07 May 2006

Two Beers

Fear not, this isn't turning into a beer blog. However, I'm getting access to a lot of fantastic beers these days, and it's a delicious voyage. Eric Asimov has been writing a good bit about fine beer recently, and while addressing wine drinkers' attitudes towards beer, wrote in part:
Would you only eat meat and never try fish? We all know people like that, and we laugh at them. But people who drink only wine and won't touch beer? They're considered sophisticated. Excuse me while I chuckle.

Now, I'm not attacking preferences here, only the refusal to consider alternatives. If you have explored beer and decided it's not for you, well, I toast your open mind.

Amen.

This replies in reverse as well, beer drinkers ought to be more willing to try wine, but they're generally not snobbish about it.

In my continuing run through the Unibroue product line, I had a bottle of the Don de Dieu. It pours a cloudy golden color, but it's as hearty as many darker beers. When the notes say full-bodied, believe it. There's some spice there, and elements of dried apricot, but mostly you're enjoying a very rich and well-balanced beer. Almost sweet at times. And that 9% alcohol makes you drink this much slower than you would a light lager, for instance.

I also had the Sierra Nevada Bigfoot, which is a barleywine-style ale. Probably the heartiest and fullest beer I've ever had, and this is my second time ordering it at the nearby gourmet beer establishment. Served in a brandy snifter, this is almost solid black and is as strong as espresso. Heavily spiced and not fizzy at all. You get all sorts of wonderful complexity from the malts and hops. I know a lot of people who are terrified to drink Guinness Extra Stout because the strong flavor scares them; Bigfoot makes that Extra Stout taste like skim milk. I love this stuff, but you've really got to enjoy it as a final beverage after a meal or after you've drunk other beers. Afterwards, you're not going to be able to taste anything properly.

1 comment:

Andrew said...

It's funny but I do enjoy a good pint of beer but verys seldom have any at home; normally it will be the first thing I order in the pub.