A week of beer reviews deserves a design that looks it was ripped off an Ohio Brauhaus that had been marred by decades of cigarette smoke. Thus, the Benito's Beer Week logo.
* * *
Recently I've had the opportunity to try a lot of independent beers, so this whole week is devoted to beer reviews. And there's enough good beer and beer media (just wait!) to fill up five days this week, so check back Tuesday and Thursday if you're interested but normally only read MWF.
As always, this does not signal a change of theme here--I've done dozens of beer reviews, and other winebloggers like Fredric are getting in on the action. There's a lot to appreciate in good quality beer, and it's a fun change of pace after reviewing a lot of wine.
Let's kick off this Bierwoche with a curious brew I received as a sample: Oskar Blues Ten Fidy, 12 oz. 10.5% abv, 98 IBUs. Made in Lyons, Colorado, this is notable for being a serious "big beer" that's packaged in a can instead of a bottle. Oskar Blues does this both to protect the beer from light damage and for the environmental benefits (easier recycling, lower shipping weight, less space required, etc.).
This is a powerful Imperial Stout that has a very bitter profile with very few of the sweet elements you see in some implementations. Coffee and chocolate dominate the nose and palate. It's thick and dark with a rich brown head, and a hint of burnt orange peel that's very enchanting. Drink this at room temperature after dinner. Treat it like Port; I think it's far too strong to consume with a meal, and you won't be able to appreciate it as much.
I tried it both in the brandy snifter pictured above and straight from the can--definitely go with the snifter, or a wine glass. I mean, yeah, you can drink it from the can, but you're not going to get any of the experience of swirling and sniffing between sips. Just because it's in a can doesn't mean you have to drink it like that. We rarely drink straight from wine bottles. At least, not in public.
The website features a detailed location directory which will let you know specific stores and bars serving their products. I'm looking forward to trying some of the other interesting cans like the amusingly named "Mama's Little Yella Pils".
This beer was received as a sample from Oskar Blues. In full disclosure of other gifts, I received some awesome stickers.