On Thanksgiving, we invited a family over that we knew when we lived in Florida, who now live in the Chicago area. I guess we sort of live in the Chicago area, too, only we're in Indiana. They live in the suburbs, we live in "the Region."
My friend has access to Binny's Beverage Mart, and luckily, they have a pretty nice website so I made a "wish list" for him, since he tends more towards wine. I also had a few bombers left over from my birthday, so we figured we would have a tasting, of sorts.
What you see pictured from left to right are an Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Weizen, a Koestritzer Schwarzbier, Moylan's Hopsickle Imperial Ale, Three Floyd's Dreadnaught Imperial IPA, Rogue Morimoto Soba Ale, and a bottle of the Chimay Grande Reserve. Not pictured is the Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock, and a bottle of the La Fin Du Monde.
Most of these were very nice. Of course, some were better than others. Some notes:
The Hopsickle and Dreadnaught were both Imperial IPAs. On ratebeer.com, the users rated the dreadnaught (100) just slightly better than the Hopsickle (99). How fortunate to live so close to a brewery that has the #1 imperial IPA in the world. However, my friend, Gumbo, and myself both felt that the Hopsickle was better. You could taste and smell the hops much better on the Hopsickle.
I'm glad I tried the Rauchbiers. Translated, this means "Smoke" beer. While they were interesting, the overpowering smell of smoked ham coming off each one was a bit of a drawback. Not that it was hard to drink them or anything...
Shoreline makes a better schwarzbier (or black lager) than Koestritzer. Sorry, Germany, you're now the second best country at making beer on my list.
I really liked the Chimay. You can see in this photo our glasses of this stuff. Sweet, malty, lots of flavors. I thought this is what a true "Dubbel" was, but I see that this is not a Dubbel but a Belgian Strong Ale. The other Belgian Strong Ale was the La Fin Du Monde ("End of the World" - It's made in Quebec province), which was more golden in color. It was also very nice.
Overall, it was a decent tasting event. Next time, I'd like to have more people to share it with. That's the great thing about beer, there are so many to try, but it's way more fun to share the trials with others.