Last week I posted on a few beers I tried this summer that I didn't care for, or that I thought came up short. This post highlights three summer standouts, and like the earlier post will be more impression-based than an in depth review of each beer. I put the three beers in no particular order, as I thought all were outstanding.
Trippel Tonnellerie. I have only seen this beer in one location, at a Whole Foods north of Los Angeles, and snapped-up the last bottle. I grab when I see "Bruery" and "Trippel" on a label. I could not even find information on The Bruery's website about this beer. That is too bad, because I thought this his beer was excellent. It was velvet smooth with a prominent Belgian yeast profile, noticeable fruity esters (tropical fruits and melon), and a pervasive dash of sweetness. The Bruery creates some complex, hard to drink beers, but I'd slug through five of its difficult concoctions to find one gem like Trippel Tonnellerie.
Stone Brewing's Bastard In The Rye. Wow! It is only word I can think of
to describe this ramped-up, rye ale that was aged for five months in Templeton Rye Whiskey barrels. I don't know what Templeton Rye Whiskey barrels are but they sound impressive. The beer's bottle size is a manageable 500 ml and it comes with a cork and cage. I tasted charred oak from the barrels, spice from the rye and - with a 10% abv - booze, in this complex Arrogant Bastard derivative. Bastard in the Rye is a delicious, forced-sip burner. I never thought much about barrel aged beers before but I'm rethinking this misguided omission. Be ready for a shock when you taste this beer; a pleasant, slip-into-your-happy-place shock, but a jolt all the same.
Sock Knocker IPA. It's the best IPA I tried this summer, edging out Stone's Collective Distortion collaboration double IPA by a hop cone (although Societe's just-released Jackeroo may have them both beat). Sock Knocker is technically a double IPA, but at 8.5% abv it drinks more like an IPA to me than a big Dorado-style double IPA. This beer was plenty hoppy, but had a roundness with its malts and sweetness that worked throughout the whole bottle. Sock Knocker is a special release, so it's worth trying to find, if you still can.