Tuesday, January 22, 2008

My Top Rated Beers for 2007

I was sitting there thinking the other day that I should make a list of my favorite albums for the previous year. But most of what I bought or listened to in 2007 was not released in 2007. I still might do something along those lines next year. I will have to track what I listen to in 2008 to make sure I have a valid list.

What I can do is go to ratebeer.com and look at all the beer I rated in 2007. Looks like I didn't really start rating beers until April, which looking back, totally makes sense, because I was trying not to drink beer the first 3 months of 2007. Ha! I think I still went to people's houses for parties, potlucks, and whatnot, so I know I didn't stick to that rule. Unfortunately, I probably didn't drink anything new during that time, anyway.

I dig ratebeer. There's also beeradvocate.com, and that seems to be the one a lot more people are hooked up on, but I like the layout of ratebeer.com better, and I found it first. One day, I just might get bored enough to copy all of my ratings over. But I doubt it. Either way, these are cool tools to help you track what you've drank, and also find similar beers to ones you like, and find out more about each beer through the ratings of other users.

Looking at my ratings, I think I might have rated some of these a little different after understanding what I was drinking a little more. I went to see what I rated the Dogfish Head 60 minute IPA, because I had been avoiding this brewery since 2002, when I must have got a bad bottle of it, or else I didn't like really hoppy beers. The review was hilarious. Anyway, here's what I got for 2007:

Rated at 4.9/5.0

St. Arnold Elissa IPA - I really liked this beer. Overall, I think IPAs are probably my favorite traditional style of beers. I only had a sample of this in Houston, right next to the Dogfish Head 90-minute IPA and I think I liked both equally. The beer drinkers in Houston said that this brewery wasn't all that great. I did try their Lawnmower, which was their Kolsch, and was a little disappointed. But maybe it was a bit of a flavor letdown after all the hoppy beers.

Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA - I had the 120-Minute this year, shared it with 4 friends. It was good, but at $8/12 oz bottle and 21%ABV, I wouldn't be drinking a lot of that. But the 90-minute version is probably the best IPA out there by far. Maybe the Elissa shouldn't be so high, but it was their hometown I was drinking it in, so I gave them the benefit. Clean finish on the 90-minute. Quite amazing.

2007 Three Floyd's Dark Lord Russian Imperial Stout - Stood in line at Three Floyd's down the road in Munster to pick up 6 bottles of this. Cracked the first one in October, the day we brewed our first homebrew. This is quite amazing. It's not something you're going to sit around and quaff all day, but it's special. Black as old motor oil, I like seeing other people drink it and watch how it stains their lips. Almost looks like they're drinking black blood. Lots of awesome flavors in this: cherry, coffee, chocolate just to mention a few. Nice warm alcohol afterglow (what would you expect at 13% ABV?). Quite honestly, a work of art. Voted in the top 5 beers in the world consistently at ratebeer.com.


Three Floyd's Gumball Head Wheat - Not sure if I would call this a wheat beer. It's very clear for a wheat beer, and doesn't taste like a hefeweizen or an American wheat. It's zesty, and the smell is just awesome. This beer makes me want to grow Amarillo hops, which is what this is made with. Starts off almost tasting like an IPA and then changes about halfway through the beer as it coats your tongue. I would have to recommend you drink a full 12 oz glass of this to get the whole story, as a 3-sip sample won't do it justice.


Shoreline Lost Sailor Imperial Stout - I had this at the Shoreline Brewery about a week before Dark Lord Day. Not as much flavors as the Dark Lord, but it was sure black as midnight and very nice. Viscous as all get out.


Bell's Two-Hearted Ale - A very nice IPA. It probably should be rated higher, but still, 4.6 is a great rating. This one has a great color and nice palate.

Bell's Cherry Stout - I covered this one in it's own blog back in '07 when I discovered it. Awesome stout, but not something you're going to drink 6 of in one setting.

Three Floyd's Alpha King - This is now my "standard" pale ale. Best pale ale ever. Outdoes even the classic Bass Ale.


Dogfish Head 120-Minute IPA - As mentioned above, drink one, go to bed. 21% ABV. Very smooth. It's beyond an IPA, actually. The alcohol almost burns as it goes down.

Three Floyd's Fabulous Resplendence (aka: X) - This is their 10th anniversary ale. It was awesome. Nice chewy, dry palate.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale - I had this when I was still living in Pensacola, and maybe when I lived in Iowa once or twice. Hard to remember. I think it was giving me reflux at one time, when I wasn't used to really hoppy beers. I remember shying away from it. Had it at a potluck back in September and thought, "Hey, this is pretty good." Then realized I never rated it. Shame, I would have liked to see what I had written circa 1999.


So there you have it. The beer I gave the lowest rating to in 2007 was Point Light, which had absolutely no redeeming qualities. Light yellow, beer-flavored water. I gave it a 0.8.

No comments: