There are so many communities of beer lovers in the world, that you can't fully participate in all of them -- I do my best to keep current with beer events I can walk to from my house in Southeast Portland. One worthy community is the group of beer aficionados that has coalesced around the magazine Beer Advocate and its well-organized website. Beer Advocate's motto is "Respect Beer" -- you better not argue with that. The website holds thousands of thoughtful reviews of craft beers from around the world.
The BA community has also spawned a culture of beer trading, allowing a wonderful cross-pollination of zymurgical culture as people ship beer across the artificial boundaries of bureaucracy. My crippling fear of the post office keeps me from participating in such activities, but this past weekend I was lucky enough to go to an imperial stout tasting at Brian and Sharon's house, fueled partially by Brian's impressive beer cellar, partially by contributions from Brian's local acquaintances from Beer Advocate.
Here are some of the amazing stouts opened at Brian's on Saturday (most of them unavailable in Oregon):
- Brooklyn Brewing Black Ops: big and good
- Skagit River Trumpeter: malty goodness
- Avery Mephistopheles: 16% awesome
- Southern Tier Imperial Oat (2007): smooth and malty
- Schlafly (St. Louis) Imperial Stout (2006): flat but rich and tasty
- Voodoo Black Magick: heavy whisky dark stout -- nice but too much
- Goose Island Bourbon County: nice, smooth and strong
- Terrapin Beer Coffee Oatmeal: good and coffeeish
- Bell's Expedition Stout: very nice
- Three Floyd's Dark Lord (2008): big, sweet, minute-long finish
- Dark Lord (2006): same but darker flavor
- Port Brewing Old Viscosity (2007): stouty and delicious -- awesome
Now I need to make it to one of Ezra's tastings...