Every Saturday, we and our husbands get together with our neighbors across the street. There’s gaming, grilling, and beer – ah, the beer. Among the six adults, we’ve got three
beer drinkers, and three non-beer drinkers… two of
the men and one of the women are, and two of the women and one of the men aren’t. We who do drink the fermented grain ambrosia have grown up in our beer tastes over the years – starting with the extremely light pilsner-style beers known to most – Bud, Miller, Coors, Keystone, and Pabst, and evolving through to looking for the craft beers that are new to the local liquor store. We find a couple of beers, and share them between the three of us, enjoying the new flavors, comparing and contrasting them with others by the same brewery, or with others of the same type we’ve had before. Our tastes tend to run to two types – the dark, heavy, rich Porters and Stouts, and the lighter, bitter, full of flavor India Pale Ales. Tonight, we had two different Imperial Stouts -Dark Force by HaandBryggeriet and Paradox Glen Grant by BrewDog.
The Dark Force was… interesting. I noticed a metallic smell as I went to take the first drink, and the bitterness was different, not really expected in an Imperial Stout. The body seemed rather syrupy, and the aftertaste somewhat meaty in flavor but the overall flavor was not as well-rounded as I like – it fell flat of the mark. It was an interesting taster, but not one that I will search out in the future, and the opinion was shared by the other two beer drinkers as well.
The Paradox Glen Grant is an Imperial Stout aged in single malt whiskey casks from 1970. The first thing we noticed upon pouring the stout was the distinctive aroma of whiskey wafting from the ebony colored liquid in the glass. Second thing we noticed that this was a beer without much head – the carbonation level was pretty low. The beer has a noticeable molasses flavor, and that is followed by the whiskey taste to complement the aroma. It’s a smooth, easy to drink beer that earned Wows from all of us, and even caused the non-beer drinker from OhMuhGuh, Food! to take the glass from her husband and threaten to not give it back. The smoothness and drink-ability, coupled with the wonderful whiskey notes and fragrance made this a fantastic beer that we’d drink again… if we can find it. It’s a retired beer. *sigh*