This month's theme was beers of greater than 10.0% alcohol by volume. This means lots of flavor and thick mouthfeel. There are a number of styles that find their way into this category. There are barleywines, Belgian ales, and imperial styles that have extremely high alcohol contents. Barleywines can be aged, hence the name. Their flavors vary widely, it is an old style of beer, but expect a thick, heavy beer. Dubbels, Trippels, and Golden Ales tend to be strong due to the amount of malt used. Imperial [or double] styles are double doses of whatever goes into them. You can have an imperial anything, but the prototypical example is the imperial stout. We see a few Christmas ales as well.
Old Ruffian Barleywine [Type 64] was the first tasting of the night. Brewed by the Great Divide Brewing company in Colorado. It is a red beer, very hoppy 90 IBUs. But the hops are sweet instead of bitter, with melon flavors. The hops balance the thickness of the beer well. 1 beer. 10.2% ABV
2010 Reserve Boardhead Barleywine [Type 64]. This is from Full Sail. Much drier than the Old Ruffian. There is a sharpness to the beer you can feel on the sides of your tongue. A very good beer, 1 beer. 9.0% ABV
Imperial Stout Homebrew
We enjoyed an imperial stout brewed by one of the beer club members. It was an excellent example of the style. So dark it is almost black. Tastes of brown sugar, roasted malts, and celery. Brewed using 9# dark malt extract, 1/2# chocolate malt, 1/4# crystal malt, and 2 oz of hops of an indecipherable variety. Thanks for sharing!
Mikkeller Black 黒 is an Imperial Stout [Type 36]. Anything with Imperial modifying it is usually hoppier, stronger, or sweeter version of the original. Sometimes this is taken to extremes. This is definitely a case of that. Mikkeller Black is one of the strongest beers I have ever seen in person. It pours like used motor oil, slow, black,and thick. It has a sharp flavor. Coats the tongue. This would be a great topping on vanilla ice cream. It has a roasted-coffee flavor, better than I expected for the alcohol. It is more like a liqueur, something to sip after dinner. 17.5% ABV, 1 beer rating.
Cuvee van de Keizer Blauw. This is my undisputed favorite of the evening. Oh. My. Goodness. This beer tastes like candied apples. Caramel and green apples. A Belgian Dark Ale [Type 29]. 11.0% ABV.
This beer is brewed for the birthday of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. Charles V was Emperor during a crucial time for Europe. The Turks were first defeated at Vienna in 1529, giving Central Europe relief from the unstoppable advance of the Ottoman Empire. This was also the time of the Council of Trent and the Counter-Reformation. Charles was a contemporary of Henry VIII, and Catherine of Aragon's nephew.
Double Bastard Ale. A Stone Brewery Beer. 11.2% ABV. A sweet, hoppy beer.
Hairy Eyeball. From Lagunitas, 9.0% ABV.
Hairy Eyeball Lagunitas 9.0% ABV