My “Holy Grail” beer…

I posted a link yesterday to a blog I wrote several years ago about my search and trip to try Wesvleteren 12. A beer held in such high reverence among beer lovers the world over, that it remains rightly or wrongly, firmly pinned either on, or near the best beer in the world rank on Ratebeer.

If you took the time to read it, you’ll perhaps have got a little feel of the excitement level I reached as my goal was reached. One or two of you may have thought perhaps I’d got some Westy’s in, sadly not, and if you thought that I apologise. There was though some actual forethought into doing so, as sort of a link into this.

You see, there was another beer. One that despite searching year after year after year, always eluded me.  I suppose you could call it my holy grail in beer form, Firestone Walker Parabola..

For six or seven years I’ve been trying to get hold of a bottle, I’d ask friends working at the Great British Beer Festival to scour the American beer bars, search websites, speciality beer shops home and abroad, I’d even looked at beer trading with folks in the USA, all with no luck. Then, in January 2017 I got my first opportunity. I was in Barcelona at the world famous Beercab, when I was told there was a bottle next door in their shop. I was round there like a shot, seeing it immediately behind the counter. I asked the price, “Eighty Euros” the reply, and despite my eagerness, I decided I just couldn’t justify that whilst on holiday and so walked away. It may have been an older vintage, I don’t know, in my haste I forgot to ask, but it didn’t matter anyway as it was sold five minutes later.

But my friends, there is a happy ending as today I have some. Yes, that’s correct, some. Tomorrow (Thursday 25/5/17), a small amount of this legendary beer will grace the shelves of Otter’s Tears, and of all the fantastic beers that I have brought into the shop, none have excited me quite as much as this.

( In fact, I really don’t know why I’m even letting some of “my precious” go.. 😉 )

The really strange thing is, I don’t know how good it is either. As despite having it scream drink me for five days I have so far resisted temptation. You’re going to have to just take a punt on my judgement, that and it’s 100/100 score and world Top 50 Ratebeer status..

Parabola – Russian Imperial Stout

March 25, 2017 Release

“Parabola is a beer of darkness and immensity, a barrel-­aged beast that is routinely ranked as one of the top beers in the world.  This Russian imperial oatmeal stout is aged for a full year in  Heaven Hill barrels, developing flavours of rich, chewy roasted malts, charred oak and bourbony vanilla. Parabola bares its teeth with its impenetrable black hue and soaring alcohol, yet its bite remains refined with a silky, balanced finish.”

It goes without saying that this will be in extremely short supply and if you are lucky enough to get it, strictly one bottle per customer..

For me the wait is nearly over, on this search at least. Next on the hit list, Cuvee de Tomme from The Lost Abbey, once never exported, more recently seen here in the UK. So here’s hoping I don’t have to wait quite as long for that one.

What’s on your hit list, maybe we can help? Let me know….

Cheers

Phil

Mikkeller..

Kicking off April in fine style, we’ve had a bit of a Mikkeller thing happen, with some absolutely cracking beers hitting Otter’s Tears shelves. Big beastly stouts feature heavily, as do barrel aged beers, with a smidgen of sour, and a big juicy helping of Double IPA.

Beers with brewery tasting notes where available below, read on..

MBCC SpontanYuzu – This years MBCC official festival beer, SpontanYuzu, is brewed with zesty and delicious yuzu & aged in Oak Barrels. A cloudy yellow sour with a fresh citrusy character that holds 7,7% ABV. Ten cans have been marked Lucky Bastard. Should you be so fortunate to find one of these (look at the bottom), it means you are going to MBCC with a Pink (all session) wristband – free of charge.

18th Street Grapefruit Dead DIPA – 18th Street Brewery and Mikkeller collaborated and went all in on this big juicy DIPA, big on Amarillo Hops, with Grapefruit Juice and Grapefruit Zest additions.

Nelson Sauvin Brut Chardonnay Barrel Aged 9% – “This stunning Biére Brut has been one of our proudest creations. It’s a glorious combination of champagne yeast, brettanomyces and finished in Austrian white wine barrels. The nelson is dry, sweet, vinous and pure decadence.”

Nelson Sauvin Chardonnay Barrel Aged (750 bottle) 9% – A remarkable beer brewed with Nelson Sauvin hops, fermented with Champagne yeast and aged in white wine casks on Brettanomyces and enzymes creating a super dry beer with a strong white wine character and complex notes of grapes, gooseberry and oak.

Nelson Sauvin Champagne Barrel Aged 9% (750 bottle) – No tasting notes available at the time of writing this, but basically see above for the base beer, only with Champagne barrel characteristics..

Black Imperial Stout 16.1% – ‘Brewed as the strongest beer in Scandinavia’. This imperial stout was introduced  a couple of years ago as the craziest, wildest, and strongest beer from Mikkeller. Eventually, Black Fist Ran over its little brother and easily took the title. A very strong imperial stout brewed for Mikkeller at De Proef in Belgium. Made with roasted barley, dark brown sugar and Champagne yeast.

San Diego Beer Geek Brunch Weasel (can) 10.9% – *Formerly brewed by Mikkeller at Nøgne Ø, Norway, now at Lervig, Norway.
This imperial Oatmeal stout is brewed with one of the world’s most expensive coffees, made from droppings of weasel-like civetcats. The fussy Southeast Asian animals only eat the best and ripest coffee berries.Enzymes in their digestive system help to break down the bean. Workers collect the bean-containing droppings for Civet or Weasel Coffee. The exceedingly rare Civet Coffee has a strong taste and an even stronger aroma.

Brunch Weasel was originally brewed with and named for the coffee beans culled from civet droppings, but this take was made using coffee roasted at home by Mikkeller San Diego head brewer Bill Batten and his wife. Other versions used beans provided by East Village roaster Dark Horse Coffee.

San Diego Beer Geek Breakfast 7.5% – Oatmeal Stout with Dark Horse Coffee. A variation on the version below, canned and clearly brewed in San Diego

Beer Geek Breakfast 7.5% – An oatmeal stout with 25.0% oat-based ingredients and a nice touch of gourmet coffee. A beer that goes extremely well with breakfast. Brewed for Mikkeller by the amazing guys at Lervig.

Beer Geek Desert 11% – “From the beer geek breakfast series, the beer that really put Mikkeller on the map. We added cocoa and vanilla to the french press coffee trick, creating a whole new dimension to the beer that are loved by freaks and geeks worldwide. It’s dark, dangerous, sweet and incredibly tasty as you would expect, but most of all; it’s ready to conquer your breakfast table routines.

 

Some serious stuff right there I think you’ll agree. If you check each beers respective score out on Ratebeer, they all rank at between 97/100 to 100/100, so definitely no duffers.

But don’t take Ratebeerians word for it, come try them for yourself.

Cheers