No More Rules, but the Beer Continues

14 01 2012

If you don’t know by now, I won’t be limiting myself to just one beer a week (thankfully!) nor will there be anymore numbered posts. Hopefully, you haven’t realized how long it’s taken me to write my first review of 2012. I’d love to sit here and make a long list of excuses, but that’s just not (always) my style.

With that said, part of the reason that I haven’t gotten around to this post is because I’m still working out details on the next chapter. Actually, I’m still trying to figure out what the next chapter is. Or if there even is a next chapter. But those details don’t really matter. One thing that I do know, is that there are a lot of beers out there (and a lot in my pantry) that I need to drink and then tell you about.

The first of those beers came when I was still in Arizona with my in-laws. I knew I wanted to make one more trip to the local A.J.’s especially since we were there on January 1, the first day my self-imposed rules expired. Before I get into my first reviewed beer of 2012, I wanted to let you know that my first, official “non-Fifty-Two Bottles” beer was a Velvet Merlin from Firestone Walker. And boy, was it good!

Unfortunately, I can’t say the same thing about the bottle of Mountain Standard I drank from Odell Brewing. I snagged this beer the moment I saw it  not only because it was a black IPA, but a DOUBLE black IPA. Given my fond feelings for this beautiful marriage of styles, I just had to give it a try.

Maybe I had too high of hopes going into it, but I just wasn’t impressed by what came out of this bottle. Those hopes got even higher when it poured as dark as it did. I was giddy with excitement leading up to my first sip. What followed, however, was a fairly tasteless beer.

This really surprised me because every black IPA I have had to date has been nothing but an explosion of flavor. Odell’s description lists a slightly hoppy nose and a bitter taste, but I didn’t experience either. Maybe I got a bad bottle. I don’t know. The only other Odell beer I’ve had, Saboteur, was really good. I don’t know what happened with this one.

After just two non-“Thumb’s Up” in all of 2011, my first beer of 2012 gets a “Side Thumb.” The only reason why it was spared the dreaded “Thumb’s Down” is because I finished the whole bottle. So, I mean, how bad could it have been?

One last note on the start of 2012 before I wrap this post up. There was a lot of dialogue amongst my friends and family as to how I would respond to the end of my New Year’s resolution. So far, I’d say I’m faring quite well and haven’t gone overboard on drinking beer. With that said, I’m definitely taking advantage of “free drinking” and have enjoyed a handful of beers. So far, my favorites have been a few Velvet Merlins as well as my first Arrogant Bastard in about nine months. And I haven’t even opened my pantry yet…

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