Boulder Killer Penguin

January 25th, 2010 beckel

Today I have a rather limited ale from the brewers of Boulder Beer Company out of, you guessed it…never mind. First brewed in 2002 this ale has been available for quite some time but has only been released as part of their Looking Glass Series of bottled ales since 2008. According to the bottle only one 50 barrel batch is brewed each year making this their rarest beer. Brewed in the colder months of the year and obviously intended to be consumed at the same time clocking in at a solid 10% ABV. Bottled in a fancy 22oz wax dipped bottle with a wooden seal proclaiming its year of 2009 I can’t wait to dive in (though it still needs to warm up a bit so I’ll be patient). I believe I sampled this ale once before at a tasting and found it not to be overly complex for a Barleywine, regardless the purpose of sampling a variety of beers is the experience and I am content with being an optimist. Pours a rather dark amber hue that becomes a very translucent bright red hue when brought to light. Head is a massive four fingers and consists of tight cream colored bubbles that settle after a few minutes leaving a solid millimeter and change of carbonation on the surface of the beer as well as a small amount of lacing around the glass. Aroma is quite nice, dark pitted fruit esters, Candi sugar, a nice dose of bitterness and a surprisingly limited amount of alcohol due to the contrasting malty sweetness. Tastes largely of dark pitted fruits, raisins, dates and plums in particular, a lot of Candi Sugar and a notable does of alcohol. Gentle esters of caramel and light bitterness are present, but not dominate at all. Body is light for the style and the mouthfeel is rather thin, but it sure is easy to drink for such a big beer. The 10% ABV of this beer will certainly be noticed by those not accustomed to such strong ales but the serious sweetness of this ale does a good job hiding it, particularly the more you drink. Not a very complex Barleywine but certainly not bad. If you enjoy easy drinking strong ales this might just be the beer for you. Give it a shot and ride your bike.

Boulder Killer Penguin Barleywine

Some Surly News

January 25th, 2010 beckel

I tend to avoid posting much beer news as there are plenty of other sites (MNBeer & Beer News are my favorites) that do a wonderful job of informing the world about craft beer happenings and I feel redundant. Regardless today I have the wonderful opportunity to inform you the exciting news that Surly Brewing will be re-releasing a snazzy ale that was originally referred to as 16 Grit under the name Surly Abrasive Ale in cans. For those of you that are unfamiliar 16 Grit was brewed as a treat to Surly Nation at the end of 2008 when Surly was forced to stop off selling growlers on their premise due to foolishly restrictive Minnesota State Liquor Laws. While I’m sure the brew will taste a bit different this time around here is my review from the original production if your curious. Additionally Surly’s new bottling line will be getting a nice work out as they plan to bottle Surly Smoke and this years anniversary ale Surly Four in the near future in 750ml bottles. Since were talking news I may as well mention that the Surly Four release will be at The Blue Nile on February 23rd where the friendly bar manager Al who wrote the Surly Smoke label text works. Also Surly’s Mild will be released this year Feburary 2nd at Grumpy’s NE @ 7 pm.  Last but not least Surly has just redesigned their web page and it looks pretty darn snazzy, but it seems their still having some hosting difficulties as of the moment. I’m sure they’ll get it worked out though.

Surly Abrasive Ale Label

Surly Smoke Label

No More Growlers :(

No More Growlers 🙁