Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Stout and About

As mentioned in previous posts, we reconvened the tasting panel for a tasting of Dark Truth Stout. We also had a bottle of new to Kansas Hoppin' Frog B.O.R.I.S Imperial Stout. Both of those were very good but they only got us started for the evening. Again, the participants were Chimpotle, Weston, Yeti and newest member JJSKCK.

Our first beer after Dark Truth and B.O.R.I.S. was the O'Fallon Chocolate by the Barrel Cream Stout. My thought was "oh good, chocolate, stout and barrel aging, this has a chance to be good". I stand by that thought, but boy was it not good. For me, O'Fallon is batting .000 for it's career. Granted, I haven't tried everything O'Fallon brews, but I'm kind of tired of giving them chances. I think all of us in the room felt it was a bit too carbonated and had a thin mouthfeel which doesn't bode well for a milk stout.

By this time discussion, as always, turned to our favorite show "Check, Please" and Chimpotle's hate for the lady that dissed Blanc's burgers (I had a better hamburger that week) yet recommended U-Gene's. Yeti doesn't like the show because it made his fiance want to eat at Korma Sutra and he doesn't like Indian food (he also doesn't get all the fuss about Blanc). In short we came to the conclusion that Chimpotle needs to be on "Check, Please" and Yeti has horrible taste in food.

Next we cracked open the Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti and it was just fabulous. Regular readers know of my stance against barrel aged beers because they either end up tasting like bourbon or wood. I only like wood in my mouth on special occasions or if I have too much to drink and while I like bourbon, I like beer more. So the flavors barrel aging give beers don't usually meet my ideal flavor profile. But, Great Divide made nearly a perfect barrel aged beer with the Yeti. It had all of the things I love about the regular Yeti with an added vanilla component without the woody flavor. I think it's better than regular Yeti and since it's very nearly the same price, I'll be coming home with the Oak Aged Yeti whenever I'm in a Yeti mood. Yeti, the person, told us that Barley's inexplicably has Yeti, the beer, on tap for $4.25 every day. If there's a better beer deal in town, I can't think of it right now.

To punish ourselves for all the great beers we drank earlier, we cracked open the Tallgrass Buffalo Sweat. The beer is, obviously, not good. But, in addition to that, it has the most unappetizing name of any beer I can think of. Buffalo Sweat? Why would you name it that aside from the sheer Kansasness of the name? For some reason the name led us to talk of Viggo Mortensen's vestigial tail. Chimpotle's takeaway from the sex scene in "A History of Violence" is Viggo Mortensen has a tail and apparently it was Yeti's takeaway too. We seriously spent 15 minutes talking about this.

The night started to break down a little bit and we just started opening bottles and pouring what we wanted. I had some Left Hand Milk Stout and of course, loved it just like I do every time. Old Rasputin actually, after drinking 7 or 8 other stouts, didn't seem as great as it does when it is the first thing you drink. This was the Bully! surprise of the night. We weren't doing a blind tasting or any tricks, but for some reason the flavors and mouthfeel didn't match up well with the other beers of the night. I may have had the Old Rasputin after the much more full flavored and richer mouthfeel of the Founder's Breakfast Stout which is simply wonderful. The Left Hand Imperial Stout I had is mostly forgotten.

We finished out the evening drinking a couple of Belgian style beers with the Chimay Blue and Goose Island Matilda. Matilda is one of my favorite Belgian style beers and it was good, but after a bunch of stouts it just wasn't spectacular. This may be shocking but I've never had a Chimay, of any color. I thought it was a bit too carbonated, but that could be because of all the stouts. I'm certainly not turned off of it. This led to talk of movies that we'd never seen that seem odd. Mine is "Empire Strikes Back" or any of the other Star Wars movies other than the one from 1977. I've also only seen "Star Trek V" of the Star Trek series and that's only because I worked at the movie theater it was showing or I had free passes to it, I don't remember. Chimpotle has still never seen "The Godfather" which, to me, is almost unbelievable.

Overall, these little tasting parties are a great time and a great way to drink a bunch of different beers. It's also great to talk about movies for a couple of hours (I would much rather talk about movies or baseball than beer, especially when drinking beer). We also spent a good amount of time talking about restaurants around town and Chimpotle's favorite topic, strip clubs around town. Your favorite conversations may vary, but drinking 10 different beers in a night, not feeling like you had 10 beers and not paying for 10 different beers is well worth getting a group of friends together and have a tasting party.


  1. Bull: You need to take a vote and get a ranking as to your faves on that particular night. Might be instructive to those of us who only want to pick up one of two bottles of the best.

  2. You want a worse sounding beer name?

    It's real, my Dad brought it back from vacation last year because he knows I like sampling "weird" beer (his word, not mine). While it MAY not be the worst beer I ever tried, it has to be near the top.

    Back to stouts, I am really liking them lately. Tried the Left Hand last week, many more to go.

  3. Which one was noted as reminiscent of an East St. Louis strip club? I can't remember.

    Rasputin and the Belgians simply suffered from the palate blasters we tasted earlier in the night. They're all excellent beers.

    If I recall, the Left Hand Imperial Stout was agreed to be a solid, if not spectacular beer. I think Weston mentioned it was "a 7.5", which sparked Beautiful Girls talk.

    I've not seen that one, but my "surprising" movie I haven't seen is Titanic. It's only surprising because everyone I know has seen it.

    My thoughts for winedoofus:
    Dark Truth - very good, but there are better options for the price.
    BORIS - excellent, but expensive
    Oak Aged Yeti - Excellent and less expensive than BORIS
    O'Fallon whatever it was - not good, and hella expensive. Avoid.
    Old Rasputin - This tasting aside, it's a fabulous beer (and it's available in 4-packs instead of bombers)
    Left Hand Imperial Stout - Another imperial stout available in 12 oz. bottles; you won't be sad you bought it but Rasputin is better
    Left Hand Milk Stout - Very good beer, much lighter bodied than all the ones listed above
    Buffalo Sweat - Forget it exists.

  4. I concur with JJS' rankings though I will say B.O.R.I.S. is well worth the money. If you were only going to get a couple of those we tried I would go with Rasputin, Oak Yeti and B.O.R.I.S. Dark Truth is good but clearly a notch below those 3.

    The East St. Louis strip club beer was the Buffalo Sweat. I forgot about the "Beautiful Girls" talk and I couldn't fit the dirtiest movie discussion or Maria Bello talk into the post for fear of going to 3000 words. As it is I wrote 3000 words on the entire evening.

  5. Thanks JJSKCK and Bull for the rankings and top picks. Rasputin was my big beer discovery last year. Unbelievably good. The Left Hand Milk Stout is very good but it suffers by comparison in this company. The same thing happened to me: the Left Hand was in the drinking company of some heavy flavor hitters. For a stout, it's almost, dare I say, "delicate."

  6. Moose Drool is arguably an unappealing name, but because I associate it with a great tasting beer, it seems like a great name!

    But I must agree having the word "sweat" in a beverage name crosses into revulsion territory.

    So I wonder: Would Avery's Maharaja still taste good if they called it Schwetty Balls IPA?

  7. I saw a very brief mention of Founder's Breakfast Stout--which I love--but didn't see how you rated it with the others?

  8. I would put it in the same class as Old Rasputin.

  9. OK...your description sounded like you preferred Founder's. I think the most obvious flaw I've tasted in the Buffalo Sweat (besides the name) was diacetyl--is it still there?

  10. Attention Kansas beer consumers:

    THIS TUESDAY (3/16), the Kansas Legislature is planning on raising your beer taxes. Call your legislator NOW to oppose this tax increase at 1-866-519-2200.

    The excise tax burden on Kansas citizens who drink beer is already very high. Total taxes paid by Kansans on alcohol beverages were more than $111 million in 2009, compared to only $20 million in 1978 after the last gallonage tax increase. According to econometric firm John Dunham and Associates, taxes already make up 49% of the price that consumers pay for a beer in Kansas. As stated in the study concerning beer purchases in Kansas, “In other words, if a consumer pays $2.00 for a beer in a restaurant, nearly $.98 of that is being paid directly to the government.”

    This increase would only worsen the problem of cross-border shopping. As an example, one-third of residents of Kansas live in a county bordering Missouri. If this bill passes, the tax on beer will be 6 TIMES THE RATE IN MISSOURI. Further, the sales tax rate in liquor stores for beer, wine and liquor will be 4 TIMES THE RATE IN MISSOURI (16% VS. 4.225%). This would be devastating for those retailers near the border.

    -- In 1979 -- a drink tax of 10 percent of gross receipts is imposed on consumers for alcohol purchases. Because this is a percentage of the price, the tax burden rises every year.
    -- In 1983 -- the 4 percent enforcement tax for off-premise consumption was doubled to 8 percent. Because this is a percentage of the price, it too rises every year as prices rise.

    -- In 1990 -- the 10% drink tax was extended more licensees (e.g., those with temporary permits).

    -- In 1991 -- Kansas consumers had the federal portion of their beer excise tax go up 100%.

    -- In 2002 -- the Kansas sales tax was increased, and because the gallonage taxes become part of the cost for retailers and are subject to sales tax for 3.2% beer, this creates a tax being levied on a tax.