Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Great White (Wh)Ales

The May 2013 issue of BeerAdvocate magazine had an interesting article called "Beer Baggers" about compiling and pursuing a list of "great beers" to try.  I think anybody who has a serious interest in craft beer has at least considered creating a wish list of beers.

The author used the BeerAdvocate Top 100 (now Top 250), and says he had no idea how difficult it would be.  I know that for me it would be even harder--my wife doesn't drink beer, and is not going to be receptive to me taking time away from what we're doing every time we travel to look for beers I haven't tried.  Buying beers from traders and having them shipped isn't really in the cards either, as I frankly have better things to spend $30 on than a single bottle of beer.

There are problems with this approach beyond cost, as well--it is likely to contain beers that are no longer available, and trendy beers are going to be on it as well, and will likely fall off long before I get to them.

The article describes another aficionado who used BA's "Beers of Fame", which are the top 100 beers that have over 2000 ratings and have been on the site for at least two years.  This might be more approachable, although there's nothing that prevents an old, impossible-to-obtain beer to appear.

Let's see which ones I've had the opportunity to try (beers I've tried appear in bold):
  1. Pliny the Elder (no surprises there)
  2. Heady Topper (I didn't realize this wasn't a new beer--I've only recently heard of it)
  3. Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout)
  4. Founders Breakfast Stout
  5. Bell's Hopslam Ale
  6. Zombie Dust
  7. Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII)
  8. Bourbon County Brand Stout
  9. Trappistes Rochefort 10
  10. The Abyss
  11. Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout
  12. Supplication
  13. Parabola
  14. St. Bernardus Abt 12
  15. Sculpin IPA (I got to try this recently at Fireworks Pizza; I'd heard of it but didn't realize it was so highly rated--though I did thoroughly enjoy it)
  16. Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier
  17. Dreadnaught IPA
  18. Imperial Russian Stout
  19. Troegs Nugget Nectar
  20. Consecration (this isn't good; a the entire top fifth done and I've tried only one)
  21. Ruination IPA (I really wanted to like Arrogant Bastard better, but I had to admit that Ruination was my favorite Stone offering)
  22. La Fin Du Monde
  23. Ten FIDY
  24. AleSmith Speedway Stout
  25. Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock
  26. Founders Imperial Stout
  27. Peche Mortel (Imperial Stout Au Cafe)
  28. 90 Minute IPA
  29. Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout
  30. Chimay Grande Reserve (Blue) (One of the first Belgians I tried, and one I really loved.)
  31. Double Jack (haven't tried it, but Firestone Walker will be at the Northern Virginia BrewFest next weekend, and I'm hoping they bring it)
  32. Blind Pig IPA (anyone else losing count of the number of Russian River offerings on here?)
  33. Furious
  34. Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter
  35. Two Hearted Ale (given that the label looked like a box store store-brand label, I was blown away by Bell's.)
  36. Duvel
  37. Double Bastard Ale
  38. Founders Backwoods Bastard
  39. Trappistes Rochefort 8
  40. Schneider Weisse Tap 6 Unser Aventinus
  41. IPA (India Pale Ale)
  42. Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald Porter
  43. Alpha King Pale Ale
  44. Westmalle Trappist Tripel
  45. Dark Lord Imperial Stout
  46. Hop Rod Rye
  47. Founders Porter
  48. Choklat (I can probably (hopefully?) pick this one up relatively easily--I see Southern Tier all over the place.)
  49. Union Jack India Pale Ale
  50. Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout
  51. Green Flash West Coast I.P.A.
  52. A Little Sumpin' Sumpin' Ale
  53. Burton Baton
  54. Founders Double Trouble
  55. Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale
  56. Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout
  57. Terrapin Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout
  58. Arrogant Bastard Ale
  59. Racer 5 India Pale Ale
  60. Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale
  61. Maharaja
  62. Trois Pistoles
  63. Yeti Imperial Stout
  64. Flower Power India Pale Ale
  65. Hop Stoopid
  66. Founders Red's Rye PA (the first RyePA on the list?  Wow.)
  67. Gumballhead
  68. Tripel Karmeliet
  69. Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale
  70. Orval Trappist Ale
  71. Bell's Expedition Stout
  72. Gulden Draak (Dark Triple)
  73. Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA
  74. Sierra Nevada Bigfood Barleywine Style Ale
  75. Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout
  76. Palo Santo Marron
  77. Hennepin (Farmhouse Saison)
  78. Sierra Nevada Hoptimum Imperial IPA
  79. Maudite
  80. Chocolate Stout
  81. Black Butte Porter
  82. Northern Hemisphere Harvest Wet Hop Ale
  83. Founders Centennial IPA
  84. Samuel Smith's Imperial Stout
  85. Saison Dupont
  86. Jai Alai IPA
  87. Miles Davis' Bitches Brew (Interesting--this is one of the "collaboration" beers I was looking for for an earlier post, but I couldn't remember.)
  88. Ommegang (Abbey Ale)
  89. Allagash White (is this the first witbier on the list?)
  90. Shakespeare Oatmeal Stout
  91. Three Philosophers Belgian Style Blend (Quadrupel)
  92. World Wide Stout)
  93. Hercules Double IPA
  94. 60 Minute IPA
  95. Hop Devil Ale
  96. Delirium Tremens
  97. Chimay Premiere (Red)
  98. Smuttynose IPA "Finest Kind"
  99. Anchor Porter (huh.  Their porter made it, but their flagship--Steam--didn't, nor did any of the others.)
  100. Storm King Stout
I was hoping after that slow start (only one tried of the top 20) that I would find that I'd had mostly moderately-great beers, but I really didn't find that. Score: 15/100.  That's an F by any scale.  I'll have to get to work.

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