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.


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