This isn't exactly Fort Sumter, but the first shots of this "civil" war have been fired by Shaun. As his pathetic excuse for a football team prepares for the beatdown of the year on Lake Michigan on Sunday, at the hands of the mighty Bears, Shaun dials things up by pronouncing the greatness of the only thing his perpetually rainy city has to offer: beer. This is a worthy attempt, I graciously concede, but one doomed for failure, as demonstrated below the jump.
The Full Sail Top Sail Porter is indeed delicious. I explored a bottle of it last November and it treated me well. The smoke, the nuttiness, the caramel, chocolate, and bourbon notes all combine for a rich experience in this black beer with a silky mouthfeel. Very nice job, "Seattle." In fact, Chicago does not really make a barrel aged porter that I can think of. Of course, with so much else going on in this city, who has time to embrace every style of beer out there?
Yet, not to be outdone, Chicago offers Three Floyds Brewing's Dark Lord, baby! Yes, it's a stout; but Shaun opened the door for this one by taking a shot at Russian Imperial Stouts. And like the Bears' fierce rushing attack behind Matt Forte will pummel Seattle's sieve of a defensive front, which is more like a "front" for a football team if you catch my drift, I'm plowing through with every czar, Bolshevik, and Rasputin descendant behind me, wielding the ultimate Russian Imperial, baby.
Brewed merely 30 minutes from Chicago, Dark Lord, the most sought after beer in the U.S., emulates the city that dominates its region of origin. It is bold. It is dark. It towers over all surroundings. Dark Lord hits you immediately with those strong coffee and chocolate notes that would make a legion of tatted-up Seattle baristas weep. You are captivated and don't know what to expect.
Why does it feel so right when that first sip of this viscous, rich lush and opaque brew tantalizes the palate with the most complex array of flavors imaginable. Because it is just so perfect. Roasted chocolate, licorice, chocolate covered cherries, molasses, blackberries - all of these descriptors have been used to identify the myriad flavors in this beer. And it changes in character throughout the experience and, when gone, it leaves you pining for more, just like every Seattle girl pines for a Chicago man.
So, good luck, Seattle, to your football team and for coming up with another brew to top the world class Dark Lord.
I'm not even sure you can best the Dreadnaught, another gem in Three Floyd's lineup, the elegantly hopped, grapefruit-odored imperial IPA with perfect balance and a gorgeous, biting but never punishing finish. You'll need an eighth cup of Starbucks burnt granules to top this one, Seattle! After the first quarter it's 21-3. Chi-town!