…And So it Begins
On Wednesday night, I started a great journey that I am looking forward to very much. I am now a card-carrying “Tourist” for the 2013 World Tour of Beers hosted by the Winking Lizard locations all over the area. With somewhere around 170 Draft Beers coming this year, in addition to the nearly 80 different bottle choices, this will definitely be the “Year of Beer” for me. Each update I bring you will have the beers I had during my last tour stop and what I think of each beer. I’ve always wanted to take part in the World Tour but it always seemed like I forgot about it until about March or April and then I was worried about whether or not I would be able to finish. Not this year! I got started on Day 1 and look very much forward to tasting many new beers from around the globe! Follow me on my journey and if you’re a “Tourist” too, let me know your thoughts!
*EDIT* My very first beer of World Tour 2013 was Breckenridge Barrel Aged Vanilla Porter. I’ve had the regular Vanilla Porter before but I had never had the Barrel Aged version. Let me tell you, it is quite a different taste! The smooth, rich flavor of this porter is a powerful one that hits you with the vanilla notes right off the bat. It isn’t too strong though. It is extremely well-balanced and a great beer to sip on for a little while. The best part about this one was that it was the “Glass of the Month” which means I already have a memento from my World Tour 2013 experience. I’m actually very excited about the “Glass of the Month” collection that I will put together during the year! The Barrel Aged Vanilla Porter is great and gets an 8 out of 10 on my scale.
Next, I stuck with the porter family and had an Edmund Fitzgerald from Great Lakes Brewing Company. This is another beer that I have had in the past and it was good as always. Where the Vanilla Porter is smooth, Fitz is strong with many different flavors. There is definitely a distinct coffee flavor with hints of chocolate that give it a nice bittersweet taste. I love the toasted and roasted malt aroma that it gives off as well, leading to a great malt after taste as well. While this is not my favorite porter, it is still delicious and a great, true porter. Edmund Fitzgerald gets a score of 7.5.
Now that I had a couple of porters down, I was ready to get even darker, the same as the sky was doing. I decided on two stouts for the evening, first being Thirsty Dog’s Siberian Night. The name of this beer is quite appropriate as it is one of the darkest beers I have come across, even for a stout. Some stouts have a dark brown color as opposed to black but the Siberian Night leans way towards black. As with all of the beers that are part of the tour, this is definitely not something you’re going to chug or play drinking games with. While the initial aroma and taste are sweet, they definitely blend to a smoky, malty flavor with a smooth mouth feel and finish. The flavors are strong but in the best way possible. I’m definitely a fan of stouts and this one is no different. Siberian Night comes in with an 8.5.
I finished off the night with another stout, this one from my favorite craft brewery, Victory. The Donnybrook Stout is not nearly as heavy as most stouts and I would say it is pretty comparable to Guinness in its color, taste and texture. Some stouts can taste a bit dry but this one is, well, wet. The flavors that come through are coffee and chocolate but they are a bit weak. I think I might characterize this as a “stout for beginners” as it is not overpowering at all and doesn’t kick you in the pants the way that some, like Siberian Night, can. While similar, Guinness still beats it in the flavor department. Donnybrook is good, though, and gets a respectable 7 out of 10.
Four beers down and 96 to go! I’m very excited to keep moving along the World Tour for 2013 and hope you’ll all enjoy me for the ride! The Tour is a great way to experience Craft Beer as well as Imports from all over the world. I highly recommend this to anyone looking to get out of the yellow fizzy “beer” rut they might be in!