Samplesode 12: 2013, Year in Review

IMG_1117There is just too much beer in the world to only taste twice a month. In the spirit of more is better the Blind Tiger podcast team has decided to add samplesodes to the podcast lineup. These mini-episodes will feature only tastings of hopefully unique or exotic beer, often on location to keep your Blind Tiger intake at a more regular interval.

This week the Blind Tiger crew got together to reflect on a year of craft beer drinking.  We took a long look at the year 2013; the good, the bad, the hilarious, and the disappointing.  Though while our critical gaze was sent out over the world of craft beer as we experienced it we did not reserve judgement against ourselves as we attempt to push for a bigger, better, and more inebriated 2014.  We hope you enjoyed sharing our journey as we went from slightly experienced craft beer enthusiasts to hopefully more intermediate ones.

We took a look back at the following topics:

  • The Beers of 2013: the best and the worst we had to drink in 2013.
  • The Events of 2013: the best and the worst beer themed events we attended.
  • The Venues of 2013: the best and the worst places to have a drink that we stopped in at.
  • The Episodes of 2013: the best and the worst episodes as we see it.  We aren’t above self-criticism!
  • The Issues of 2013: the best and the worst of issues facing craft beer.
  • Our General Thoughts on 2013: the best and the worst of this year.
  • Our Thoughts on 2014: what we hope to see in a new year.

Yet we cannot have had a samplesode without sampling a few beers and this was no exception.  While discussing our favorite beers and memories of 2013 we sampled two amazing beers.

The first was Victory’s Red Thunder.  The Red Thunder is essentially a special version of their Baltic Thunder porter that his been aged in wine barrels.  It may seem counterintuitive to take a dark beer like a porter and age it in wine barrels and not the ever so popular bourbon barrels but the effect here is truly transcendent.  Upon its description I was hesitant to try such a concoction fearing competing flavors that created a cacophony of flavor and not harmony.  To my joy I could not have been more wrong in my assumption.  The sweetness of the hint of wine softened an already milder dark beer and transformed it into something that wasn’t quite dark but wasn’t exactly sweet but a deep, rich, and complex beer.  It was delicious from first cold sip to last warm mouthful.  Another highly recommended beer from a great local brewery.

The second was Vermilion Winter Ale from Perennial Artisan Ales.  For those not in the know Perennial Artisan Ales are a small brewery from St. Louis, MO with a strong focus on small batch brewing with an emphasis on using local, seasonal, and organic ingredients to produce the highest quality of hand-crafted beer.  They believe their beers to be nothing but a labor of love and it shows.  The Vermilion Winter Ale is a barley-wine with a bit of a hop kick.  While I am often turned off by a lot of barley-wines thinking they are too potent to truly enjoy this offering from Perennial was more reserved.  While I didn’t truly love it the way I did the Red Thunder I think if you are looking for a more subtle barley-wine for yourself or to ease someone into the style this is a very good offering to try.  While it wasn’t as captivating as our other offering it is something I will be buying again next time that I see it and well worth the hefty price tag.

We hope you enjoyed all the content from us this year at the Blind Tiger Podcast and we look forward to making 2014 as exciting as possible.  Stay tuned!

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