As we cruise into the Easter weekend, we’re wrapping up Friday with a quick recap of our favorite beers from this week. We have two Batch 2’s, a barrel aged stout that drinks like a barley wine, and a West Coast Barrel Aged treat.
Saint Errant Brewing- Chaos Dimension B2 (7.5% DDH Double IPA)
I was excited to see Chaos Dimension back in cans as I loved the first edition. The first time around, I remember it being juicy, full of orange, and loaded with dank green notes. This version, brewed at a different location, just doesn’t pack the same punch. A cloy, mango and Sunny D nose that carries into the palate. It dries out some, but not enough to overcome the residual sugars. The finish is full of juice and fruit, but lacks nuance and complexity of the first batch. The can art remains over the top.
Mikerphone Brewing- Sir Blends A-Lot Blend #2 (14% ABV Blend of Barrel-Aged Imperial Stouts)
I had Sir Blends Blend 1 at Prestige 6249 Tap Room’s first Anniversary. As I recall, it was the Wednesday or Thursday before FOBAB 2020. The beer I tasted that night was as wood forward a beer as I’d ever had at that point. Sir Blends A-Lot volume 1 would go on to win the Strong Porter Stout category at FOBAB that weekend and spawn additional releases including Sir Blends A-Lot, Paul Blends A-Lot, and We Blend A-Lot.
Needless to say, Illinois beer drinkers were eagerly anticipating the second blend of the original. Naturally, I ordered a few bottles and stopped by the taproom for a pour. Like the first version, I got big notes of wood, but more black licorice than I recall with the first blend. The palate was a little lighter than I expected, but not in a bad way, with fudgy notes that transition into dark chocolate. The finish brings some whiskey heat and rye spice with the faintest traces of green coffee, nuttiness, and marzipan. A complex drinker that lives up to the name.
Mikerphone Brewing- Black Honey (13.3% Barrel Aged Imperial Stout Conditioned on Blackened Honey)
Alongside Sir Blends A-Lot, Mikerphone also released Black Honey, which is a barrel aged imperial stout collaboration with Untitled Art that was conditioned on blackened honey. Even after the shortest of research, it isn’t clear to me what exactly blackened honey is, but I love it and what it did to this beer. I didn’t get too much on the nose, maybe some soft honey and cherry as it warmed, but with the first sip my mind was blown. It was the most barley wine-esc stout I’ve ever had. An almond forward, nutty palate that is absolutely mouth coating. The honey enhances, but does not over power the beer. As I drank through my pour I basked in the toffee, molasses, burnt toast, and crème brûlée finish the beer delivered.
Firestone Walker- Parabola 2022 (14.1% Barrel Aged Imperial Stout)
Firestone Walker’s Parabola is one of the original barrel aged stouts and one of only a handful that is able to maintain the quality despite nationwide distribution. When I saw this at Beer on the Wall for a paltry $9.86, I jumped on it and couldn’t wait to try it.
The beer pours a little browner than the jet black you typically see in this style of beer. I get a milk chocolate, oaky nose with traces of syrupy cherry and black licorice. The palate is full of Luxardo cherries and marshmallow. The finish hangs with you, packed with ultra dark chocolate and bootstrap leather. Just a fantastic beer.
Just like that, another week in the books. We hope that you enjoy your Easter as much as we’ll enjoy ours.