In Chicago, there’s been plenty of talk about weather this week, so we’re back this Friday to talk a little bit about beer… and maybe some weather. Speaking of which- is there any better local weather caster than my fellow Badger alumni, Tom Skilling? I don’t think so. So let’s get into the beers that carried us through the week.
More Brewing- Mehndi Special Reserve (14.3% Barrel Aged Imperial Stout)
We got lucky and won a raffle for a bottle of this special edition of Mehndi and made the 25 minute drive up to More Huntley for pickup, a draft pour, and lunch. This vintage of Mehndi Special Reserve was aged in Old Rip Van Winkle 10 yr bourbon barrels for 16 months. This is the same juice that after extended aging becomes Pappy Van Winkle. This is the second Chicagoland barrel aged stout to get the Old Rip treatment (I would refer you our previous post on Maplewood’s RVW neat) so we were very much looking forward to it.
The beer pours a jet, jet black with a soft chocolate notes with hints of apple cider, wet leather, and char. The palate starts surprisingly dark fruit forward that develops into a palate coating marshmallow fluff. There’s a ton going on in the finish with notes of dark fruits, apple, leather, and dark chocolate. All very delicate and wonderfully well made.
Pipeworks- Ninja vs. Unicorn (8% ABV Imperial IPA)
For this past week’s Friday night pie (Fat Ricky’s) I chose to pair it with a malt forward old-ish school double IPA that was one of the first really great beers I’ve ever had. Ninja vs. Unicorn features a juicy citrus pine nose with a malt forward palate that reminds you that everything in life is better when you’re well balanced. A refreshingly bitter finish for the quintessential imperial IPA.
Penrose Brewing- Snow Boots (7.5% ABV Winter IPA)
There was plenty of talk about the weather in Chicago this week. In classic Chicago style, we got a taste of spring and a heavy dose of winter in about a 12 hour period. Unseasonably warm weather, followed by punishing winds, rapid temperature drops, and commute disrupting snow. As we hunkered down for the storm, we cracked a Snow Boots from Penrose Brewing in Geneva. This beer poured a little hazier than I expected with a fruity, malty nose that gave the beer huge depth of flavor. The palate was clean and wheaty with plenty of berry and finished with an extra layer of warmth.
Hop Butcher for the World- Beef Sipped (6% Hazy IPA)
Having been a big fan of Beef Dipped (the 7.5% double IPA version), as well as Beef Trip’d (the 10%+ triple version), I was very much looking forward to the single IPA version, Beef Sipped. It did not disappoint. The beer is absolutely phenomenal. I get a berry pineapple nose that is laced with danky greens. The palate is soft and refreshing. Interestingly bitter first before fresh sweet flowery notes develop that carry through to a soft fruit finish. At 6%, it’s mind boggling how much flavor is packed into this beer.
And just like that, another week in the books. We hope you are looking forward to the weekend as much as we are. Cheers!