From The Cellar: Founders Nemesis 2009

Founders says:

“What you have here is a rarity. A special, one-of-a-kind ale that is only made once a year. Sometimes that’s all. Forever. No more. Nada. Limited-time only. You never know what you’re gonna get. But you can be sure it’ll be damn tasty.”

nemesis091Founders Nemesis 2009
Wheatwine, 12% ABV

(Editors note: we’ve stockpiled enough Founders Nemesis 2009 to review it every year or so to see how it is developing, aging and changing. Feel free to read through from the one-year tasting to the most recent review. However, if you’d like to jump around, be our guest, and read more about Founders Nemesis 2009 after one year, two years, three years and four years in the cellar.) Continue reading

From The Cellar: Bell’s Eccentric Ale 2008

Bell’s says:

“Malt Beverage brewed with Birch Syrup, Honey, Maple Syrup, Juniper Berry, and Elderflower.”

eccentric081Bell’s Eccentric Ale 2008
American Strong Ale, 10.1% ABV

(Editors note: we’ve stockpiled enough Bell’s Eccentric Ale 2008 to review it every so often to see how it is developing, aging and changing. Feel free to read through from the year old tasting to the most recent review. However, if you’d like to jump around, be our guest, and read more about Bell’s Eccentric Ale after one year, three years and four years in the cellar.)

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From The Cellar: New Glarus Barleywine

New Glarus says:

“Our 2012 Barley Wine bridges continents of style, a harmonious creation of Diploma Master Brewer Daniel Carey. He personally chose the hop fields that were harvested for this powerful beast of a brew. Styrian Golding, Willamette, Columbia, and Sterling with bold citrus and resin notes. All perfectly balanced with toasty graham cracker flavors of floor malted barley. Savor this very big beer at 45° F and it will reward you with an open embrace. “

VE11 GI Arcadia Tasting Feb128New Glarus Thumbprint Barleywine
American Barleywine, 12% ABV

(Editors note: we’ve stockpiled enough New Glarus Thumbprint Barleywine to review it each year to see how it is developing, aging and changing. Feel free to read through from the fresh tasting to the most recent review. However, if you’d like to jump around, be our guest, and read more about New Glarus Thumbprint Barleywine fresh, after one year, and two years in the cellar.)
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Brewers and Drinkers Gather This Weekend for First Ever “Illinois Suburban Brewers Summit”

Ale to the Burbs, a group of suburban beer bloggers and Nevin’s Brewing Company are teaming up to put on the 1st annual “Illinois Suburban Brewers Summit.” The event is this Saturday, March 8th, at Nevin’s Brewing Company (12337 South Route 59, Plainfield) and — yes — there will be beer.

The idea is to get suburban brewers, who are fairly spread out, together to talk about the industry, the Chicago-area market and future collaborations. We reached out to the beer writers behind Ale to the Burbs to find out more about the event, why city beer drinkers should care what suburban brewers are doing and what’s going to be pouring at the event (spoiler alert: Nevin’s tap list looks ridiculous). Below are answers conjured up by Jeremy Teel of SubBeerBia, Kevin Bastian of Pour Man Beer, and Eric Woodruff of Blah Blah Beer.

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From the Cellar: Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout 5 Year Vertical (2009-2013)

Brooklyn Brewery says:

“This is the famous Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout, our award-winning rendition of the Imperial Stout style, once made exclusively for Catherine the Great. We use three mashes to brew each batch of this beer, achieving a luscious deep dark chocolate flavor through a blend of specially roasted malts. We brew it every year for the winter season. It is delicious when newly bottled, but also ages beautifully for years.”

Brooklyn Black Chocolate Russian Imperial Stout 5Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout
Russian Imperial Stout, 10% ABV

Ryan’s been itching to crack into these bottles of Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout for a while. Five years, as a matter of fact. Let’s take a look at how kind time has been (or hasn’t been) to this offering from Brooklyn: Continue reading

From The Cellar: Bell’s Batch 10,000

Bell’s says:

“The last of a series, Batch 10,000 Ale looks back to our roots, symbolizing the end of the home-brewing season with a creative take on “cleaning out the brewing supplies closet”. After combing through the catalogs of many malt and hop suppliers, our brewers used over 100 different malts, grains, and other fermentables, and followed them up with a blend of 60 different hop varietals between the kettle additions and dry-hopping.”

batch10kBell’s Batch 10,000
American Strong Ale, 9.2% ABV

(Editors note: we’ve stockpiled enough Bell’s Batch 10,000 to review it every six months to a year to see how it is developing, aging and changing. Feel free to read through from the fresh tasting to the most recent review. However, if you’d like to jump around, be our guest, and read more about Bell’s Batch 10,000 fresh, after one-and-a-half years, two years and three years in the cellar.)

FRESH

Ryan: When I read the commercial description of Batch 10,000 and the borderline ridiculous ingredient list used I thought about the opening scene in Act IV of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Hang with me a second on this. The play opens with an introduction to three witches who, in the fourth act, are huddled around a cauldron tossing in “toe of frog, wool of bat, and tongue of dog,” amongst other things. After each batch of ingredients are added they chant in unison:

Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble.

This is how I imagine Batch 10,000 came about. I picture Larry Bell and his brewers encircled around a brew kettle. The crew is surrounded by buckets upon buckets of ingredients; coffee malt, rye, Michigan hops and the other 150+ ingredients that went in to making this beer. After dumping in a series of malts and grains the crew chants:

Double, double perle and fuggle; Fire burn, and wort bubble.

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From The Cellar: Bell’s Batch 9,000

Bell’s says:

“Black, dense, and rich, this is a great ale for the cellar.”

Bell's Batch 9000Bell’s Batch 9,000
American Strong Ale, 12.5% ABV

(Editors note: we’ve stockpiled enough Bell’s Batch 9,000 to review it every six months to a year to see how it is developing, aging and changing. Feel free to read through from the six month old tasting to the most recent review. However, if you’d like to jump around, be our guest, and read more about Bell’s Batch 9,000 after six months, one year, two years, two-and-a-half years, three years, three-and-a-half years and four years in the cellar.)

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Review: Widmer Brothers Upheaval IPA

Widmer Brothers says:

Brewed with 6 different hop varieties and 3 different grains, including wheat, Upheaval will be a fitting tribute, not only to the bold Northwest-style IPA, but to Kurt and Rob Widmer’s unapologetic attitude in legacy of innovation.

IMAG2882

That’s not dust on the bottle, it’s hop remnants — no joke.

Widmer Brothers Upheaval
IPA
American IPA, 7% ABV

*This beer was provided by the brewer for the purpose of a review.

On occasion, breweries will send us beer to review. Most of the time that beer arrives in a box, shipped from afar, or dropped off by a distributor. Although there was that one time I got a backpack full of stuff — and two beers. Typically in said box is a beer or two or three and some promotional material; a press release or a flyer or a sticker or two or three. Widmer Brothers did something different for this release: they blanketed the beer and accompanying glassware in hop leaves.

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