The single, solitary "Like" doesn't do this justice
I regret that I have but one "Like" to give for this post.
It's no fun spending money on shit. I try to look at reviews and ratings online whenever possible but there have been times I take a chance but rarely on a six pack of something I'm unfamiliar with. Fortunately there's one beer store here who is staffed by beer geeks so they can be pretty helpful if I ask the right questions about a new beer I'm considering like "what other beers do you like?" "what would you compare it to" ...if they love hefeweizens (can't spell) for instance or think Sierra Nevada is the best I don't rely on them as much for porter advice.
On average I probably drink about 6 or 7 beers a week so I try to make each one count. Nothing pleases me more than going "MMMMM" when I take a sip of a great beer.
I had a busy weekend, and by busy I really just mean drinking beer and watching movies. I usually don't drink this much but I had a lot of new beers to sample so I took one for the team and waded through many beers to warn you what's crap and what's not.
First up was Mean Old Tom from Maine Beer Company. It's a stout with vanilla. Based on the other one of their beers I tried (pic further down post) I can say that what they lack in snappy labeling they more than make up for with the contents, which is what really matters. Stouts and porters are my favorites in general and this was a good one. Smelled a little coffee but definitely had a coffee taste with a bit of vanilla aftertaste. Smooth and creamy and very easy to drink.
Next up was Black Xanthus from Nectar Ales (which is really Firestone Walker under a different name). This one was a winner for sure. Smelled like flowers and figs to me. Poured like motor oil with almost no head. Almost black but had a nice ruby tint to it. I can't even describe the taste but it was smooth and viscous and for whatever reason I kept getting a buttery toffee or caramel taste out of it.
Pale ales aren't my favorite but a few have grown on me and this was a good one. Smelled great, tasted great, very refreshing and easy to drink.
Another from Maine. Very light but did have a nice bit of hops in the smell and a mildly hoppy bitter finish. Would drink again if I didn't have a stout lying around.
I've been looking forward to this one. I've tried a few of the Alaskan beers and wasn't too impressed, not bad just not really good either. What tipped me off to their porter was a representative giving samples at a liquor store I stopped by after work. He approached me in line and asked me to try some of their beers. I told him I already had and didn't really care for them but he insisted and free beer isn't all bad so I tried a few samples. He didn't have the porter there but told me it was coming soon to NM and that it's won more medals at the Great American Beer Festival than any other beer.
So I figured it must be okay, right?
Well it finally arrived and I have to say Alaskan Brewery has a winner with this one. Dark, smokey, and delicious. My only complaint is not about this beer but about all their other beers... how do breweries make one killer beer and 10 mediocre ones?
This one... I don't even know why I bought it because everything about it was a warning signal from the brewer (Abita=boring) to the date (1986-2011 anniversary ale). It wasn't bad but it wasn't very good either. Just beer with nothing to make it stand out from the crowd.
I really like Ska Brewing's Modus Hoperandi IPA, and this pale ale was pretty good too. Not very pale in color though. It did have a pretty bitter hop finish for me. Totally drinkable if you like hops.
Last but not least some good old barley wine. This one was surprisingly easy to drink and nowhere near as bitter as I expected (here's looking at you Bigfoot). Hid the 11.6% ABV pretty well too. Would drink again no question.