With the exception of one, all of the beers making this week's list reflect the turn in the weather and daylight, taking us down the path of darkness. The majority were dragged up from various cellars and enjoyed at fall's celebration of darkness that was filled with beer lovers.
Book ending our rundown are the non-Halloween beers and we'll start off with the lone light beer, Bend Peach Offering, before descending into darkness. The 100lbs of Oregon peaches made themselves known in both the great peach aroma and flavor with the whole chamomile flowers contributing soft fruit flavors and delicate floral notes and Lactobacillus providing that lovely, bright tartness that we so enjoy. A mere 4.5% its light and refreshing qualities would make it a great start to any holiday gathering.
And now for the adult goodies shared at that Halloween party...
Surly Darkness 2014 - The only recent year vintage that we don't have in our beer cellar, we counted ourselves lucky to have been around when a bottle of this delicious chocolate-licorice goodness was cracked open. The other vintages we've had lately also seem to be doing well, making it tempting to break into all of them however they also show that they are holding up well as they age. Oh, the conundrum.
Block 15 2011 Imagine Barrel Aged (bourbon) - The only Imagine we've tried, save for the delicious Cherry Imagine two years ago, the 15% barrel-aged Belgian imperial stout started with a fruity-molasses aroma. The flavor feels perfect for the holiday season, a beer we can imagine sipping as we relax in the warmth and comfort of friends and family.
Kane Sunday Brunch - A beer we first became acquainted with last year at GABF, it was a treat to enjoy it again. The imperial milk porter with coffee, cinnamon and maple syrup drank like Mexican hot chocolate without being overly sweet. The only two times we've had beer from this New Jersey brewery we hope to find ourselves in the company of others in the future that have obtained some of their Belgian-influenced ales.
The Commons Brotherly Love - The party's host shared this beer that felt particularly special in light of their impending closure. The craftsmanship of this 10% barrel-aged Belgian dark strong ale matured with tart cherries and roasted cocoa nibs was both clear and bittersweet. While we savored it, just as we will savor the remaining days of The Commons, we also jealously wanted to steal away to down the whole bottle.
Finishing off the list with the other non-Halloween-enjoyed beer is Cascade Tidal Bore. Ordered a bit by accident due to a too quick perusal of the menu upon arriving tardy to a gathering, this was a very happy accident. The imperial stout started off with an amazing aroma and drank incredibly smooth for 10+%, yet there was enough booze presence to remind us to slow down, savor and share.
As we enter the often hectic holiday season we are going to try to slow down and savor many things, perhaps with a glass of something delicious in our hands, and hope you'll be able to do the same.