes for the tasting of this truly remarkable beer.

Choose Your Vessel:  As you might recall from my previous post on glassware, the drinking vessel is extremely important to me.  I chose the large CBS Snifter from Founders Brewing for this occasion.  The beer pours jet black in color and appears to have a motor oil type of consistency.  It definitely seems thick from the pour.  There is a small dark brown head that recedes quickly, but of special note is the carbonation that seems to be lively towards the surface of the beer.  Overall this beer looks quite intimidating....but I'm up for the task....I think.

Aroma:  The aroma here is of significant roasted chocolate malt and fruits.  Sometimes with higher ABV beers you also smell the alcohol a little bit, not with Dark Lord.  It seems to be completely hidden from the nose.

Taste:  Wowzers.  The first sip is an experience.  The beer coats my tongue with a thick and viscous fluid.  It's the thickest stout I've ever had.  Extremely full bodies.  My palate is flooded with flavors throughout the very first sip.  Charred fruits, plums, cherries, sweet molasses, and I definitely have the INTELLEGENTSIA coffee underneath all of these flavors throughout each sip.  The finish for me was the perfect blend of chocolate, vanilla, fruits, and coffee.  These flavors became more pronounced as the beer warmed up.  There was absolutely no hint of alcohol in the taste of the beer, but I did get a slight alcohol burn in my gut as the beer settled in to my system.

Overall:  Definitely the most complex stout I've ever had.  Super thick, incredibly chewy.  I loved it.  The beer really reminded me of a port wine.  It was rather sweet, which made it pretty challenging to drink the whole bottle.  It took me a little over an hour to finish.  Many people who rate beers like this claim it to not live up to the hype.  I would strongly disagree with that.  This beer is worthy of its lofty reputation.  I can't wait to celebrate next years birthday with another one.


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