Top 5 Beers – verbleibenden zwei

4. St. Bernardus Christmas Ale (Trappist – Christmas Ale)

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I think this may have been my first true Belgian beer ever. When I bought this I knew only the tastes that were classic with Belgian darks, but this beer opened my world to a whole new part of the beer world. Tastes of dark fruits expload in your mouth on the first tip. The classic trappist Belgian yeast dominates the palate: spicy, warm and inviting. I am not sure if I just love this beer because a nostalgic value or because of the taste. This beer packs a punch at 10.5 percent, but it is the perfect Christmas night warmer.

5. Unibroue La Fin Du Monde (Tripel)

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Anything that Unibroue touches seems to be pure gold. Their Belgian yeast strand is magically delicious. This beer is so powerful, yet it covers up the high mark of alcohol it carries to the party. This is my choice New Years beer. How better to celebrate the coming of the new year than drink a beer that is named “The End of the World”? Spicy, warm, crisp, this beer is a solid classic (more like the gold standard) of Belgian Tripels. Do yourself a favor, grab a sampler from this K-Beck brewing company, and have yourself a good night.

Cheer,
Eric

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Top 5 Beers – As of now. (3 for now)

1. Stone Brewing Company Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale (Strong Ale)

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Oaked Arrogant Bastard is a beer that simply states on its label that it is extraordinarily powerful. This beer overpowers your pallet to the point where it is unlikely that you will wish to try another beer after. Not because it is so good (it is, but that’s not the point) but merely because your taste buds need a nap to recover from being onslaughted by hop bitterness and a heavy amount of roasted malts.

The style of this beer is an American Strong Ale. A veritable catchall style in the beer industry of American takes on Belgian Strong ales, but with the use of American hops, malts and specifically yeasts.

2. Lagunitas Brewing Company Hop Stoopid Ale (IIPA)

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This is another adventurous beer. A little back story is needed here. I am quite the appreciator of high ABV beers. I seldomly drink anything that is not labeled Imperial, Strong, Double, Dubbel, or Triple. Lagunitas Hop Stoopid Ale, like the beer above is one of quite high alcohol. To be exact, 8%. This brew features an unorthodox brewing procedure. Instead of adding the hops to the wort pre-boil, during boil and finishing hops afterward, Hop Stoopid gets hop resin/extract or essentially a hop “tea” added in at boiling time. Though normally hop extract is often considered a cheap alternative to whole hops, in this beverage the extract brings out a whole different characteristic. Try this one if you really want to be kicked in the teeth with a hop bomb.

3. Great Lakes Brewing Company Edmund Fitzgeral (Porter)

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Though contrary to my obsession with high alcohol beers the Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter is an outstanding beer. To me, this is the quintessential beer for the cozying up need a fire in a log cabin type of beer. When the cold winter months roll around I crave a nice dark mocha chocolaty sipper like this. Brewed with the classic Great Lakes Cascade hops and dark roasted Two row (I think) malts, the balance of this beer is outstanding. Flavors of strong burnt coffee and dark chocolate attack your tongue. I carries a slight alpha acid hop bitterness in the beginning, but finishes off with a lingering roasty flavor that keeps this beer around in your mouth for hours. My only complaint about this beer is the over carbonation of it, but it is merely a pet peeve rather than an actual negative. Support Cleveland, buy Great Lakes.

I’ll finish up the last two a bit later. Finals study time.