Twitter can be a wonderful thing. After I came into possession of the TNP, a quick tweet went out to see if others in Victoria wanted to try this much sought after beer. Jeff from Vancouver Island Brewery picked up the message and helped me set things up. Nine Victoria beer geeks gathered to enjoy good beers and beer inspired food.
But first the food. Wives are awesome, she created an impressive spread of food:
- Guinness soaked deviled eggs.
- Puff pastry pizzas with portobello mushrooms, shallots, pesto and goat brie. The mushrooms and shallots were sauteed in Southern Tier Unearthly IPA.
- Vegan chocolate brownies made with Brooklyn chocolate stout.
- Herman's boozy balls made with Hermannator ice bock.
- Hummus with Brooklyn chocolate stout.
- Basil beer bread made with Paulaner Salvator.
You can always tell the quality of food by the amount of leftovers you have to take home. There were none.
The beer selection was quite impressive. Oddly the beer that stole the show was not the Brewdog; it was a beer much lighter in colour. So how was the Penguin?
This was not a taste for the casual beer drinker. It delivered a harsh and burning alcohol tongue slap. No one in the group could mistake the wood/whiskey flavours. You could also pick up vanilla, caramel, sherry and peat. The Penguin was very boozy and burning. I quite liked the flavour, but I also like a good single malt whiskey. Giving your true opinion of this beer might be similar to telling the Emperor about his new clothes. No one in their right mind is going to say that this beer sucks, since someone shelled out 35 euros for a bottle. At least not while they are still in the same room.
The afterbite is tremendous. Alcohol and a dry astringency lingering, along with the peat and smoke.
Alcohol Content +1 35%
It can be argued that this is not really a beer, but a distilled spirit. There is no hiding the boozy bite. I might retaste this beer diluted down with a bit of water.
Yes zero. It was fun once, but I really could find a better use for $35 euros.
Ingame Enhancement +1
This beer did bring together nine strangers for a great party.
If you want a radically unique beer tasting experience, then look no further. This big brew offers you something completely different. There are bold tastes of peat, caramel, smoke, wood and alcohol. This brew was a three ring circus for the palate. It was not the big top with the flying trapeze and trained tigers. It felt this beer was more like the bearded lady and the sword swallower.
I am sure other tasters in the room would have scored this beer much, much lower. Especially if they do not like the taste of Scotch.