Tag Archives: dark ale

I (sorta) bought this VI

What we have here is the Stratofortress by Wingman Brewers and a brownie.

In many ways, this should tell you all you need to know about this beer: drink it with a brownie. The earthy elements of the cedar and rum give this beer enough bitterness that a brownie is really the best compliment. If you can convince a loved one to make that brownie with dark chocolate chips so you get the sweet with the bitter, then all the better.

Because that’s what I was lucky enough to do and let me tell you: it’s pretty high on the awesome.

Also, if you can convince a friend to go to (or come from) Tacoma with a growler of the Stratofortress? Do that too. (See the previous paragraph for why.)

It’s pretty much a tiny slice of heaven and you probably won’t even realize this ale is 11%. Which it is, so drink carefully, my friends. But drink it. I eagerly await my next trip to Tacoma to try more of Wingman’s stock, because this beer is a damn fine one and poured from a keg? I can hardly wait.

Added bonus: interview with a co-owner of Wingman.

The Local: The Victory

I was this close to ordering a mixed drink. The entire walk here, that’s what I thought about; having a Corpse Reviver and justifying it to you, because this is a beer blog. We don’t drink liquor.

Except we do. Wine is also on the list of beverages consumed. I take no shame in it, I just want to be topical and as I said, this is a beer blog. Nonetheless, I was all set to order a mixed drink here at the Victory because that’s what they do.

The pretense at beer-and I’m calling it a pretense despite the extensive bottled beer list-is meant to be an extension, a gesture to people in Portland who are looking to ‘drink hip’ if you will. It’s a list that harkens to the days when drinking an import meant you were above the beers of the masses, in the days when good beers for the masses weren’t all that available. The draft selection is slim and reflects this idea, but that said the beers available are very, very good.

I’m drinking a Nostradamus strong dark and it’s a bit like the Dutchess’ off cousin. Sweet hints replaced with tart, density shed for a lighter mouthfeel but the pedigree is very much there.

Still. I came to the Victory wanting a drink. Not just because of the pretense toward beer but because that’s what the Victory does well; mixed drinks. I come not to bury the Victory but to praise it! (heh)

victory pubThey provide some damn good mixed drinks. Why shouldn’t I enjoy what they do well? It’s got a nice atmosphere for talking (usually)-even if you do have to raise your voice a bit. The food selection is interesting and tasty. It’s lively, even on a Monday and I know how hard it can be to have an engaged, interesting place on a Monday night.

So you can understand the plan; have a Corpse Reviver, relish it and the warmth it will provide me on a chilly, scrotum-tightening walk home and  say to you: sometimes, we gotta mix it up, right? I’m sure you understand.

Then again, understanding the siren call of a new beer? Who doesn’t get that?

So I suppose the lesson for tonight is one of adaptability. I had a plan and it was changed. Not just for you, but for me as well.

The waystop just got better

When I was younger, my family often took road trips to Seattle. En route we would usually stop at Ellensburg to refuel the car and stretch our legs, occasionally hitting a fast food joint for lunch before moving on. This is what people knew Ellensburg for; a city you passed through to go somewhere else.

Iron Horse bottlesThe Iron Horse Brewery is going to change all that for those who love the pints, if it hasn’t already.

The High Five Hefe has a honey tint that is just delicious. The nose doesn’t betray any sweetness, so the flavor comes as a real surprise. Instead, the nose is doughy and almost a touch sour, like celery. A surprising beer for me, because I find many hefes to be uninteresting but this beer was complex and tasted great.

The Quilter’s Irish Death however was the hit of the party for me. A real eye-opener because it says it’s a dark ale and as a general rule I don’t like dark ales. But this beer has a velvety quality to it, almost like a stout, but without the density of stouts or the bitterness that a stout or porter ought to have. I really, really liked this brew a lot and recommend it.

Or, I would if I could find the beer. Ellensburg is probably four hours north from me and I have the damnedest time finding Iron Horse’s beers in my vicinity. I don’t know why it’s so difficult to get beers from smaller breweries in Washington, or beers from Vancouver, Canada in Portland but my searches are frequently fruitless and in the case of Iron Horse that’s a shame, because people ought to know how good this stuff is. Fuz can find them but apparently it’s much more difficult to get beers to Portland than Tacoma.

That sentence should never have to be written in a just world.

52 Weeks 25: 10 Barrel S1nist0r Black Ale

There’s an art to naming something. 

I’m of the opinion that using ‘leet‘ speak to name something is failing that art. I realize I’m not 21 and hip deep in internet goodness, and that the awesome just passes me by. I just don’t care. Sinister is an awesome word; it doesn’t need to be tarted up with hipsterisms. 

That curmudgeonly outburst aside, this is a pretty good beer. A roasted chocolate nose, like a mocha in the morning. Very clean, this beer leaves so little trace in my mouth I’m almost at a loss to describe it. Like a chocolate amber ale, maybe? 

This is the first 10 Barrel beer I’ve had and I will credit them with leaving a good impression. There’s a pale and a summer ale on tap as well, and I think I’ll be giving those a taste as well. They’re out of Bend, OR where Deschutes makes its home, and I don’t know what they’ve got going on the other side of the state, but some definite craftmanship is making its way over. 

I like Bailey’s right now; that inbetween moment that is the mark of airplane travel; you are not here, you are not there. The Schrodinger‘s moment of being nowhere and everywhere at the same time. The patrons are plenty lively, but there aren’t many of them, so it is a perfect time to show up and write. Plus the light is lasting longer, and you can finally make out my drinking visage. I don’t know how long I’ll be coming around 8pm, but so far it seems to be working well.