Talk about going out with a bang.
I pulled the final bottle from my Best of Beau's Mix Pack (yes, I can name it now that I've had them all). Last night, the beer with the biggest flavour, highest ABV and IBUs passed over my lips, into my mouth, around my tongue, and down my throat.
When I put it that way, it sounds disgusting.
But this beer was far from that.
Screamin' Beaver Oak-Aged Double IPA (9.9% ABV)
Beau's All Natural Brewing Company
Vankleek Hill, ON
Beer O'Clock rating: 3.5
Appearance: deep copper-amber with a creamy beige head that slowly dissipates.
Nose: toffee and oak.
Palate: bourbon, oak, toffee, heady alcohol, intense hops that end in a dark-roasted coffee finish.
Overall impression: at first, I was blown away by the overpowering alcohol flavours of the bourbon and hops (it's a whopping 99 IBUs!). I couldn't get around that intensity and I was tempted to do something I rarely and loathe to do: dump my glass into the sink.
However, as I sipped it, the beer opened up and the flavours mellowed and blended. The IPA still packed a punch but the blows got softer (with the alcohol level, maybe I was mellowing out?). The more I drank it, the more I liked it.
Screamin' Beaver, despite what Beau's says on its Web site, is not "incredibly drinkable." To say that is to assume that anyone can enjoy this ale. But make no mistake: this brew is for the serious connoisseur of extreme craft beer.
I liked this final bottle in my mix but I wouldn't serve it to just anybody. This is a beer-lovers beer. It's a special-occasion beer for a special kind of beer drinker.
If you're up to it, seek out this beer and have it as a special treat.
And now that I've finished the set, I can't help but ask myself: which of the four samples was my favourite? I'd have to say the first one that I had: Farm Table. Of the four, it was the most flavourful and the easiest to drink. It's the one that I could pull out on any occasion. While I liked the other three, Farm Table will end up as the most memorable.
When this mix pack becomes available again, treat yourself to some unique-tasting Eastern Ontario ales.