17 January, 2009
I just flew in from Portland, and boy is my beard tired.
Along with being one of the “greenest” cities in the U.S., Portland, Oregon is also our nation’s brewpub capital. You can’t throw a keg without hitting a fine drinking establishment. While it may be winter and the middle of the rainy season out in the great northwest, it was still about 30° degrees warmer than it is here on the east. I sampled some fine beers and since I’ve returned to this frigid weather I’d like to focus on the wintrier of the fermented libations that touched my lips (and sometimes my moustache). They are listed below in the order in which they were consumed.
1) McMenamins Terminator Stout – I was slightly surprised to find this stout served so cold, but that didn’t really detract from its taste. It is a very smooth, dark stout that holds its own. Perfect when escaping the rain.
2) Laurelwood Moose and Squirrel Imperial Russian Stout – At 8% ABV, this Imperial Stout really packs a punch. It has a real coffee aroma, but is not overpowering to the palate.
3) BridgePort Ebenezer Ale – This was one of three BridgePort ales available from the firkin, and it paired perfectly with a cottage pie. It is very smooth and has a good balance of malt and hops. Might be my favorite of the four.
4) Rogue Old Crustacean Barleywine (pictured)– Rogue describes this as “the cognac of beers,” and I couldn’t agree more. It’s malty, slightly acidic, and drinkable. At 11% ABV, one or two will do you just fine.
I will leave ye with a quote (the last line of which was found in Rogue’s beer binder) on drinking from Edgar Allan Poe:
“Filled with mingled cream and amber I will drain that glass again. Such hilarious visions clamber Through the chambers of my brain -- Quaintest thoughts -- queerest fancies Come to life and fade away; Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today.”