Monday, December 26, 2011
Beer of the Year!
Happy holidays to you all! If you’ve ever wondered what Christmas is like at the Rutledge household, I will tell you that this year’s family celebration began with a ghost pepper salsa eating throwdown, which quickly caused my dad to make strange screaming noises and go sprinting towards the bathroom in a panic. Upon his return, he announced that he ought to have this salsa on hand the next time he’s forced to give a urine sample at the doctor’s office. For the next several minutes we were all subjected to a detailed account of his recent doctor visit and how they “surprised” him with the unreasonable request for a urine sample - which he was unable to provide despite a most vigorous effort over a ten-minute time period (“I wasn’t prepared for that!). I am still unsure if there was any connection whatsoever between his consumption of the fire-hot salsa and his immediate need to urinate, but my father has never been one to let facts get in the way of a good story (or in most cases, a not so good story).
It seems that a precedent has been set wherein all future Rutledge holiday gatherings will be required to include some sort of eating challenge. I am a traditionalist at heart and will surely spend the next 51 weeks coming up with some way to up the ante. While we’re on the topic of holiday traditions, one new one I’m starting in 2011 is to end the year good and proper with my official beer of the year proclamation. I last posted a beer top ten in May, and there has been great chart movement in the ensuing months. Here, then, is the new list in all its glory:
1. Rogue Captain Sig’s Northwestern Ale
We have a new #1! Founders Breakfast Stout relinquishes the top spot to a mighty red ale brewed in honor of the coolest Deadliest Catch captain. Hoppy at 80 IBUs, yet defined by a mighty, malty backbone, this is the man’s man’s micro brew. BEER OF THE YEAR, folks!
2. Founders Breakfast Stout
A beer so amazing, I feel almost guilty bumping it to the #2 spot. And, yes, by all means I do recommend you have this for breakfast.
3. Troegs Mad Elf
Is it just me, or is this year’s batch of this cult classic Christmas ale even better than usual? Or maybe it took me all those years to comprehend its greatness! I’m convinced that actual elves make this beer and sprinkle it with magic dust. Or is it fairies that have the magic dust? No worries, Troegs has cherries and honey.
4. Brasserie Dieu du Ciel Aphrodite
A cocoa-vanilla stout from Montreal. Tastes heavenly!
5. Stone Brewing Co. Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale
There are big beers, and then there’s this! Not for the faint of heart.
6. Smuttynose Baltic Porter
I love regular old porters, but there’s something about the Slavic fruity notes and extra heartiness that gives Baltic porters the leg up. Perfection.
7. Founders Dirty Bastard
Scotch ales are a particular favorite of mine, and this one’s my most favorite.
8. Three Floyds Dreadnaught Imperial IPA
Remember when I didn’t like IPAs? My, how I’ve grown! Paid $13 for a bottle of this stuff, and it was worth every penny.
9. DuClaw Brewing Co. H.E.R.O. Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter
The winning entrant in DuClaw’s home brew contest, this beer sounds like the best thing ever…and tastes like it too!
10. Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout
There’s nothing like a Russian imperial stout in the cold weather months. This is the smoothest imperial I’ve had - which makes it hella dangerous!
On a side note, my wife asked me if the Captain Sig’s Northwestern Ale was so good that I would be willing to give up my left testicle for an unlimited supply. I have decided that no beer is worth my left nut, although perhaps that may change in 2012. I’ll pose the same question to my dad next Christmas. He may have some interesting opinions on the matter.