I'm a pretty lucky beer blogger. My good work bud, Hazed and Infused, has access to free big beers that she sometimes brings to me. There's nothing quite like going to your desk at work and seeing two big bottles of beer sitting on the desk. It kind of freaks you out for a minute, you think those weren't there when I left my desk, how did they get there? And I remember, Hazed and Infused wants to me write something while drunk.
The other day this situation occurred only I was working from home because of the ice storm. Hazed and Infused emailed me to tell me the beers were there, I had to tell her to hide them under my old man sweater in my closet. I didn't want her digging through my drawers and finding all of my hidden hooch. When I got in the next day I was instantly excited by the Left Hand Snow Bound Ale and kind of intrigued by the little 12 oz. bottle of something called The Beast by Avery Brewing. Usually big beers come in big bottles, this little 12 oz. thing was weird and I've never seen this beer in a sixer. The Left Hand Snow Bound Ale's name kind of reminded me of some lonely winter nights from my single guy past when I decided to break up my monogamy with my right hand.
I tried the Snow Bound Ale first. The pour was very nice with a dark brown with tinge of red, nearing mahogany, color. I didn't get much of a head with my Left Hand (perhaps it would have been with my right hand) and the color was off white. The aroma was of cinnamon, chocolate and nutmeg. I would like to say that I loved this beer, I didn't. But, I could tell that it was brewed with exceptional ingredients and had great balance. The malt and the nutmeg, cinnamon, chocolate flavor was really well balanced with no flavor overpowering any other. But, I just wasn't a fan of the flavor combination. It's not a bad beer and I could definitely appreciate it, I just wouldn't have used those flavors.
The Left Hand Snow Bound Ale is definitely a beer to share with someone on a cold winter night. I was knocked around a little by the alcohol content and I did some drunk commenting around the blogosphere, which was not unlike the old single days when I did some left handed typing after I overdrank.
Next up was The Beast Grand Cru Ale by Avery Brewing. I almost drank this the same night as I drank the Snow Bound Ale. But, I looked at the alcohol content and it read an astounding 16.42%. No way was I going to be able to drink that after I had 20 some ounces of the Snow Bound. Another night it was. After the kids went to bed last night I cracked open The Beast. I poured it into my pint glass and enjoyed the beauty of it's mahoginess. What little head there was dissipated quickly. The aroma had everything and a bag of chips thrown in, cherries, figs, raisins, honey, molasses and more. Once again, a mistake was made by me, as I took a drink within minutes of taking the beer from the refrigerator. I coughed, wheezed and almost spit the beer out and pour the rest down the sink. I didn't enjoy it all! I resolved to lay it down for 15 minutes and come back for it. I'm glad I did. This is more of a nice cognac than a beer. You should really pour it in a cognac glass and talk about Delta Burke with the Ladies Man because a cognac is the nearest comparable to this beer. It's real sweet and malty and it coats your mouth with it's sweetness, kind of like a Keira Knightley kiss.
I have no idea how much either of these beers costs. I appreciate the craftsmanship of the Snow Bound Ale but, I didn't really love the flavors. The Beast Grand Cru Ale was the balls of high alcohol beers. I definitely need to try more of these beers with over 10% alcohol.