This past Saturday, I decided to fly solo. After a few hours at the March of Dimes walk, I went home, took care of the pups and got cleaned up for lunch. Where was lunch? None other than the 7th Hill Taproom. Why there? Well, they were tapping a Red Cypress Imperial Stout called the Percolator 2: The Black Lodge and the food’s actually pretty good.
Hmmm. It just occurred to me that The Black Lodge might be a Twin Peaks reference. Maybe I am reading more into it than I should, but Coffee or Stout for the black lines on the floor, Vanilla for the white lines on the floor, and Cherry for the drapes. If this was truly the intent, then kudos Red Cypress for your sense of humor.
I only had two beers this time. Here they are.
Percolator 2: The Black Lodge
Brewer: Red Cypress (Winter Springs, FL)
Style: Imperial Stout
Glass and Serving Size: 10oz Tulip
The Percolator 2 is touted as a Coffee, Vanilla, Cherry Imperial Stout. Of course, I am a sucker for a well done Imperial Stout or Porter. So far this year, some of my favorite Imperials have been the Funky Buddha Morning Wood and the Goose Island Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout. From a purists perspective, maybe these aren’t the best representatives of what an Imperial Stout is, but from a personal enjoyment perspective, these have been some of my favorite beers lately.
So, the Percolator 2 was a must try, if anything because of the Coffee and Vanilla. I wasn’t sure what to think about the Cherry. I didn’t hesitate to have Craig pour me a 10oz sample. The beer looked thick and dark with a creamy mocha colored head. The aroma was fairly strong coffee with roasted malt and hints of vanilla. There might have been the slightest hint of fruitiness usually associated with a stronger beer. The texture when drinking was thick and coating with a slight carbonation. The flavor was fairly complex with a coffee fruity flavor up front a dark roast in the middle and a hint of vanilla at the end.
What I like about this one is that you aren’t aware that you are drinking an 11% alcohol beverage. I have had imperial stouts/porters that made me twitch or made the hair on the back of my neck stand up because I wasn’t expecting the thick boozy taste. For me, the successful imperials are the ones that are fun, flavorful, and aren’t overt about their highly alcoholic nature. The Percolator 2 was truly enjoyable. So much so, that I ordered a second one. I will definitely drink another if 7th Hill still has it around.
Tequila Barrel Lime Gose
Brewer: Boulevard (Kansas City, MO)
Style: Sour Ale
Glass and Serving Size: 16oz Pint Glass
Bartender Craig and I were discussing the trend of using different types of Barrels to put a finish on beers. This was also a discussion with Bobby from Bowigens Beer Company. Bobby had mentioned the use of rum and tequila barrels to finish beers. I could possibly understand rum as a finisher, but I was having a hard time coming to terms with tequila. That was when Craig offered to demonstrate.
The Gose poured with a light honey golden color with a light white head. The aroma you get a hit of lime citrus and a definite tartness. The flavor was surprising in that you get hit with the tartness that is definitely lime, then the finish you can pick up hints of tequila. The tequila definitely worked for this beer.
While the Gose was not something that I would normally drink, I found it to be quite enjoyable. It reminded me a little of a Margarita. I’m not sure that I could spend an evening drinking only this beer, but it’s a beer that I feel that I could work into a rotation. Definitely enjoyed it.
For being what is typically a non-drinking day, I had two good beers. The Red Cypress Percolator 2 ranks pretty high on my list of Imperial Stouts. One of these days, I’ll need to line up my favorites and rank them. Unfortunately, they all don’t seem to get released at the same time, which will make that hard to do. The Gose was a surprising find and answered several of my questions about using odd types of barrels to finish beer.