Once again February brings us to Strong Beer Month at my local brewpub Magnolia and the 21st Amendment and once again I plan on trying all 12 of their strong brews (6 at each pub). I managed to sample them all last year (with a little help from my friends :), and enjoyed the very different styles offered.
I will keep updating this post as I make my way through, so hopefully by the end of the month I will have 12 beer reviews (and a commemorative glass).
Update: well, I didn’t make it. Although I finished all 6 of Magnolia’s strong beers, I only had 2 of the 21st Amendment’s since they’re on the other side of town and their food & beer isn’t all that wonderful.
- Weakapaug Monster – crazy herbal hop-less brew, actually very good, but also very odd (and rather strong!). Rather than hops, it’s bittered with rosemary and the like.
- Old Perplexity – old-style, well-balanced ale – also very good. Dry finish and complex middle with a fairly strong attack.
- Smokestack Lightning Imperial Stout – very dark and heavily roast’y. I’d have preferred a little more sugar for this style of beer, as it leaned toward the hoppy.
- Promised Land IPA – quite a jar to the palette switching from Old Perplexity to this! Extremely hoppy and strong right from the get-go. A tad much for me.
- Old Thuderpussy Barleywine (2003) – huge and very strong, as it’s been aging for 4 years! Complex aroma and flavor, reminiscent of a good cognac. A little goes a long ways, but I like this one a lot. Named after Magnolia Thunderpussy, who used to run a cake shop in the ’60’s at Magnolia Pub’s location (and the namesake of the pub itself, too!).
- Tweezer Tripel – a medium-dry Belgian-style. Probably my least favorite of the strong beers. Although decent, it lacked the character of the other 5 above. Less sweet than many Belgians, and not as complex as I prefer.
- Golden Doom – light Belgian-style ale. At ~8.5% ABV, this is the weakest of the 6 strong beers at 21st Amendment (and why I ordered it on a lunchtime visit :). I thought the attack was too sweet, but it faded into a nicely herbal, almost anise’y finish. Medium bubbles. OK, but not something I’d order again.
- Double Tripel – very hoppy, fairly dry, Belgian-style ale. An abundance of hops made it a touch too bitter for my taste (I like relatively more malt in the stronger beers), but it’s tangy and complex, with tight bubbles. Pretty good overall.