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DesertWolf

What ya drinking tonight?

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Yep... more finesse I suppose. I have haven't had the Milk, but what you said is so typical of Firestone beers.

 

The reason I like Firestones so much is that they pay attention to the things that really matter to me. I've never been a "bigger is better" guy. In general, the beverages I really respect all seem to be ones where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. And these Firestone guys get that. I frequently tell people who have never tried them that if I had to pick one word to describe Firestones, it would be "harmony".

 

Their beers are never the ones that punch you in the face with two or three-dimensional impact, but usually somewhere around the fourth or fifth sip I find myself thinking "holy crap... this is REALLY good".

 

I think we'd have even more great beverages than we do when more producers come to understand that depth and harmony are more important than impact.

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Got that High-westified at the store. I'm going to go broke tasting all this stuff. One thing that still puzzles me is that you're lucky if you can get a taste of some of these good beers, and yet in the wine world, almost anything is available to sample. You just need to ask.

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Drinking La Maison Fontaine by Emile Pernot, 2010. I'm not up on all of the best things to come out in the last few years, still drinking from the backlog. Almost run out though, last 'new' thing I bought was Sauvage.

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One thing that still puzzles me is that you're lucky if you can get a taste of some of these good beers, and yet in the wine world, almost anything is available to sample. You just need to ask.

I think one factor that makes the wine sampling thing much more feasible is that one simply needs to replace the cork, and the wine is still good to go...not quite so practical with the (typically) far more perishable (not to mentioned carbonated) beery critter.

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Good point.

 

I think another factor is that there is such a current frenzy in certain corners of the craft beer game that if the beer has any elevated attributes whatsoever, the producer and the supply chain can sell every bottle and case they can get their hands on... hell, probably even the ones they can't get their hands on. And of course I get it with the truly outstanding stuff. I never got to sample Ch. Cheval Blanc when I was in the wine business. But what really gets me is when these distributors get arrogant about how the retail or restaurant buyer has to just trust them on everything in that realm, whether it enjoys a solid reputation or not. It's not always easy to wade through all the claptrap about many of the current offerings.

 

My take on that market, as a whole, is that about 10% of the producers are doing some truly inspired work, about 15% of them are doing truly horrible work, and most of the rest are doing pretty ordinary and uninspired, albeit clean, work that looks pretty much like everything else offered in that group.

 

None of this is helped by the likes of Beer Advocate, where they seem to be working with roughly 20 of the 100 points they assign as scores. I have literally tasted beers scored there in the low 80s that I consider undrinkable.

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As have I, and since neither of us is a millennial hipster, I'll just reiterate what I always say when said hipsters see my relatively low number of ratings which mostly include high scores...after 34 years of craft beer drinking, life has become too short to drink mediocre beer, when it can be avoided. :wheelchair:

 

And I pretty much agree with your assessment about the market, as a whole, on the producer end.

 

As for consumers, I do find that many young drinkers are a bit too susceptible to the hype train, but, on the hand, said train is more often on (or close to) the mark than way off it, which is somewhat heartening.

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I think you're right about high craft beer reviews - however I will add that I often choose not to review a beer if its not noteworthy either way. otherwise I treat it like test scores. An average craft beer score is kind of a bad score if you consider the likely cost of said beer... I've been into craft beer since '03 and the bar certainly has been raised many times too, and also you have to figure, for the hype train, the trends that come and go, driving people to figure that each beer is the best they have ever had - for example, DIPAs, BA Stouts, Sours... I'm a little out of touch, I'm not sure what people are currently losing it over now...

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...East Coast style IPAs, DIPAs and TIPAs.

 

I've tried a few, and I'll take a Melvin 2X4 or an Asterisk over those cloudy fruit smoothies nine times outta ten.

Edited by Absomphe

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...East Coast style IPAs, DIPAs and TIPAs.

 

I've tried a few, and I'll take a Melvin 2X4 or an Asterisk over those cloudy fruit smoothies nine times outta ten.

I'd really like to taste one of the Melvin's. And speaking of "cloudy fruit smoothies", if I'm reading you right, I too am getting a little tired of seeing cloudy or hazy beers in styles that should be clear. They can smell and taste great, but there's always something about them that seems unfinished.

 

I wouldn't put Troegs amongst the world class producers, but I think their work, as a whole, is very, very good. However one thing I always take notice of is that, regardless of color, when the style is supposed to be clear, they make it clear... and I mean jewel-like. It's just such a beautiful and refreshing thing to see.

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Fort George Matryoshka Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout on tap.

 

About the closest liquid concoction to s'mores that I've ever tasted, including Dino S'mores.

 

Deep, rich dark chocolate, graham cracker and toasted marshmallow flavors (perfectly balanced) that wrap around the palate.

 

Definitely sweet, (there's a Raisinettes™ attribute, as well) but not even close to cloying, and the body is syrupy and full, but not overdone.

 

Fantastic brew, and worth the high price...unless one insists on comparing it to the absurdly inexpensive Lagunitas High West-ified. B)

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An amazing Bloody Mary with a jalapeño popper and bacon to boot. Sorry, NOLA Gazebo. You've been beat.

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Berserker 2016.

 

More maple and Cabernet come through than ever before, but there's plenty of dark chocolate, old leather and tobacco, as well.

 

My favorite year, hands down.

Edited by Absomphe

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Wow.

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Modern Times Devil's Teeth Bourbon Barrel Aged and Bourbon Barrel Coffee Aged Imperial Stout.

 

Nothing like that double barrel aging. :thumbup:

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