Creature Comforts Athena Paradiso – A perfectly refreshing brew for chilling on the Chattahoochee.
We have had some incredible weather here in Atlanta lately and Creature Comforts of Athens Georgia had perfect timing for their release of the incredibly refreshing Athena Paridiso.
It was a warm 75 degrees and sunny the other day so I packed up the mutts and the kayak; grabbed some cold beers and headed to the Chattahoochee river to enjoy my afternoon. The water was low and moving slow, I paddled up stream so I could casually cruise back down river to my truck. After working up a sweat in the afternoon sun I pulled an Athena Paradiso from my cooler and cracked it open.
The beer was a cold as the water and equally invigorating. This Berliner Weisse style brew is based off Athena but it has tart cherries, raspberries, and cranberry added to it. The underlying tartness of all the berries really integrates perfectly with the flavors of the Berliner Weisse. The aroma of cranberry and cherry really stands out when you pop the top.
Creature Comforts Athena Paradiso
The brew pours an intriguing hazy pink that reminds me of pink lemonade. It has a quickly dissipating head that leaves a touch of lacing. Your palate is immediately hit with piles of tart berries, almost a tart fruit punch thing going on. It has a light body for such a thick looking beer. It finishes clean and crisp with a hint of berries.
I really enjoyed this beer and I hope it becomes a regular item on the production schedule for Creature Comforts.
Skillet Donut Stout on Blood Mountain
Skillet Donut Stout is brewed by Burial in Asheville, NC and has become one of my favorite coffee stouts to enjoy when I can get my hands on it. Being that I’m in Georgia I don’t get my hands on the brew often enough. I took a little trip up to Asheville a couple of weekends ago and scored a 4 pack of the Skillet Donut Stout (should have bought a 100 pack) along with some Bolo Coconut Brown ale. I enjoyed a few pints and played a little corn hole on the breweries back patio.
Recently I headed to north Georgia for a day hike up Blood Mountain and ran in to some unexpected but welcome snow fall. I packed some snacks for myself and my dogs as well as a Skillet Donut Stout for my summit victory beer.
We hiked 2 miles up the mountain and reached the snowy summit; my dogs and I walked into the mountain top shelter to find my beer and jerky while taking a break from the wind. With all the snow and cold wind the Skillet Donut Stout was a perfect compliment to the weather, warming me up with every 8% abv sip. I cracked open the beer and headed back outside to climb up the large boulders for a better view.
Blood Mountain Shelter with Eva the boxer
We hung out for a bit but my Boston Terrier was getting chilly so we shared some jerky and headed back down the mountain.
When you crack open a Skillet Donut Stout you are quickly greeted with substantial aroma of fresh brewed coffee. The brew pours an opaque black with very minimal head and mild lacing on the glass. It smells wonderful but the flavor is even more amazing; the beer bursts with huge coffee flavors trailed by rich dark chocolate notes and a mild sweetness. It has a clean and roasty finish that just begs you to take another sip.
Skillet Donut Stout
Overall this a delicious well balanced brew. The mild sweet cocoa flavor plays very well with the roasted malts and robust coffee flavors. Even at 8% it is really sessionable with no real boozy flavor. I can’t endorse this brew enough, if your in Asheville I highly recommend that you swing by Burial and give it a try.
One whiff and I was hooked on this super sessionable brew. As soon as you crack the top of the can your smacked in the face with a bountiful bouquet of mango deliciousness. Those aromatics are rounded out with a whiff of citrus following all the juicy mango. It pours an unassuming crystal clear golden orange with a light and quickly dissipating head. From the looks of it you would never suspect that there is a huge amount flavor hiding in there. Tasting this brew starts with a burst of mango that leads to flavors of orange peel and bitter mandarin orange. Intermingled among the all the bold fruit flavors are notes pine and lemon that carry you to a lingering mango and citrus finish.
Overall there are tons of aromatics and flavor with out overdoing the mango and fruit flavors. The flavors pleasantly stay with you for a while. I am really looking forward to popping the top on one of these while floating down the river in my kayak on a hot summer day.
“Your hands and feet are mangos, You’re gonna be a genius anyway” – Phish
Stone Crime & Punishment
Where’s the damn fire extinguisher when you need it! Wow. These might be the meanest beers that I have ever come across. I’m not sure what to make of these expensive torture devices that are packaged in wicked looking bottles. Stone caught me off guard with these beers; I was excited to try them, until I did. The Crime is that stone actually bottled this stuff and my Punishment was that I bought two bottles. These beers left me questioning the fortitude of my palate as much as I questioned the psychotic brewery that made them. I like it spicy but no this spicy.
Comparing the heat between these two beers is like eating a ghost pepper and a scotch bonnet pepper and then trying to decide which hurt more. These beers lit me up. Crime was really hot, no question about it. It burned, it made me sweat, and I could breath fire but it wasn’t nearly as hot as Punishment. Smelling the bottle after popping the cap was akin to breathing in a room that has just been freshened up with a few sprays of mace. It had a thick peppery aroma that was complimented by a burning nose and tingly eyes. To be fair there was a bit of sweet bourbon and oak in there somewhere among the forewarning spicy peppery scents. The brews were oaky and rich and seemed to have a lot going on but all that goodness was over shadowed by the devilishly hot peppers. Sipping this beer left me with firey bowels and a hot pepper high like no other. Both beers were aggressivly spicy, like super freaking atomic spicyness. Between five professional beer drinkers we couldn’t finish the two bottles. You’ve been warned, consume this stuff at your own risk.
A bunch of great beers hit the shelves this month and quickly vanished. One of my favorites was Sucks by Lagunitas. It is a highly sought after West Coast IPA that was hard to come by on the east coast.
The hoppy brew pours a crisp clear golden color with a quickly dissipating head. Light pine, herbs, and grapefruit dominate the aroma coming out of the glass. The body is light yet a touch creamy. When you take a sip resinous pine and citrus explode across your palate followed up by a lingering bitterness.
This exquisitely crafted IPA is totally worth hunting down. It is full of flavor and easy to put down. It sucks that it’s so hard to find!
Burnt Hickory Charred Walls of the Damned – Barrel Aged Belgian Quad
Charred Walls of the Fucking Damned is a bourbon barrel aged monster of a quad. Very few are worthy of desecrating the sanctity of this prestigious beer with their feeble mortal pallets. This beer is so bold, powerful, and fucking tasty that you might regret having drank even a sip because all other beers become inferior by comparison. The brew is 13% abv and there is so much flavor and booze in those bottles that I’m surprised they can even contain the decadent liquid. The nose is full of intense bourbony goodness that will kick your olfactory into overdrive. When this liquid gold hits your taste buds your world will never be the same again. Layers of raisins, spice, figs, vanilla, caramel and oak envelop your palate leaving you dumbfounded at the intensity of the delectable flavors you just experienced. As the beer fades off your pallet flavors of vanilla and bourbon still persist in the finish. This is an amazing world class brew that is not to be underestimated. If this beer happens across your path I implore you to destroy it!
Founders Backwoods Bastard
If there is anyone that I’d want to run into in the depths of a dark scary forest it’d be this bastard. Backwoods Bastard is the last seasonal release of the year from Founders Brewing in Grand Rapids Michigan. This brew is available in November and December each year and is a limited production item that you may not find in every store that carries Founders. Backwoods Bastard is a 10.2% abv Imperial Scotch Ale that is aged in bourbon barrels. This beer is kinda like the big brother to Founders Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale that is available year round.
The experience of this beer starts out strong with huge notes of bourbon, oak, and a touch of smokeyness. The aroma is a nice blend of beer and scotch scents. It has a very potent smell that is not to be missed. This mouthwatering nose gets you prepared for the awesome flavors that your palate is about to experience. Upon sipping the brew you’ll notice flavors of toffee, sweet caramel, vanilla, brown sugar, and bourbon. It has a noticeable amount of booze to it as well. This brew is medium bodied and makes for the perfect sipper. Don’t be afraid to let this beer warm up either as the warmer it gets the more complex and robust the flavors get. I really enjoyed it even more by the end of my glass. This is a bold beer that is not for the faint of heart and it might possibly to much for an un-seasoned palate. If you can find this beer I suggest picking up a four pack and taking your taste buds on a boozy adventure. Oh and make sure to stash a bottle away because it ages wonderfully.