Entrepreneur. Cocktail and spirit champion. Old world wine provocateur.
This is always a fun topic to take on when the seasons change. Its even more fun when there is a hurricane brewing outside your window. Frankenstorms aside, we have officially entered fall here in the Washington, DC area, with crisp cool days and chilly nights. The transition to fall beverages typically moves to darker spirits and beers, more robust flavors and more spices. But that doesn’t always need to be the rule. You don’t need to get too far ahead of yourself and dive into winter driven beers right off the bat. Take this transitional time to drink transitional beers. Here are my top four.
4. Lost Abbey Judgment Day – This beer clocks in at a lovely 10.5% abv, but it’s worth taking the hit on the abv and enjoying it. A strong, dark Belgian inspired ale, what makes this beer unique is the addition of caramelized raisins. They toss a boatload (that’s a technical term) of raisins into the hop back and take a giant blowtorch to them, then run the beer through it. You won’t find a cooler way to use fire in a brewery anytime soon. Check out this video for some tasting notes from the director of operations at the brewery.
3. Lagunitas Brown Shugga. This seasonal release from Lagunitas clocks in at 9.9% abv but drinks like a cool 6%. It’s a slightly malty american Strong Ale with a classic Lagunitas hop profile. It’s not super bitter but really aromatic and dangerously drinkable.
2. Goose Island Bourbon County Stout. This cultish release from Goose Island in Chicago tops out our abv scale t 14.5%. It is a gigantic imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels. It is super complex with notes of vanilla, bourbon and oak over traditional a traditional roasty stout. Goose Island has one of the largest barrel aging programs in the country and this is their flagship barrel aged beer.
1. Evil Twin Yang. No matter what time of year, hoppy beers are always delicious. By once the cold weather hits, I like my ipas to be a little bit maltier. Yang, from Evil Twin, hits the spot. It’s a big imperial ipa with a real backbone. But the hops aren’t entirely masked by the sweet malts and you’ll still get an assertive bitterness and citrus notes alongside an amber tinged malt profile.
And whatever you do, don’t drink this.