Beers in Review: Heavy Hitters

I've got some big beers queued up for this review, so let's get started.

We start off with Thomas Creek Brewery and their Bourbon Barrel-Aged Quad, using Four Roses Bourbon barrels. This beer pours a deep brown and is quite hazy. The leading flavor is a whole lot of sugar, almost to the point of being sickly sweet, with notes of chocolate and dark fruits. Also, there was something in there I couldn't quite identify, flavor-wise, but it was almost making my lips pucker, as if there were some kind of sour or bitter note, but I detected neither. I would imagine such a note would speak loud and clear against the sweet notes, unless they were buried incredibly deep by that sweetness. Checking in at 10% ABV, the boozy note also pushes pretty hard. Despite those last couple of things, this was a damn tasty beer.

Next up is Sacred Heartier Double IPA from Columbia's own Conquest Brewing Company. Another big time beer, but it a totally different way from the Quad, obviously. The beer is a pretty orange color and quite clear. It is possible my palate was a bit skewed from the Quad, but this DIPA wasn't as sweet/boozy as I find most in the style to be. I was not bothered by this at all, as I enjoyed the solid hop presence that brought pine notes and a hint of citrus to the flavor profile. I haven't always been big on Conquest--I find them to be inconsistent, generally--but this was quite the hit for me. I just hope it's the same the next time I try it.

Finally, from Founders Brewing Company is the world-class Breakfast Stout. It's very nearly pitch black in color, with a mild boozy note (ABV 8+%) and some dark fruit. The Stout also brought a little bit of coffee and a slight-but-delightful chocolate brownie note that came through in the end of the drinking experience AND EVEN MORESO in the aftertaste. This beer has a considerable reputation, and it stood up to that reputation in my eyes.

So, this finally marks the end of all my beer reviews from the Craft and Draft Octoberfest party. I tried to save the best for last, but the truth is that virtually everything I had at this event was excellent. I look forward to this being an annual event curated by the great guys at C & D!