I'm sure some bloggers do a big preamble before they list their top 10 beers of 2009. Not me, here are the best beers I have tasted in 2009.
10. Obsidian Stout. There is the nose of vinegar, bitter chocolate, coffee and toffee. The first sip fills the mouth with roasted barley, malt and a pleasant bitterness. After the initial bitter sting leaves the more decadent flavours of dark chocolate and coffee drift around your mouth like Ken Block.
9. Aventius Weizen-Eisbock. The nose is heavy on the fruity malts with a little hint of cloves. This brew feels slippery and thick; heavy on the malt sweetness. You can pick out flavours of raisins, peppers, molasses, prunes and dark cherries. These flavours mix with the alcohol to give an almost effervescent, bitter mouth feel.
8. Unearthly Imperial IPA. The aroma is an enchanting pine, rose water, fresh grass and medicinal earth. With a creamy mouthfeel, your palate was graced with smooth grapefruit, bubble gum and simple syrup. There was a little effervescence at the end. As the beer warmed up you get more pine and astringent hop tastes.
7. Samuel Smith Imperial Stout. The nose is fulfilling with huge whiffs of milk chocolate, licorice, roasted cocoa and molasses. Your taste is just like the nose; just add a creamy/smooth mouth feel and you got it. Oddly the finish is dry with bitter chocolate. Did I mention that you could pick out smoke and fruit hints?
6. Adam (Hair of the Dog). The nose is something to be feared. It was thick with raisin, plum and dark sugar but oddly no ethanol. The tartness of this brew makes it ideal for sipping. A beer thick and silky with flavours of rum soaked plums, dark honey and wood is something to be savoured.
5. Palo Santo Marron (Dogfish Head). Wow, this beer has some viscosity when it pours, not unlike a strong imperial stout. It pours as black as my parole officers heart. The nose is very complex; you can pick up vanilla, molasses and cherries. Every drink reveals a new flavour; burnt coffee (the good kind), bitter chocolate, cherries and exotic woods.
4. Stone Vertical Epic 9/9/9. There is so much going on I must use point form.
Nose: vanilla, roast and wood, bitter chocolate.
Tastes: bitter chocolate,Stoli vanilla vodka, oak, bitter coffee, vague citrus.
The mouth feel was rich, full and oddly creamy.
3. Gonzo Imperial Porter. It stanks of the deepest porters; roasted, no make that burnt, malts, bitter chocolate and burnt caramel espresso. The taste is more than the average porter but less intense than an imperial stout. Despite the nose, it has a surprising smoothness to it; the bittersweet chocolate malts literally slide over the tongue and down to kiss our soul. Your taste sensation is as expected from the nose, but with an added molasses and licorice sweetness.
2. Rochefort 10. The nose was oddly faint, but there were little amounts of dark sugar, licorice and herbs. The taste is hard to describe, WOW. Alcohol creeps out of the glass and burns your palate clean; clearing the canvas. Then your taste buds are bombarded with all flavours dark and sweet: black currants, brown sugar, licorice, raisins and plums. There was a tequila like sweetness you could pick out. Every sip gave you a new flavour.
1. Mikkell Beer Geek Weasel. It poured as dark as my parole officers heart, with a short lived espresso gelato head. The aroma must be experienced; sweet roasted espresso, vanilla and bitter chocolate. As the brew warmed up bourbon and ethanol became apparent. Did I mention that it poured thick with sediment? The taste made me weep; very creamy, burnt oat toast, espresso and good bittersweet chocolate (70%+ cocoa mass). It was a very big tasting beer.