Seasonal palate is a real thing. Of course, there will be those of us that insist on drinking lagers and rosé all year long (and more power to ya!) but when the weather turns, so often do our tastes for food and drink.
This month we're celebrating sweater weather with some high alcohol warmers: you'll notice a heavy Belgian presence, whether that's in origin or style.
The one odd duck is a similarly strong IPA for the hopheads, from one of our favorite California breweries. Time to get cozy!
Knee Deep Brewing Splurge Imperial IPA
Treat Yo Self!
California-based Knee Deep Brewing is a classic craft beer success story. What started as a small, family run contract brewing operation in Lake Tahoe, CA has expanded to a well-established 40 barrel operation out of Auburn. Their cheeky and referential labels have gotten them into some legal hot water, but their consistent product and festival hardware has helped them expand and thrive.
Just in time for PFD season comes their exuberant Splurge Imperial IPA, a decadently dank and tropical double IPA with herbaceous notes and just enough bitterness on the finish and mid-palate.
Brewery Ommegang Bourbon Barrel-Aged Three Philosophers
Wise Men Still Seek Good Beer
Brewery Ommegang's Three Philosophers is considered by many to be a modern classic of the Belgian style (and deservedly so), and club members may remember their excellent Wine Barrel-Aged version. 2019 sees them experimenting now with Bourbon Barrels, adding a complex and delicious new wrinkle to this venerable sipper.
Oak and cherry shows off on the nose, while the cherry notes continue on the palate along with vanilla, oak and warming alcohol on the dry finish.
Brewery Ommegang Double Barrel Dubbel 2019
Dubbel, Dubbel, Toil And Trouble
This month we're double dipping with New York-based (but Belgian-inspired) Brewery Ommegang; we think these two dark ales will be ideal pairings for chilly autumn nights. Another 2019 release doubles down on the barrel aging: they took their spiced Belgian Dubbel and aged it in both brandy and bourbon barrels, resulting in a shockingly quaffable ale (considering the high ABV).
We couldn't think of a better time to drink this than a chilly autumn evening: this release is smooth and malty, with oak barrel, clove and cinnamon spice subtly intermingling.
Brouwerij De Halve Maan Straffe Hendrick Quadrupel
Moon Half Full, Glass To The Brim
Belgian brewers De Halve Maan have been around since the 16th century, but the Maes family officially took over in 1856. The brewery has survived two World Wars, and they've been on the forefront of brewing innovation in Bruges for well over a century now. We're just touching on their history - they have a whole museum dedicated to it.
Another cool weather sipper, this Quad is smooth and rich, with a dry roasty quality that really ups the drinkability.