Thursday, January 17, 2013

January 17: Mikkeller Mikkeller X-mas Porter Fra Via Til Bourbon Barrel Aged Rewards a Long Work Week

A week of 13 hour work days from my New Jersey home base culminated today in....wait for it....a 13 hour day in Wilmington, Delaware for work. Today was blast actually but a week like this defines the need for “a cold beer at the end of the day.” I picked a strong one from “gypsy” brewer and rock star brewer Mikkeller.

Mikkeller is a phantom/gypsy brewer who travels round the world like Johnny Appleseed, if J.A. created bold and innovative brew. This one is brewed in Lochristi-hijfte, Belgium and clocks in at 8% alcohol. 

From what I can tell from the bottle, Mikkeller took his regular Christmas Imperial and turbocharged it with some heavy bourbon barreling....And it shows. The aroma is egregiously bourbon (like an Irish Coffee poured by a blind man) and despite Belgian dipping my nose, I cannot discern any spice aroma. As a devout bourbon man, I’m more than fine with the situation.

The ‘attack’ is dark roast and chocolate. It’s surprisingly dry and short lived, but it sets up a sweet knockout finish by an aggressive boozy punch flavor. Either the spices mix in perfectly with the bourbon, or they overwhelm them. 
Either way, this is an essential Winter Warmer involving a rich malt profile, complexity from the dry roast and sweet bourbon, high alcohol content and an easy finish. I’m loving it! As the beer warms up, the booze disappears and it becomes much more palatable, although I find myself wanting it back the way it was 10 minutes ago.

This is a bold, fun beer and worth the big bucks to experience it. The aroma makes the beer out to be brazen and unrestrained, but you quickly realize that this might have been all part of the maestro’s plan. This beer’s complexity reveals the craftsmanship of its creators. It’s simply something else. I heart you too X-Mas Imperial Porter.

Rating: A

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