COVID-19 Corona Virus greetings to all you beer lovers out there. Since we’re all but quarantined in our homes right now, I though you could all use some St. Patrick’s Day cheer to break up the monotony. Here are reviews of two excellent limited release beers. They’re expensive and hard to find, but worth the expense and the trouble. Please read responsibly!
Endless Ending: Anchorage Brewing Co., Anchorage, AK. 15.5% ABV.
This beer is a Barleywine/Imperial Stout blend aged for 18 months in Woodford Reserve Bourbon barrels and released annually by Anchorage Brewing Co. Yes, I know that seems like an odd combination (barleywine and stout), but it really works, so hats off to Anchorage Brewing Co.
Endless Ending pours black with a ¼” cocoa colored head that persists for a couple of minutes, then fades to a substantial (¼”) ring around the perimeter. The aroma is sweet bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, caramel, dark fruit, cherry and brown sugar.
The flavor is very sweet – sweet dark chocolate, dark fruit (plums), chocolate liqueur, chocolate covered cherry, brown sugar and caramel. The alcohol content is quite high, but is not detected in the flavor; however, it warms the back of the throat as soon as it is swallowed. The aftertaste is sweet chocolate and bourbon. The texture is velvety smooth with thick a body and low carbonation.
As Endless warms, the bourbon becomes more prevalent – the vanilla and bourbon are more noticeable in the aroma and flavor – but the dark fruit (plum, cherry) is even more pronounced. There is a nice note of brown sugar and toffee in the aftertaste.
Barleywine and Imperial Stout is an unusual blend. The sweetness of the Barleywine dominates over the Imperial Stout. There are no coffee notes at all – it’s all about the sweet! However, it’s so complex and rich that it is not cloying or unpleasant. One is invited to take sip after sip.
Savor Endless Ending for dessert; no need for Black Forest cake. I ate a Godiva dark chocolate covered creamy caramel while drinking this. Believe it or not, the beer was sweeter. The experience is similar to drinking a port wine. At no point does the alcohol show up in the flavor, but its effect really hits hard.
Coconut Edition Barrel Aged B-Bomb (2019 Release): Fremont Brewing Co., Seattle, WA. 13.2% ABV.
Fremont Brewing calls B-Bomb an “Imperial Winter Ale” but I would describe it as an Imperial Stout. B-Bomb is an annual “Limited Release” bourbon barrel aged ale. This version features toasted coconut.
B-Bomb Coconut pours jet black with a ¼” dark beige head that fades immediately to a thin ring. The aroma is sweet but roasty, semi-sweet chocolate and brown sugar, with just a hint of coconut (you really have to concentrate to pick up the coconut on the nose).
The flavor . . . ah, there’s the coconut! Semi-sweet dark chocolate predominates, with toasted coconut and brown sugar represented. The best description is: CHOCOLATE, CHOCOLATE, CHOCOLATE, with a touch of coconut and brown sugar to give it some complexity. The semi-sweet chocolate flavor fades to a sweet chocolate (milk chocolate) in the aftertaste, with a bit of coconut. The carbonation level is very low, giving this beer a thick viscous body with a silky mouthfeel.
As B-Bomb warms, the coconut becomes a bit more pronounced up front. Mid-palate, the coconut really starts to shine, and carries through to the aftertaste, but it’s still not a liquid Mounds bar (like Strange Addiction – Coconut).
This is a high alcohol beer, but at no time is the alcohol detected in the aroma or flavor. Where are they hiding it?
B-Bomb Coconut Edition is really, really good beer. What a treat!
Both of these beers are expensive – especially Endless Ending – but are definitely worth the price. So, go now and indulge yourself if you can still find these rare ones for sale.
Well, that’s all I have to offer for now folks. I wish each of you a fun and Corona Virus free St. Patrick’s Day. Now go have some alcohol*.
*Alcohol kills germs, including virus. The more alcohol you drink, the more germs you will kill and the healthier you will be.