Friday, January 18, 2013

January 18th: Trevor Tames the Wild Dog

Things are getting serious...well, sort of.  After two weeks of Saison silliness, this blog is veering into the territory of potential sanity, it's a good thing.  We continue our adventure with a lineup of barrel aged beers, most appropriate for the latter part of January, when the temperature in non-seasonally prejudiced parts of the world dips into negative territory.

Today, I'm drinking a beer from Maryland's Flying Dog Brewing Company, an institution that's made the mescaline induced decision to make the late Hunter S. Thompson their mascot, as it were.  The Wild Dog Barrel Aged Gonzo is an Imperial Porter aged in oak whiskey barrels, and weighs in at a respectable, but not staggering into a casino heavy,  9.5%.

Thompson and Tolstoy, together at last.

The pour is motor oil black, with a creamy, two finger head, and absolutely no light passing through.

The nose here is a bit of a surprise.  I admit, I expected to be overwhelmed by the whiskey.  It's there, but not overbearing.  Instead, what immediately pops into my head is the smell of the chocolate malt bin at my local brewing supply store.  Dark cherries, vanilla, and oak finish off the nose, which has warmed me up nicely for the first sip.

The taste is whiskey, vanilla, chocolate and dark cherries up front.  In fact, if you told me there were cherries in this, I wouldn't argue.  There is very little yeast character, but I wouldn't expect it, as any strain needed for an imperial porter is going to be violently flocculent.  The mouthfeel is viscous, but not oily, and very smooth.  The whiskey (which has been there all along) starts to get frisky in the middle, and lingers through the sweet, warm finish.

According to HST  "Good people drink good beer".  Hopefully that means I'm a good person, because this is good beer.  Good, mind you, not great.  I'm not reaching for my amber aviators just yet.

There's a good reason for not stopping here...

Rating: Two thumbs on the same fist, or a B-

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