I have been wanting to try the Victory V12 for years; probably ever since I first developed the love for quads working at Sette Luna and drinking hefty doses of the legendary St. Bernardus ABT 12. The St. Bernie is one of my favorite beers of all time and it leaves you hesitant to stray to other quads.
Despite my loyalty to the ABT 12, I am finally trying this beer thanks to the fine selection over at Cork & Cage and I am definitely not disappointed. This is easily one of the most drinkable 12% ABV beers you can find. It differs greatly from the ABT 12, however, which is dark, noticeably sweet with hints of stone fruits. The V12 is more effervescent, with a deep amber hue and a dense head. And this beer is smooooooth! On the bottle it reads, “Liquid Luxury in the form of a Belgian-Style Quad,” and that is definitely a promise that delivers. The V12 has a silky, luxurious body and perfectly rounded flavor that coats your mouth with complex, baroque flavors. This is one of those beers that demands your attention and I guarantee that no matter what you are doing, you are going to stop to really process this one.
If you are new to quads this is a great jumping off point. It is noticeably different from the traditional Belgian style and has a flavor profile a little closer to a barleywine. But who the hell cares what you call it, this is an awesome beer!
Thank you, Victory, for this beauty!
Thanks to Cork & Cage I have yet another unique beer from a brewery that’s new to me, Against the Grain. They are located in Louisville, Kentucky and it looks like they have a pretty cool brewpub and smokehouse. They have a huge list of beers, all with awesome can art. Tonight I am trying London Balling , their English-style barleywine that’s aged for three months in Angel’s Envy bourbon barrels.
You may have guessed this from the design of the can, but if you are looking for a refined, sophisticated barleywine, this is definitely not the beer for you. The London Balling is a giant punch in the face of deep, roasty, malty, bourbon barrel-aged booze. It is a massive 12.5% ABV, so the pounder I drank is more than enough for the average mortal. They recommend drinking this right out of a can but I poured it into a goblet because I don’t like to be told what to do. It poured a deep amber color with a glowing cherry halo. The bold malts have hints of vanilla and the Nugget and Kent Golding hops pack a bitter punch that will finish off the heartiest of drinkers.
Overall, this beer is definitely not for the faint of heart. If you have a masochistic streak or are the type of person that loves a painfully powerful beer like Dennis Rodman longs for the sting of a new tattoo, then this might be the beer for you.
If you have been to the Against the Grain brewery we would love to hear all about it.
Wow, I am so far behind in my drinking…I mean writing. I am far behind in my writing. So I am trying to…ahem…write… as much as possible this weekend. Fortunately, thanks to Cork and Cage, one of our local bottle shops, I have an awesome selection of beers that I am really excited to review. I just drank and reviewed the Sixpoint Puff which is an outstanding IPA out of Brooklyn that I highly recommend to fellow IPA lovers.
Next up to bat is the Clown Shoes Trillionaire, an English style Barleywine aged in scotch barrels, the greatest of all the barrels. It is an undisputed fact that after beer, scotch is the finest drink available anywhere, ever. The marriage of the two in the Trillionaire results in the manliest boozy beverage you can find. Throw in a fine cigar and I guarantee an hour of unadulterated bliss.
After the Puff it has taken my senses a bit of time to adjust to the sweetness of a barleywine but it was well worth the wait. The nose of this beer smells like someone poured a bottle of merlot over a stack of freshly cut lumber. (A ridiculous analogy, I know, but it’s true.) It has a very pleasing, thick, oily mouthfeel that coats your pallet in the most satisfying way and pairs perfectly with the Gurhka Beauty that I’m smoking. It has a mildly tannic finish with a smattering of hoppy bitterness but it is obvious that the malts are the star of this show. At a massive 12.5% ABV, you may want to share your bomber with a friend. Let it sit out from the fridge for a bit before pouring and use a goblet or tulip glass to maximize the aroma.
Clown Shoes is another new brewery to me and, if you’re interested, you can check them out here. Based on this experience, I will definitely be looking for more of their beers and would love to check them out next time I find myself in Ipswich, Massachusetts.
Don’t forget to stop by Cork & Cage and let us know if there are any beers you would like to see reviewed here.