Monday, December 28, 2015

Some New Beer Releases Worth Your Money

So many new beers to choose from at the local stores that I don't know where to begin. Not that it matters, as you're probably inundated with "Beers of the World" box sets that well-intentioned friends or family piled on you since you are known to love beer so much. Hope you enjoy those Tsingtaos and Negra Modelos!

Beers worth mentioning in the latest wave of releases include Santa Fe's Adobe Igloo. This Winter Warmer style takes the traditional malt-forward beer and New Mexicanizes it with the addition of local red chile. Cacao nibs are also added to round out the 6% ABV beer. It comes in their best designed can yet in 6-pack form and retails for around $8.99. If you're looking for a nice winter ale, I'd suggest picking this up. There is also Upslope Christmas Ale on shelves now, but that is more of a Belgian-style spiced dark that in goes for $13.99. You have extra cash? Get both. Singles kind of guy? Whole Foods on Carlisle puts pretty much every new beer they get in the singles cooler. A nice way to decide if I like Modus Mandarina enough to buy a sixer.

Founders Imperial Stout has been a go to for Michigan folk during the cold months, so basically from October-June. You can now get this here in Michigan-like Albuquerque. The 10.5% ABV Imperial Stout stands out as one of the more bitter Imperial Stouts on the market. No, it's not barrel-aged. No, it's not KBS. But hey, it's a quality Imperial Stout that you don't have to wait in a damn line for and it's reasonably priced at $11.50 a four-pack. It's on tap right now at Nob Hill Bar and Grill right now as well. More Founders goodness can be found at Anodyne, which is stocking All Day IPA cans. It's a great beer to drink while beating friends at pool. Did you win because you are drinking a 4.something % beer while your opponent is downing Jack and cokes? In my case, most likely.

I was so psyched to see Jubilation got in Avery's long-awaited Vanilla Bean Stout that I ran out (in driving form) the day after Christmas to buy it. Unfortunately, they were closed. I wasn't upset at the fact that they were closed, as I think having to work the day after a holiday flat out sucks. So good on them. Total Wine is hit or miss with new releases, and of course they didn't have any. So I had to continue east to where that Goliath storm was wreaking the most havoc. It was evident how much worse the roads were the further east I went, though I only drove to Kelly Liquors on Juan Tabo. Wasn't like I was going over the Donner Pass. Was the Vanilla Bean Stout, 10.8% ABV and aged in bourbon barrels beer worth my death-defying 8-mile drive? Well, it's hard to say. I think that their superb barrel-aged stouts that preceded this one may have had me expecting too much. It's got a lot of vanilla flavor, not artificial tasting like other vanilla beers out there (Hi Breckenridge. Enjoy your new masters). But the Vanilla Bean Stout could use a bigger body and more barrel to match the vanilla. I think Avery realizes this isn't up there with the small format stouts they released in the past, like Uncle Jacob's and Tweak, as this beer comes in a 22 oz. bottle yet is priced the same as those 12 oz. stouts, at $12.99 a bottle. It is also slated to be a year-round release. We are also seeing the second release of Pump[KY]n, their barrel-aged Imperial Porter with pumpkin spices. This year's is 15% ABV, as opposed to last year's 17.22%. I think you can still catch a buzz, though you may get a cavity or two as well. I find this to be much lighter bodied and overspiced compared to the previous version. I think it's still worth picking up, even at $12.99 per 12 oz. bottle. Oh, and Avery's best release of the year, Raja DIPA, is on tap at Nob Hill! Full of earthy southern hemisphere hops, this baby brother to Maharaja was one of my favorites of GABF 2015. Hopefully we'll see the cans here as well. They've only been available in Boulder for three months now, so have patience.

And those Beers of the World packs will make a great re-gift next year!

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