Wednesday, January 7, 2015

2014 Memorable Beer List---by KYLE(KL/US)


Kyle has been living and working in KL since last year, though he does get his beers from either Tapsbarkl/mk or ales & lagers---i guess you cant take the USA out of a man's taste for his favourite beers even if he is so far from home..:)  ---looking at the list would tell you the story..

Here's the list of memorable beers written by Kyle(some photos provided by kyle)
1)Goose Island Proprietor's BCBS, 2013, Bottle
Almond Joy.  A great addition to the GI series.
I am suspect of anyone who doesn't love toasted coconut.  Pair that in a beer with chocolate and coffee flavors and add bourbon barrel-aging to the mix, and you have yourself a real winner.  Thanks to my friend (Ryan!) for getting this to me after I searched without success for months for a bottle.  Absolutely fantastic & mind-blowing in every way you want a GI BCBS variant to be.  I hope they continue to make this for some time!
Pours an opaque black with a foamy dark khaki head that settles quickly.  Very little lacing. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, coconut, cinnamon, bourbon, and wood aromas.  Taste is much the same with chocolate, toasted coconut, almond, whiskey, and vanilla/wood flavors on the finish.  Reminds me of a drinkable Almond Joy candy but without the intense sweetness.  Mild bitterness tempered by the sweetness of the coconut and chocolate notes.  The little carbonation allows the many flavors of this beer to shine while it opens up more and more as it warms.  Very impressive restraint to balance the flavors between the bourbon, toasted coconut and chocolate/roast notes.  A truly remarkable beer that puts all other coconut beers to shame.  Would drink again in a heartbeat.  Can't wait for the 2014 version!

2)Goose Island Cherry Rye BCBS, 2013, Bottle
Cherry Cordials.  My hands-down favorite of 2014.
I love Goose Island.  Yes, they are owned by A-B.  I don't care so long as they continue to make the Bourbon County stout variants.  Cherry Rye, for me at least, stands heads and shoulders above the rest:  intense cherry balanced against vanilla and wood with a strong, delicious bourbon finish.  I want another bottle... or twelve.  Definitely worth a trade!
Pours an dark black with a foamy tan head that settles quickly, much like Proprietor's.  Minor lacing upon drinking.  Smell is of dark cherries, cocoa, whiskey, and wood aromas, consistent with all of the GI variants.  Taste is much the same with a very forward dark cherry note that fades into chocolate and vanilla with some bourbon sweetness on the finish.  Tastes like a very well-made dark chocolate cherry cordial.  Versus the Proprieters, the Cherry Rye had more sweetness and very little bitterness.  Better warmer than cooler which allows the cherry to mellow and the other flavors to become more prominent.  Absolutely delicious beer with the cherry flavors less artificial tasting than any other beer I've had in this category.  Best in show!

3)The Bruery Grey Monday, 2013, Bottle
Hazelnuts. Black Tuesday > Grey Monday.
You can't go wrong with a Bruery stout.  That's especially true for their big stout varietals.  Having tried Black Tuesday in an epic beer tasting last year, I couldn't wait to try Grey Monday.  I expected it to be the highlight of the night and, while it was absolutely delicious, I still prefer Black Tuesday's depth and pronounced bourbon sweetness over Grey Monday's hazelnut characteristics.
THE BRUERY的黑啤是绝对的,特别是“大黑啤”瓶子。在试过这家大名鼎鼎的“黑色星期二”瓶子之后,这次的这支“灰色星期二”没有期待中的圆满--KYLE还是倾向黑色瓶子的显著美国威士忌香甜味。
Pours moderately dark with a light tan head that disappears after a minute.  Very minor lacing upon drinking and very thick in the glass, almost syrup-like.  Smell is of roast coffee, whiskey and wood aromas with a pronounced hazelnut flavor.  Taste is more roast forward with moderate notes of hazelnut, more like a coffee blend. More balanced than expected.  Hazelnuts develop more as it warms in the glass, adding to the sweetness level with the bourbon.  Hazelnuts taste less artificial in this beer than other hazelnut varieties, perhaps due to the bourbon.

4)Mikkeller George, 2013, Bottle
Fruity.  Bourbon > Calvados barrel-aged.
After a very long day of work, I couldn't wait to get to Taps in Mont Kiara to try this bottle.  It was so delicious that I had two... in a row.  George made for a very intoxicated night & definitely delivered an intense alcoholic punch of surprising sweetness in this dark stout!
Pours light dark with a light khaki head that lingers throughout.  Minor lacing upon drinking.  Thin consistency for a stout.  Smell is of fruit, no doubt due to the aging in calvados barrels, contrasted by tobacco, wood and coffee aromas.  Taste is more roast forward with moderate notes of apples with whiskey notes on the backend.  The fruit flavor is tough to pin down, but knowing it is calvados helps.  OK sweetness I love in a stout tempered by this coffee/roast notes.  Maybe it's the American in me, but I would take a bourbon-barrel aged beer over any other barrel due to the depth, wood and sweetness bourbon gives.  Still a great beer, and a first for me with calvados.
5)Prairie Bomb!, 2013, Bottle
Chilies.  Most unique flavor of the year!
I had heard quite a bit about this beer, though not too much about the pepper flavor or heat of the beer.  I was able to get my hands on one in Malaysia (thanks, Kenny!) and I couldn't believe the contrasting complexity & depth of flavor in this little (and expensive!) bottle!
Dark black from the bottle with a finger width of tan head.  Minor lacing throughout.  Very big aroma of coffee, chocolate and chilies.  Taste is similar with a strong coffee/roast front note and pepper heat on the back end.  The consistency of my bottle was fairly thin.  Overall, Bomb! is quite drinkable and surprisingly well-balanced despite the heat.  Very interesting contrast and unlike anything I have had before.  I can see why this is becoming a trend in beers.  Next year, I hope I can try Prairie Bomb! Pirate!

6) Toppling Goliath King Sue, 2014, On Tap
Grapefruit.  Definitely the "king" of IPAs! Having had Pseudo Sue dozens of time on tap and in the bottle, I was very eager to try the imperial ("King") version of Sue.  Enjoyed on one of my many, many trips to the taproom.  I may be biased, but TG is one of my favorite & the best breweries in the world.  If they keep making IPAs like this, I'm confident they will be on every beer nerds' list as the best too!
柚子当道--这支绝对是印度淡啤之王--试过好几次被公认为世上最好IPA之一的Pseudo Sue 之后--这“升级”版本是在KYLE心目中世上最佳酿坊Toppling Goliath的直属酒吧喝的。
Pours with a hazy amber color very consistent with Pseudo Sue with a crisp, two-finger width head.  The head continues to linger for some time.  Great lacing as you drink.  Smells of rich citrus fruits, including lemons, limes and melon.  You can really taste the intensity of the Citra hops.  Taste is heavenly, just as I expected.  The hop bitterness is present only on the back end with fruits, lemon zest and grapefruits up front -- just like Sue but amped up significantly.  Very creamy mouth feel.  I'm an IPA nut, and King Sue was satisfying in every way I wanted with great citrus flavors and aromas.  TG is really killing it, and King Sue has proven that they haven't lost anything over the years!  They still make my favorite IPAs hands-down!
7) Half Acre Navaja, 2014, On Tap
Pineapple.  Double IPA.  What could be better?
Half Acre has a great little tap room on the North side of Chicago.  I always enjoy stopping in when I can.  The trips are made better when they have IPAs on tap.  Especially double IPAs.  Navaja was an unexpected bonus, and it was one of the best IPAs I had in 2014.  I wish I would have had more than the three I drank that day!  
Pours with a clean amber color with a bright white head.  Great lacing throughout.  Very juicy smelling and reminds me of a tropical island with pineapple, grapefruits and melon flavors.  Taste is just like the smell.  Floral sweetness from the hops on the front note with those tropical flavors mellowing to the hop bitterness and some caramel notes on the back end.  Very creamy mouth feel but with a dry finish.  I haven't loved many IPAs from Half Acre which tend to be very piney or unbalanced but Navaja really hit all the right marks for me.  I was glad to have had it fresh on tap.  Navaja really made for a perfect boozy accompaniment to a great afternoon Chicago brewery crawl!
8)Stone Enjoy By 420, 2014, On Tap
Excellent non-whale double IPA.
Normally I go for the extremes -- delicious bourbon barrel-aged stouts or intense, tropical IPA -- but you can't drink whales every day.  Stone's Enjoy By 420 made for a great little IPA that is perfectly drinkable in those sunny days at the lake on the water.  Deceptive simplicity with excellent IPA goodness!
Pours with a clean golden/hay color with a bright white head.  Subtle lacing.  Great nose with a mix of citrus and piney notes.  Taste is just like the smell but in reverse. Heavy pine notes give way to tropical flavors.  Very interesting but pleasant contrast.  Very creamy mouth feel but with a drier finish.  It's a double IPA but doesn't drink as intensely as others.  I love the concept and the beer.  I know there are many variants now, but Enjoy By is definitely worth seeking out and trying.  A very well-done beer with great Stone flavors.  Tough to beat!

NEXT UP--Memorable beer list--by CT

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