Beers in Review: Best Beer Week Ever!

Today I have three beers that are all over the place, style-wise, and are some of the most dynamic beers I've ever tried. This will include one of a few upcoming beers from Lagunitas, thanks to the magic of a local tap takeover.

But before we get into that, let's start with Fuego del Otono by Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales. It pours a deep, dark golden color, and while listed as a saison or beire de garde, at its soul this is a funky sour ale. Lemon notes are present, as is a hint of grapefruit. The root of this beer is a mighty Belgian funkiness that persists throughout the entire sip and even strengthens as it warms. I also got an aftertaste of lemon rind. I enjoyed this beer, but after about 3/4ths of a glass the warming funkiness combined with the sour notes overwhelmed me a bit.

Next up is Sumatra Mountain Brown from Founders Brewing Company. "Sumatra" is referring to the Indonesian island that provides a considerable amount of the coffee we drink today. Pouring a very dark brown with a light tan head, I drew a roasted coffee aroma (the descriptors that came to my mind were "mighty" or "hefty", reflecting how powerful that aroma was). This beer has plenty of roasty and earthy flavors along with straight up coffee, especially in the aftertaste and when breathing out after drinking. I also detected a mild amount of chocolate and some moderate coffee bitterness. A tremendous beer.

Finally, The Waldos' Special Ale by Lagunitas Brewing Company. This is a TRIPLE IPA that pours a deep gold leaning towards copper color and has a good amount of body. Lagunitas describes it as the "dankest and hoppiest beer" they brew, and it delivers. Powerful aromas of dank grapefruit and grapefruit rind. Flavors are similar, but also include a little bit of dark fruit, and a little bit of hop bite as well as a citrus hop aftertaste. Considering the ABV (11.5%), the booziness stays in the background fairly well, only pushing forward a little bit as it warms up.

It's a fairly rare occurrence to have such a trio of high quality and highly regarded beers in the span of a week. This may have been my best beer week ever.