I do not like lambics. I want to get that out of the way up front. I do like a flavored beer from time to time. Since we're having an unofficial beer week here at Hangry Central, I'd like to share. Bianca and I went to Lush Wines recently. Well, not that recently, because I'm a bit of a beer horder. She helped me pick out a couple of curious brews: Hitachino Nest Commemorative Ale 2009 and Founders Rubeus. We gravitated towards the beer case in a wine shop, because we're a couple of classy dames.
One of my pals, a well known lambic lover, saw me carrying the bottles away and told me she found the Rubeus disappointing. That only strengthened my resolve to like it. I don't know that I'd buy a suitcase of it, but it makes a nice after dinner beer. It looks like a rose in the glass, but tastes like a good beer with a handful raspberries thrown in. None of that syrupy sweetness found in a lambic.
The Hitachino Nest was a revelation. It's spicy and complex and has an owl on the bottle. How could a girl not love that? The label reveals that Commemorative Ale is brewed with vanilla, coriander, orange peel, nutmeg, and cinnamon. In other words, everything involved in making a kick ass batch of Christmas cookies.
The third flavored beer on my tasting list was a bit of an accident. It followed me home from a tasting at the liquor warehouse around Christmas 2007. Beers, like beaujolais, are best drunk young. I'd forgotten most of a six pack of Sam Adams Cherry Ale at the back of the fridge. Feeling thirsty and broke, I decided to pop one open. Wow. A year in the fridge definitely improved this cherry and wheat ale, bringing the cherry to the front with no skunky aftertaste. It's not bad fresh, but definitely improves with age.