When it comes to beer drinking I am not stuck into just one style per night. I can mix it up with the best of them. Especially when different styles all go well with the meal I am having. Tonight I made Busha Brownes’ jerk pork steak with some X.O. brussel sprouts courtesy of Pig Ate My Pizza and Mac and Cheese courtesy of Kraft. So with all that wonderfulness on the plate I need some different items to satiate my thirst.
I knew that I would want something hoppy to bring out the citrus and heat in the jerk seasoning. So my first option was an Imperial IPA from the guys at Evil Twin Brewing Company.
Secondly I wanted something that could stand up to the hop load of the Evil Twin without being quite as over the top basically to continue the hop burn but also tame my palate some. So I went with a Pale Ale from Three Floyds.
Finally, I needed to cap off my meal with something big, robust, and bourbon-tinted to really play out the smoky heartiness of the pork and brussel sprouts. So I finished things off with a 2013 Clown Shoes Bourbon Imperial from the cellar.
So I have successfully taken three different styles and paired them to one meal, not even multiple courses of meal, just one meal. Further proving that if you like the way your beer tastes with what you are eating, there doesn’t have to be a hard and fast rule about what goes together properly. Drink what you like and if you like the way it tastes with your meal than it is a proper pairing no matter what anyone else has to say!
Molotov Cocktail from Evil Twin Brewing Company out of Stratford, CT.
Served: Served from the bottle at just under refrigerator temp into a tulip glass.
Appearance: Dark hazy orange with a quarter inch white head that dissipated but not super fast.
Smell: Talk about an aroma explosion, this is clearly hop loaded just by the smell and it is very piney and resinous. it reminds me a little of the smell of the base of your Christmas tree when you smell the fresh pine and sap together.
Taste: Grapefruit and bitter orange are the hop flavors I’m getting right away but a lot of it is masked by a heavy syrupy booziness. That is when I looked at the ABV and saw 13%. Kids this is not an Imperial IPA, this is a triple-IPA don’t let its description fool ya.
Mouth feel: Thick and syrupy like cough medicine coating every crevice of my palate with an oil slick of pine and citrus. This may actually be too rough for even the jerk seasoning but hopefully it takes some of the heat from the food.
Overall: Wow, this is a delicious beer once you get past the fact that it is so big. It really goes full throttle into your palate like any running back against the Jaguars. This one is definitely not for the faint of heart though and I’d make sure I was pairing it with something bold.
Alpha King Pale Ale from Three Floyds Brewing Company out of Munster, IN.
Served: Served from the bottle at refrigerator temperature into a pint glass.
Appearance: Clear orange with a thin white head and minor lacing.
Smell: Grassy with a hint of orange but the hop smell is more herbaceous than fruity. I’m also getting a hint of caramel and bread as it warms.
Taste: Much less the hop bomb that Molotov was this had a refreshing caramel taste with a very little pine and citrus. Earthier as well as I am getting a little more pine and grass in the taste than I got in the aroma.
Mouth feel: This is still medium bodied but it feels super light adjacent to the Molotov, in fact I am pretty sure molasses would seem light bodied next to that one. There was still a crisp finish with a present grassiness on the aftertaste that did fade pretty fast but kept urging me to drink more.
Overall: I needed this one after the last one, and it still turned out to be bigger than I had envisioned. They claim the ABV is 6.66%. I tend to think that is an approximation but if they managed to pull that off than props go to the brewer. This is their flagship brew and I can see why. If I was a resident of Indiana I’d keep a sixer of this in my fridge for yard work in the summer and fall or fishing in the spring.
Very Angry Beast from Clown Shoes out of Ipswich, MA.
Served: Poured from a bomber into tulip glasses at roughly 60 degrees.
Appearance: Black as the evil heart of your crazy ex. There was a very thin tan head that disappeared pretty much instantly.
Smell: Heavy coffee and cocoa aroma. I’m surprised as I know there is a lot of booze in here but it is not quite as present in the nose. I’m getting more of the oak barrel aroma than the actual whiskey.
Taste: Lots of flavor going on here you have the bourbon, oak, vanilla, chocolate, and a lot of roasted coffee.
Mouth feel: Even this in all its boozy chocolate goodness is not as thick as the Molotov was. What is great about this is that it is boozy without being all about the booze.
Overall: Of course I can count on Clown Shoes to hit it out of the park once again. They took Vampire Slayer (aka Undead Party Crasher) and blended it with Blaecorn Unidragon and then dumped the final solution into a bourbon barrel, because everything is better in bourbon. This is just so smooth and delicious and silky and yum. I cannot give this beer justice. Fortunately for me I have several bottles of this aging in my cellar. Also the fine folks at Clown Shoes made a very special limited edition beer just for Minnesotans called Itasca Loonidragon which just arrived in liquor stores this week. It is the pure Blaecorn aged in bourbon. Once I get my hands on some of this I will share my review with you as well.