Category Archives: New Beer

Hopshot!: Stone Brewing Total Tap Takeover

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Lucky four day weekend for this beer drinker. And iTap’s Stone release event started it off. I think I counted about 6 or 7 deep at the bar. Waited 30 minutes to unsuccessfully get a (second) beer. Was a little disappointed in the service at iTap, but not in the beer.

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Better Thursday: Stone Total Tap Takeover at iTap in Soulard


Yes!  I…sorry Goose…WE (my wife and I) are going to the Stone Brewing Company “Total Tap Takeover” at iTap in Soulard (and the fact that I am off work for Good Friday the next day, makes April 21 Better Thursday).  According to their website, of the 40 taps that iTap has, 24 of them will be dedicated to Stone.  The list:

  1. Stone IPA
  2. Stone Pale Ale
  3. Stone Levitation Ale
  4. Stone Smoked Porter
  5. Arrogant Bastard Ale
  6. OAKED Arrogant Bastard Ale
  7. Stone Cali-Belgique IPA
  8. Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale
  9. Stone Ruination IPA
  10. Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine 2011
  11. Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine 2010
  12. Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine 2009
  13. Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine 2007
  14. Stone Old Guardina BELGO Barley Wine
  15. Stone Imperial Russian Stout 2010
  16. Stone 14th Anniversary Ale
  17. Double Bastard Ale 2010
  18. DDH Stone IPA
  19. DDH Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale
  20. Stone Smoked Porter with Vanilla Bean
  21. Stone Smoked Porter with Chipotle
  22. Stone Smoked Porter Aged in Bourbon Barrels
  23. Arrogant Bastard Ale Aged in Bourbon Barrels
  24. Stone Imperial Russian Stout Aged in Bourbon Barrels 2008
I have only ever had Stone’s Arrogant Bastard Ale, so this is going to be a treat.  My only problem will be deciding which Stone beers to try–I can’t possibly try them all can I?

Help me out… What have you had and what should I try first? 

Hopshot!: Friday Night Beer

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My wife and I are sharing a Barley Island Brass Knuckles Oatmeal Stout from Noblesville, IN tonight. No idea if this is available in STL because I bought it in Illinois. Nice and thick oatmeal stout. Surprisingly good from an an unknown (to me) brewery. Definitely a good pickup if you can find it. 4 of 5 stars.

Founder’s Kentucky Breakfast Stout (KBS): Only the 10th best beer in the world?

I need to get my hands on the other nine....

Kentucky Breakfast Stout
Founders Brewing
Imperial Stout
ABV: 11.2%
100% on RateBeer
10th Best in the World (Beer Advocate) (when I published this it was actually ranked 8th)

Like Girl Scout cookies, this beer comes once a year and the fervor and fanaticism with which it is met, far surpasses the Tag-Along and Thin Mint hardcores that adorn Walgreens entrances this time of year.  (STL was pretty much tapped the day it arrived.  Myself, I drove an hour roundtrip to get it)  In both cases, some of the frenzy is due to the product being a special release (a fact the Girl Scouts use to their advantage).  In the case of KBS, it truly is that good.

Kentucky Breakfast Stout is a stout brewed with coffee and chocolate and aged in a cave in bourbon barrels (hence the “Kentucky” of KBS) for a year.  One full year for all of the maltiness to develop and all of the competing flavors of chocolate and bourbon and hops to mellow.  One full year for the magic to work and the motor oil to fully mature.  One year to create a taste you won’t soon forget.

KBS comes in a four pack.  It is $18.99 and I spent the entire drive to Friar Tuck’s in Fenton deciding how to ration the (presumably) only four bottles I would be getting this season.  I decided that my wife and I would share one bottle when I got home.  We would then each get one bottle to drink at our own discretion (mine was consumed with my buddy Patrick while writing this review–yes I am that good of a friend).  And the last one I am “cellaring” for a year.  I never cellar my beers (I also played with ALL of my action figures), but I am curious to see what this beer will taste like in a year.

I love this beer, but it’s only true downfall (and it’s a biggie)  is that it does not, as the label points out offer relief “from rheumatism, neuralgia, sciatica, lame back, lumbago, contracted muscles, toothache, sprains, swellings, and all manner of distress.” If you’ve got anything else, though, I highly recommend it!

When we tasted the beer, Patrick and I jotted down a couple tasting notes.  Here’s what we came up with:

Tasting Notes:
It’s so good.
Balanced.
You can find the bourbon if you’re looking for it, but it’s not ultra present.
Coffee, vanilla, malt, dark chocolate as it warms.
Melted chocolate milkshake (in a good way)
70 IBU’s, but extremely balanced

Hopshot! KBS

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An hour drive for a beer? F yes. And I will do it again next year. Review to come….

Hopshot!: Ferguson Brewing Growler

Bear witness to my demise. Last Friday, I drank nearly an entire growler of the Imperial Vanilla Bourbon Porter from Ferguson Brewing Company (not terribly proud of this). I think I’m still feeling it. Such a good beer.

Another Step in the Journey: Bell’s Expedition Stout

Bell's Expedition Stout: Motor Oil-y!

Bell’s Expedition Stout
Imperial Stout
ABV: 10.5%
100% on RateBeer

I love a great Imperial Stout.  I love the fact that it feels as though it is sliding down my throat when I drink it.  I love the slight alcohol burn as it warms.  And I love the dark, bittersweet taste of malt.  There are very few things I don’t like about Imperial Stouts, which means I try a lot of them.  I have journeyed through Left Hand’s Wake Up Dead, Avery’s Czar, Great Divide’s Yeti and most notably Founder’s Imperial Stout.  Founder’s has been the pinnacle; that by which I measure all others.  However, after trying Expedition, I’m beginning to think that I’ve been a bit shortsighted.  Expedition Stout gives Founder’s a run for it’s money as top Imperial Stout in my books.  It’s a good thing that there really is no need to just choose one.

Tasting Notes:
pours motor oil thick with a thin head
heavy chocolate aroma
tastes burnt, but in a good way…like roasted marshmallow skins
warms to a nice creamy caramel
nice warm alcohol tingle

Like a cold winter’s day, John J. McCauley III’s voice will chill you to the bone.  And like Bell’s Expedition Stout it’ll heat your soul like a blazing oil drum trash fire in a dark alley….perhaps I stretched the metaphor too far.  Here’s Deer Tick with “Piece By Piece and Frame By Frame”.