Wednesday, July 10, 2013

So Long, and Thanks For All the Beer

Beer O'Clock is no more. At least, not here.

If you're looking for future beer reviews, I will periodically add one to my main blog, The Brown Knowser.

Thank you for following and for the lovely comments and encouragement that I've received over the months.


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Last Call

I've always promised myself that I would always blog for as long as I felt I wanted to, as long as what I did was out of a sense of wanting to. As soon as I felt I had to, that I felt my blogging was more of a chore than a treat or means of escape, I would stop.

The reason that I haven't written a post for Beer O'Clock in more than a week is that I kept saying to myself, as I was opening a bottle of suds, was that I had to get out my camera, I had to take down notes, because I had to write about that beer that I just sat down with.

Had to? What happened to wanting to?

The truth of the matter is that I have gotten myself into the habit of not opening a bottle or can, or not trying something new on tap without feeling that I had to share it with my readers.

Don't get me wrong: I love that my beer blog has received so much attention. Thank you for following Beer O'Clock.

But I no longer feel that I can just have a beer and enjoy it on its own. And if I like a beer and want to share it on my blog, I feel that I have to write about it right away. And, if I wanted to write something for The Brown Knowser, I would find myself at my computer for a couple of hours before bed.

I don't want to do that any more.

Since my last beer review, I've tried several other beers, and I've kept them to myself: no photos, no notes. Just me and the pint glass.

So, this is the last post for this blog.

I will still drink beer. I will make notes for the truly outstanding brews that I try. And, from time to time, I will write up a review. Just not here.

When I started reviewing beer, more than two-and-a-half years ago, I started periodically, on The Brown Knowser. Those posts became so popular that I started reviewing a new beer every week, on Mondays. I may return to that format. Not necessarily every week, but whenever I have a beer that is truly worth attention.

That is to say, any beer that rates a 5.

If you use Untappd and want to see what I'm drinking, follow me. I'm RossBrownfoot. (If you follow me on Twitter, I also tweet about the beer I happen to be drinking at the moment.)

Being my final post, what beer would I choose to close this blog?

What's my favourite style of beer? Stout. What is my favourite stout? Milk stout.

I've already blogged about what I consider to be the best beer I've ever had, and since then I've searched for more of that style, because my favourite beer isn't available anywhere near me.

A couple of years ago, while having lunch with some of my colleagues at Chelsea Pub, I tried an obscure stout that just became available at this restaurant. It was by a company that I had vaguely heard about but had never tried.

I enjoyed the stout so much that I wrote down its name, but then promptly forgot about.

A couple of months ago, when I was browsing the bottles at Bières du Monde, I recognized the label of this stout and its name. And then, on closer inspection, I read something that I hadn't noticed when I was at Chelsea Pub.

This beer was a milk stout.

Time for a review.
La Vache Folle Imperial Milk Stout (9% ABV)
Microbrasserie Charlevoix
Baie-Saint Paul, QC
Beer O'Clock rating: 3.5
Appearance: a deep walnut that allows no light through, with a dense, light-taupe foam head that goes nowhere (except down my throat).

Nose: dark chocolate and rye.

Palate: bitter chocolate, dark-roasted coffee, burnt toffee, with a alcohol finish that provides a bit of a kick and a slight burn at the back of the throat (but don't worry: that head coats it and makes it all better). Over time, your tongue develops a slightly sweet coating.

Overall impression: this is a serious stout with attitude. I didn't associate this milk stout at all with the creaminess of The Duck Rabbit, but it was enjoyable nonetheless. This is not your chocolate-chip-cookie-accompanying stout.

The bottle suggests that you enjoy this stout with dark-chocolate squares. Perhaps, but I preferred it on its own. And only one bottle at a time.

La Vache Folle isn't so much a mad cow as a raging bull, but I would don a red cape and face the pen again.