The seasons are changing and the days are getting shorter. The time is now to savor the waning days of fall and brace for the chillier days ahead. As we look back on October, here were our 3 favorite brews.
Toppling Goliath/Bottle Logic- Kaiju Clash (14% ABV Barrel Aged Imperial Stout with Coffee)
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.
The Alchemist- Heady Topper (8% Imperial/Double IPA)
Brewed since 2003, this was one of the first beers brewed specifically for maximum hop flavor. The Alchemist uses a proprietary blend of 6 hops, each giving the beer its own unique flavor and aroma. And the best part was that this beer was less than a week old. That’s right. This beer traveled all the way from Stowe, VT to my driveway in less than a week. Oh yeah.
Let’s start with appearance, or the lack there of. I actually couldn’t tell what this beer looked like because the can specifically says not to pour it. So I listened and drank straight from the can. On the nose, I got plenty of zesty floral. It was super fresh, pronounced, and nuanced. It was like walking through a nursery on a cool summer morning.
The body was more malt forward than I was expecting. It is like a ramp that takes you to the hop holy land. The perfect medium to express notes of orange, tropical fruit, grapefruit, pine, and spice.
The finish was more bitter than I’m used to, but this wasn’t surprising. Finishing like fresh grapefruit zest, Heady Topper was the perfect balance between old school and new school IPAs. A very special beer.
Half Acre & Revolution- On & On: Part 2 (13.7% Barrel Aged Barley Wine)
Two of the biggest breweries in Chicago have teamed up over the last year to bring us two big barrel aged beers- On & On Parts 1 and 2. I missed out on Part 1 (a barrel aged porter), but was able to get Part 2, their barrel aged barley wine and couldn’t wait to try it.
This beer pours a dark velvet burgundy and has a sweet boozy caramel nose. I also get notes of Coca Cola and bread. The palate stays super rich and full with flavors of caramel, toffee, and dark fruit. The finish is sweet with some booze and drippy tannins. It’s the perfect mashup between two great Chicago breweries.
With October 2021 officially in the books, we look forward to November, holidays with family, exciting features on all thing SPXFlow sanitary pumps, and more great beer. Until next time, Cheers!