I know this post's a bit delayed, but with finals week I was drinking a bit less than usual. Now that I'm on the eve of my last final of the semester, things are finally returning to full swing. I'm about to raise a glass here in my own home, but first here's a recap of some drinks I've enjoyed in the past couple weeks.
Stone Smoked Porter (Stone Brewing Company)
For the uninitiated, Stone is not a brewery known for their subtlety. The fact that this beer doesn't pour straight out of the bottle breathing fire is surprising, yet that's not to say that this drink isn't intense. Indeed, with a creamy smokiness more akin to actual wood smoke than the barbecue type of flavor that many other smoked porters carry, this beer is not for the novice drinker. What you'll find here is a dense, delicious, and frothy beer that you can sip slowly on a long night spent in quiet reflection or in the company of good friends. Regardless of the setting, this is definitely one of the better smoked porters out there, period. Grab a bottle and treat yourself properly.
Camp Braggot Ghost Stories (Cigar City/B. Nektar Meadery)
To call this collaborative brew "interesting" or "creative" would be doing it a disservice. The beer pours far darker than I would have anticipated, with an almost fruity nose and a full foamy head. The marshmallow characteristic that is so often associated with this beer is absolutely present, but less so than I had expected. Instead, this is a well-rounded, albeit very sweet, dark and delicious beer. The honey flavor is strong, but not so strong that I would advise non-mead drinkers away from it. Instead, view this as an intriguing and successful experiment in the art of brewing. I'd be delighted to see this one again, although knowing Cigar City's affinity for limited run beers, I doubt it will be any time soon.
Xingu Black Beer
Xingu seems to be a one-beer kinda brewery, so no need to list who makes it. This one caught my eye because my semester's ending and I seem to desire things that are foreign or otherwise "exotic" right now. Clearly my subconscious wants a vacation. With this in mind, I thought to myself that I'd never had a Brazilian beer before. Now I have. It's surprisingly smooth for being a darker beer, yet it's not too light on the palate either. If I wanted something I could sip on for hours, I'd go for this. It's dark without being unpleasant on a hot day.
Dragonhead Stout (Orkney)
This one was purchased based on the label and the fact that I haven't had many Scottish beers. I mean, I love stouts, and it's got a warship or something on it. The beer doesn't disappoint either. It's thick and heavy as crude oil yet the 4%ABV means you can sit with a couple of them in a row without it knocking you out. A really good stout for the times when you might want a smooth yet heavy drink that sits in your stomach like a small meal.