Not retiring the Fermented series, but sometimes you just need a recap of the week’s delightful beverages, and next week we can talk more about fall seasonals (no, not pumpkin beer, except for one that’s impressed me on this list).
Forbidden Root Shady Character, 6.7% ABV, botanical porter. Fall is porter season, as my friend Julia reminds me every year. The true porter is distinguishable from the stout because of body, and carbonation, and arguably, varying degrees of roast character. There’s also hints of other delicious things from the hops and malts used to put this style of beer together, and that often hints at herbs, nuts, spices. So Forbidden Root, Chicago’s botanical brewery, gives us Shady Character, a porter brewed with black walnuts, licorice, roasted chestnuts, star anise, and tellicherry pepper. Great with BBQ.
Solemn Oath E-Ville – 7.3% ABV, American Brown Ale. American hops balance sweet dessert chocolate and caramel notes, plus a nutty graininess.
5 Mile Horn – from Luke Andrews of The Berkshire Room, and developed for Eater cocktail week last week. El Dorado 5 year old rum, Averna, Aperol, orange and grapefruit oil. Not sure if I’m missing a juice, but this was fantastic. Rum makes a great base for spice driven cocktails, and this cocktail does a great job at being seasonal without being cliche.
Peloton de La Muerte – At mfk, a small seafood joint that transports you to a different kind of shore, the house Agua Vida (water of life, sort of a whiskey/distilled spirits joke) is just water and Peloton de la Muerte, a delicious and affordable joven mezcal (silver/un-aged). You can just sip on this slightly fruity and delightfully simple mixture while you peruse the menu or in a way, to add a hint of smoke to your food. Oh yeah, get the ceviche and this together. Thank me later. OR, get the monkfish pate, which made my entire night.
Anderson Valley Fall Hornin – 6% ABV, Pumpkin Ale. This here might be the best pumpkin ale on the market. Easy to enjoy, not cloyingly sweet, not overly spiced, this is still a beer, and not a pumpkin pie in a glass. There’s a great pumpkin and malt sweetness balanced against bitter dark chocolate notes, a lively
earthiness, and a deep red-brown hue that speaks to the season. Hints of hops and spice in the nose and finish.
Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald – 5.8 ABV, Porter. Delicious balance of chocolate and roasted coffee nut notes and hop finish (a light, smooth citrus peel hint). This is the Porter that makes me say “ah, it is Porter season (in the fall).”
Temperance Gate Crasher – 6.6 % ABV, English IPA. Malty backbone, aromatic and intense hop flavors that balance between earthy and floral. Silver medal winner at Great American Beer Festival.