First off, happy International Stout Day!
Here's what's been holding me over as we transition into a season of porters, stouts, dark ales, spiced beers, and imperial fill- in- the- blanks:
New Belgium's Trippel is a nice looking beer, and has the smooth mouthfeel of the style. It starts off sweet and fruity and has a spicy finish with a hint of hops. There is a bit of heat from the alcohol. Totally quaffable, but be careful. The 7.8 abv will catch up with you quickly.
New Belgium's Ranger IPA is good, but unremarkable. Plenty of citrus and pine flavors and light on the malt. Very drinkable; a perfect BBQ beer. It's a summer IPA, if that makes any sense.
And then there was Sam Adam's Octoberfest. Meh. It doesn't help that I've never been a huge fan of the style, but this brew was just a little too sweet even for a Marzen. It went down well enough with these sausages though.
Their Scwarzbier, on the other hand, is phenomenal. It has the flavors of a good porter without the heaviness of a porter. I will be picking this up again.
Finally, the Trois Pistoles Unibroue (Quebec). I'm crazy for Belgian beers these days, quite a change from where my tastes were just a year ago. This is a Beligian strong ale, and at 9% abv, its a sipper or you'll be sorry. We have an explosion of flavors here: cherry and other dark fruits, chocolate, cloves, roastiness. Warming alcohol underneath. Sweet as expected, but manages to stay crisp.