This week's list is a bit longer than we've seen for the last few weeks. It is however the holidays, when special beers tend to get pulled out and like a kid on Christmas we're thrilled to have shared these gifts-in-a-glass with our Beer Santa friends.
The first two, both 2015 vintages of the FiftyFifty Eclipse series, were shared at a Festivus gathering.
Eclipse Coffee - A wonderfully complex version of this 11.9% imperial stout starts off full of coffee, then transitions the barrel characteristics making themselves known, finally finishing with cocoa-y goodness.
Eclipse Grand Cru - This version was heavy on the cocoa throughout in the most wonderful, smooth way and was the crowd favorite of the variations opened that night. Even with the high ABV it was very drinkable, to the point that it was tempting to steal off to a corner with the bottle.
The next set of beers on this week's list were shared at our local which is perennially filled with generous souls.
McMenamins Longest Night of the Year 2017 - Enjoyed, appropriately, on the longest night of the year, this barrel-aged English Barleywine was incredibly smooth. Not hot in anyway, even at nearly 11%, it was good enough that we'd encourage you, even those of you that aren't barleywine fans generally, to grab a bottle if you can find one. Like many of the other one-offs from the McMenamins' stable, it showcases the talent and skill their brewers possess.
Beachwood Blendery Earthbound Misfit - Switching gears to the lighter side, this fruit lambic didn't appear to display much flavor from the kumquats but was nonetheless delicious. Primarily tart in aroma and flavor with a fun effervescence, the use of rye in the brew and time in oak barrels balanced the sourness.
Jester King Omniscience & Proselytism (Blend 2) - Continuing on the sour path, this oak-aged beer that also spent time in a foudre with hundreds of pounds of Oregon strawberries tastes like summer. The wild yeast and bacteria allowed for refermentation, producing a dry, tart beer.
This next beer wasn't new to us by any means but stands out for the fact that it was consumed twice, days apart, at different venues.
Boneyard Incredible Pulp - As much as we enjoy RPM, we hope that this mimosa-like beer will gain an even greater following. Unlike some beers, each time we've had it we enjoy it just as much as the last time.
The final beer on this week's list comes from a gathering at a pizza connoisseur's place. The crowd may have come for the pizza but being primarily beer geeks as well, didn't show up empty-handed. Instead many delicious bottles were shared including...
Reuben's Breakfast Stout - A very tasty milk/sweet stout with coffee, even at 8.4% it would be easy to imagine drinking this in the morning.
As we head into what may be the longest night for many of us, we hope that however you choose to ring in the new year you are surrounded by friends, family and fabulous libations.