- Dark Truth Stout (Boulevard Brewing) - What's this? All of this great beer in Oregon and he's drinking beer from Missouri? Well, yes - your author loves him some PNW, but he's still about quality concoctions, regardless of where the brewing location is camped. One of the better parts about being out here in Portland is that, provided that distribution carries it this way, good beer will show up. Even if it's rolling in from Kansas City. I have heard quality things about Boulevard from people I view as credible about beer knowledge and it turns out that John's carries a pretty good selection of their Smokestack series (creative, high-octane beers). I picked up a bottle of this and a bottle of their Chocolate Ale (not yet tried as of this writing) and found time to work through the Stout last week. So what was the verdict?
It kicked open the door to my Top Five Stout list, strolled in like it owned the joint, and stretched out on the couch.
This was well executed, well blended, and had all the flavors and subtleties you want out of a good, thick stout. 9+ on the abv, so it's paced for a sipper. The nose, the mouthfeel - all of it was working in unison in the best possible ways. Think Abyss without the barrel aging; that's the level of gravity/thickness/complexity that I'm talking about. This is a must try if it wanders across your path.
- Grand Cru de Pelican (Pelican Pub & Brewery) - the 2011 version, picked up for my birthday selection. I was in the mood for a dark Belgian ale and putting your money and hopes on Pelican for a quality release is a bit like betting that the sun will rise in the East tomorrow. I went in with high expectations and the Grand Cru lived up to them. The malt, the spice, the fruit, the 10% abv - it's all here and it's all top end. I plan to pick up another bottle or two for addition to the Beer Cabinet of Perpetual Darkness because it should age like a champ.
In other news, I managed to run down to Deschutes (Portland version) on Sunday and obtained several bottles of the Butte XXIII. I didn't have time to sample any while at the location, but will absolutely dig in at some point this week. Oranges and chocolate and chilies and porter. Yes. Yes, that might work out okay.