Yesterday I took out my wife for her birthday lunch at our favorite restaurant in our little burg, Padrino (Check them out here. Not only is their food top notch, but their beer list is one of the best in the Cincinnati area. Anyway, once inside the restaurant, I glanced at the taps and spotted something that I had not seen before. Enter 21st Amendment’s Lower DeBoom Barleywine:
If you remember, I first noticed 21st Amendment with their winter seasonal, Fireside Chat (Review here). Definitely a tasty brew, which got me interested in the brand. This beer, however, was completely off of my radar. Here is why:
This beer is part of their “Big Can” series, which basically is a keg only, three times a year or so release of a limited, small batch beer. Luckily, Padrino scored a keg of this monster, here are my thoughts…
The beer pours into your snifter like most barleywines, with a ruby hue, topped off with a decent sized, almost creamy head. Flavor wise, this barleywine delivers. Nice fruity flavors blend with malt goodness and hints of toffee, finishing with a nice bit of alcohol. Easier to drink than Sierra Nevada’s Bigfoot, or Anchor Brewing’s Old Foghorn. Not knocking those two beers, but this beer is special. The flavors blend so nicely, and more start to show themselves once your glass has warmed a bit. I found myself wanting a second glass, but since it was my wife’s birthday lunch I had to refrain, luckily for me since this beer is around 10.5% ABV.
This has been a solid barleywine from 21st Amendment, and one of the best that I have had. This beer ranks up their with Great Divide’s Old Ruffian for me when it comes to the style. I will be heading back to Padrino to have some more of this delight. Well done!
Yesterday’s installment of the month of biking brought out some friends for a night ride. Unseasonal warm temperatures made the evening bearable, so lots of miles were thrown down. Lots of time on the Little Miami:
Once off of the trail, we did some beer sampling with some of this season’s staples, 21st Amendment’s Fireside Chat, and Moerlein’s Christkindl. Great way to end the evening, beer and stories in the garage.
Days are getting shorter, and also colder, so that only means that the beer is getting darker. This time a year is a special time for beers, due to the fact that almost every single craft brewer throws out their special “Winter” seasonal brew. 21st Amendment Brewery is no exception to this rule, enter their Fireside Chat.
Winter ales are usually a tad heavier in general, but this beer is a pleasure to drink. I have to admit, what sold me on the beer itself was the packaging. On the six pack cardboard holder, and also the can (more on that later) is a nice artist rendition of F. D. Roosevelt sitting in a comfy chair, smoking a cigarrette, and doing his depression era radio addresses. This picture made me happy when I first laid eyes on it. Such a good image. The other thing that I found interesting on this beer is that it is in cans.
Cans just make sense for beer. Especially craft beer. With a can, you get lighter shipping loads, which makes it easier for smaller craft brewers to turn a profit. It also packs easily, for taking your beer along for the trip. For example, it worked pretty well in the Xtracycle freeloaders. Another perk is that when it goes empty, you crush the can, and have less bulk leftover to pack back out. That is nice, with no clanking around, the can keeps that horrible sound at bay. But, the biggest perk in my opinion when dealing with cans is that there is ZERO light pollution. In a can, you are probably not going to get the dreaded skunky beer that reaches this point from being exposed to too much sunlight during the shipping process. This essentially gets you, the consumer, the beer in the intended state that the brewer would prefer. Seriously, who likes skunky beer? Not I.
Lets get down to the beer itself. I have been nursing a sixer of this brew for around a week. Due to a current cold that I have been struggling with, I have had to take my sweet time just so I could get the full effect of this beer without a ruined sense of taste. I will admit, my first taste of this beer with a cold made me think I was drinking a Spice Girl. Let your mind ponder that for a second.
After my taste buds returned to normal, I have grown to appreciate this delicious beer. Here is the rundown: 7.9% alcohol, which there is not as much of an alcohol taste in this beer. I feel a larger alcohol after-burn would probably ruin it, but that’s just an opinion. Lots of spice flavor going on in here, which when mixed with all of the various malts that are used, it keeps the spice in check. Maybe that was the issue with Anchor Steam’s Christmas ale last year. That was the only beer that I poured out in 2010, it made me feel like I had done a line of ginger. Back to 21st though, the beer finishes nicely, and makes you head to the fridge for another.
Hats off to 21st for making this beer. Winter, spice driven ales are not my forte, but this one is definitely one that I will remember for next season. If you are intrigued, run fast to your local grocer due to the season for this beer goes from October to December.
I have a feeling that FDR himself would approve…
Last night was gorgeous. By gorgeous I mean temperatures close to fifty degrees, and a mostly clear sky with a full moon. A night like that calls for one thing: Bike ride. A couple friends were summoned, some “essentials” were loaded into the HaroX, and off we went down the trail.
All three of us had lights on our respective bikes, and also headlamps, but once on the trail, it was unnecessary. The moon was out in full effect, casting a gentle glow over the entire bike path, enabling us to let our eyes adjust and ride on without using any artificial light. This was not the longest or most extreme ride that I have done this year, but quite honestly it was one of my favorites. Around fifteen or so miles in around 2 hours, the pace was light, with a few stops and conversations. After the ride it was winter seasonal beer sampling time:
The beers on the agenda for the evening were two highly enjoyable brews, 21st Amendment Brewery’s Fireside Chat, and Cincinnati’s own, Rivertown Brewing Company’s Winter Ale. Both beers were heavy on the spice, and both had a nice winter beer flavor. After a few of these, I didn’t mind the cooler temperature.
I think that a ride like this should happen a little more regularly, maybe when the weather starts turning warmer again. Hopefully this was not the last of the nicer weather, but looking out the window today says otherwise…