Bring Back Some Beer.

hipsterbeerLast year my wife gave me a bottle of Black Belle Imperial Stout for my birthday. I saved it for a special occasion: this year’s birthday. It aged well–or maybe it didn’t age at all. Let’s just say it tasted fine. Better than fine, really–it was really, really good, but usually I don’t let any beer sit around for that long. Neither does anyone else, as far as I know, since beer isn’t supposed to be aged like wine or whisky, but recently scientists sampled a beer that could be as much as 143 years old. Jon Crouse was scuba diving near Halifax, Nova Scotia in November. In a rainstorm. Sometimes being a glutton for punishment pays off: he found a really old bottle of Alexander Keith’s Beer and now scientists have tasted it. For science, of course.

In spite of the description, or maybe because of it–“a little tree fruit note, a cherry note in there somehow — certainly a lot of sulphur, kind of rotten egg stuff going on” I would try it if I could. Hey, I’ve tried Edmund Fitzgerald Porter. It’s dark and rich, very malty with strong flavors of chocolate and coffee and it gives you a nice sinking feeling.

There’s also the time Jacques Cousteau and his crew found and tried some wine that was approximately 2200 years old. It “tasted disgusting”. Lucky for me I don’t like wine.

In spite of being kind of a beer geek, in case you couldn’t tell, I’ve never tried any of Alexander Keith‘s brews. Maybe I should take a trip north of the border. For science, of course.

 

 

12 Comments

  1. educationalmentorship

    If you ever get to Ontario, never mind the Keith–we have some amazing microbreweries and craft beers!

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Fantastic! I’m a bit of a an unbelievable beer snob so I almost always prefer craft and microbrewed beers to the bigger brands. Of course it’s easy for me to be that way: there are three microbreweries within walking distance of where I work and a store just two blocks away with four refrigerators of nothing but craft beers.
      Of course if they sold Keith down here it would be expensive and prized as an “import”–like Molson’s.

      Reply
  2. cindy dorminy

    My husband brews beer so he would probably agree with you.

    Edmund Fitzgerald Porter gave you a ‘sinking’ feeling. I see what you did there. Good one.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I’d like to meet your husband. Anyone who brews their own beer has my admiration. My wife and I tried brewing our own several years ago. The first batch–a stout–was good. The second batch, a brown ale, didn’t turn out so well. Something funky got into the bottles. And I’d just rather let someone else do all the work.

      Reply
  3. Gina W.

    I noticed that the alcohol content on that Black Belle was 10-plus percent. What’s not to like? Ha. I also liked the article about the 143 year old beer and the comment of one of the tasters, “I’m just glad it wasn’t pee”. That’s a sentiment I think we can all share about anything we might drink.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Yeah, Black Belle also comes in a 22-oz bottle so it’s basically like drinking a small bottle of wine–smooth, dark, luscious wine with a strong bourbon flavor and subtle hints of vanilla, mocha, and caramel. And I read in an earlier article that the guy let the bottle rest for four months to draw the salt out of the cork. I guess if it had been pee there would have been a lot more salt in it.

      Reply
  4. Tripping

    That’s a great idea. There are great beers in Canada.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I’m not surprised there are a lot of great beers in Canada. Prohibition here shut down a lot of good ones.

      Reply
  5. Margot

    We went out to dinner for my son’s 15th birthday over the weekend, and he asked if he could try his dad’s beer (Stella Artois). He took a sip, grimaced, shook his head and asked how we could like something like that. I tried to explain the concept of acquired taste, but he wasn’t buying it. It *is* pretty amazing that we can get past how awful beer tastes initially all the way to where we become snobs and refuse to drink anything from Milwaukee and/or that comes from a can. In Kentucky they make a beer that has bourbon in it–Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale. It’s served in a glass that’s a lot like a brandy snifter, is very strong but tasty, and packs quite a punch. Have you ever tried it? I’d be interested in your opinion.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Like your son I didn’t understand the appeal of beer when I was fifteen. How I became a beer snob is another story, but I’m very familiar with Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale. And a big fan of it. One night I was at a pub in Cincinnati with some friends and I ordered Bourbon Barrel Ale, which the place had on tap. Everyone tried a sip and when the waiter came to ask if we wanted another round everyone pointed at me and said, “I’ll have what he’s having.”
      It’s really a nice dessert drink.

      Reply
  6. Ann Koplow

    When I used to drink alcohol, beer was my drink of choice. I preferred the Belgium beers, especially those made by monks. Those beers tasted spiritual and delicious, with a hint of chocolate. Indeed, my ex-husband and I featured those at our wedding, in the 1980s. I’ve never liked wine, Chris, but I like this post.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Ah, Trappist ales are wonderful. I hope this post was almost as tasty.

      Reply

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