|Beer suggestion to make up for a post-less day by Ben.|
To apologize for having my first post free day of 2012 and breaking my New Year's resolution to post every single day in the new year on Thursday when I was unable to post, I want to give you all something to seek out this weekend. It isn't going to be easy to find but if you can, you should definitely give this beer a try. It's Alaskan Brewing Co.'s "Alaskan Double Black IPA". Not sure I've ever had a beer quite like it. I am not usually an IPA guy as I am not into the super hoppy beers as my counterparts, Ken and Derrick are. This isn't your usual IPA though.
Last night, Mrs. Duke and I headed to one of our favorite dinner spots in Maple Grove, MN, 3 Squares. It has been brought up before on STOB, for it's wide array of tap beers, great happy hour, and good food. As we had a bit of a wait when we arrived, I decided to Nikola Pekovic style bull rush my way up to the bar and order the two of us a drink. Mrs. Duke was in a wine mood, but I was scanning the taps to see if there was something that struck my fancy. Per usual with me, if I see an Alaskan Brewing Co. tap, I am going to probably go with it.
In Minnesota, Alaskan is relatively new to our beer scene and is really now just starting to show up at a lot of the bars across the state. This is thrilling to me as I've yet to find an Alaskan brew I don't like. I asked the bartender what the Alaskan was they had on tap, expecting it to be a brew I'd had in the past, the classic Amber, their White or their Winter. Instead he said it was their Black IPA. This threw me for a loop having never heard of it, and I ordered it instantly.
First sight and it lives up to it's name, it's black. First thing that hits you when you take a sip (at least for me) was that it had heavy coffee and chocolate tones to start, but then once that malty, stout like savory-ness subsided on your palate it transitioned into a strong hoppiness that then stayed on your tongue leaving you with citrus flavors and bitterness. Don't take that bitterness for a bad thing, it wasn't overwhelming as I find some IPA's to be with the loads of hops. It is a tough beer to describe, and it is also tough to find. 3 Squares was bragging it up that they were one of the very few bars in the state to have it on tap. Looking on the Alaskan Brewing Co. website you learn that it is part of their "Pilot Series" of limited edition specialty beers coming from their Juneau, Alaska brewery.
I suggest if you live in the area to head to Maple Grove tonight, either from 10 am-6 pm or 9-12 pm and try a pint of this delicious brew. You won't be disappointed and you'll only be out 2 bucks per tap beer during their happy hour...that is any tap beer they have and their list is nice. Bring your lil lady and if she isn't into beer as much, martinis and lady drinks are half off.
Here are the stats on the Double Black IPA:
Original Gravity: 1.087
Alc/Vol %: 8.5%
Bitterness: 70 IBU
Color: 102 SRM
Don't get all those stats? Who cares? It's damn good beer with the STOB stamp of approval! That is all you need to know. Go forth and drink responsibly...and as Derrick would say "stay thirsty my friends."