Generally speaking, there are three or four subjects I like to read about, and they all start with B. Business, Biography, Beer, and Bourbon. I’ll typically spend on hour each morning reading whatever business book I’m on and an hour in the evening reading about beer, bourbon, or Benjamin Franklin, who famously said, “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy”.
Recently, I was flipping through Fred Minnick’s book Bourbon Curious and he said something to the effect of, “the only place you’ll find more bull shit than a political ad is on a bourbon label”. And as the misattributed Ben Franklin quote above proves, the same could probably be said of beer labels and lore. In this week’s Friday Four Pack, we’ll attempt- in vain- to cut through some of the BS as we bring you four of our favorite beers we have in our fridge this week.
Hidden Hand- Shone Like the Sun (7.5% Imperial IPA)
Our first beer of this week is Hidden Hand’s Shone Like the Sun. Keeping in with our label theme, this beer proclaims to “open(s) the doors and lets the orange warmth come pouring in. Riwaka, Citra, and Lotus drive an experience unmatched at 7.5% with a four-figure poundage housing of oats”.
I’m not sure about “unmatched”, but this hazy double is very well done. Pouring an amber yellow with about two fingers of relatively loose seafoam, we get orange, berry, and pineapple on the nose. The oats do give the body smoothness, but there is some bite, which I enjoyed. The finish is sweet soft citrus. Riwaka has been one of our favorite hops to come out of New Zealand and the malt backbone of Shone Like the Sun does a great job of presenting it.
Hop Butcher for the World & Is/Was Brewing- Welcome to Gardesville (6% ABV Marzen)
There are only a couple weeks of Oktoberfest left, so true to our Chicago Bears Superfan heritage, we are packing the last days of the month full of lager and Polish Sausage. Onions and mustard only, thanks. I enjoyed this beer with a fine Maxwell Street Polish and it did not disappoint.
Pouring a little hazier than your typical Oktoberfest, we get a nice full head of foam on this guy. The nose is fresh and floral, but also reminds me of fresh baked dinner rolls. The body is tart, bready and fresh picked flowers. Which, while a little different than most Octoberfest lagers, I enjoyed. The finish is a soft, zesty dandelion and I also get some raspberry and pear. Like the Polish, a real taste of Chicago.
Toppling Goliath/Bottle Logic- Kaiju Clash (14% ABV Barrel Aged Imperial Stout with Coffee)
I had a good friend and huge critic of my beer blog over Saturday evening, and we decided to break out a couple of bottles from our collections- mostly so we could drink while our wives talked, but also so I could talk about them here and he could make fun of me.
We started with Kaiju Clash. Straight out of Decorah, IA, this guy pours thicc with 2 C’s. It’s motor oil black with only a faint brown hue around the edges. Not too much head on this guy. The nose is vanilla and freshly washed coffee beans. I get some raisin and huge amounts of molasses. The palate is velvety smooth with bakers chocolate, vanilla, and some spice hijacking your tongue. The coffee comes in late and hits like freshly frothed espresso. The beer finishes with some barrel heat, brownie, wood, cherry, and coconut. An absolutely jam-packed stout from two of the best barrel aged programs in the country.
Toppling Goliath- Barrel Slayer (14.4% Barrel Aged Imperial Stout)
This was the big finish for Jimmy & I’s Saturday shindig. After hot chicken, a few DIPAs, and Kaiju Clash, we were ready and our wives were “not so happy” we were opening another 14% beer.
This non-adjuncted stout poured your typical stout midnight black with a nice mocha head. On the nose, we get wood, lots of it, with hints of vanilla and molasses. The palate is sweet, some fudgy brownie, and has a pleasant rye spice to it. On the finish we get your classic notes of leather, tobacco, and char. This beer is straightforward and in your face. Well worth the price of admission (grief and eye rolls from our wives).
That wraps up this week’s Friday Four Pack. We’ll be back next week with a few posts on valve control tops and rotor coating for Waukesha PD pumps, as well the launch of our YouTube channel and, of course, four more beers for mostly our, but also your enjoyment. Until then, Cheers!