Friday, January 20, 2012

The Beers of 2011 - Part II - The Bad?

This post's title is misleading, I didn't have a horrible beer in 2011.  (The one exception was a Mexican lager called Victoria, which I had at the end of the year, but it deserves its own post.)  The title should read The Underwhelming rather than the Bad.  I had high expectations for certain beers that were not matched when I drank the beer.  Like my favorite beers of 2011, my list of the underwhelming beers is not in any particular order.

For the second year in a row Stone's Vertical Epic failed to impress.   I am not a fan of chili beers and 11.11.11 did not convert me.  I wrote that it was "better than expected," which is not a ringing endorsement.  I liked it enough to write that I wanted another, but have yet to pick it up.  I feel that Stone is trying too hard to create strange beers in its Vertical Epic series.

Sierra Nevada's faux Belgian monastery Ovila Dubble was an uninspired dud.  It was not a bad beer, just an average, forgettable beer.  I haven't bothered to try the other two Ovila offerings due to the lackluster Dubble.  If you partner with a non-Belgian monastery, it makes sense that the beers are not going to taste like real Belgian beers.  In Ovila Dubble's favor, it did have a slick logo.

Monk's Cafe's Flemish Sour was a disappointment.  I found it too sweet.  I had read positive reviews on this beer, and was expecting more.  Monk's Cafe taught me what I didn't like in a sour, so I guess that's positive.  I didn't review this beer, but believe me, the review wouldn't have been positive. 

I had a few beers where I didn't drink the whole beer, but where tastes alone were enough to frighten my taste buds.  I know it's not fair to list and criticize a beer with such a small exposure, so I owe it to the two brewers to give these two beers the courtesy of a full pint or bottle.   In December, I wrote that Iron Fist's The Gauntlet was "shudder-inducing." Manzanita Brewing's Chaotic Double IPA had a fine upfront hop bitterness, but it had a long, nasty aftertaste - the taster that wouldn't end.

As I put the above list together, as well the Good from the previous post, I realized I just didn't have enough beer variety last year.  There are plenty of beers to try, and the craft beer choices keep growing.   I need to get out more in 2012.

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