First and hopefully not last of the multitude of beers in Los Angeles under the Black is Beautiful banner of stouts that I hope to enjoy. . The Smog City version has a slightly burnt / roasted caramel aroma. Really nice chicory and chocolate mix of flavors. Nice balance of the two competing flavors. Has a campfire smokey essence to it as well as being ver smooth. Would pair really well with a sweet, milk chocolate.
This month the Best of battle boiled down to two styles. IPA vs the barrel. Four beers were in contention and placing just out of medal Reach was Infinite Wishes from Smog City. This was a luxurious beer and the ABV was hidden behind that so well that the chocolate and bourbon had the forefront to themselves.
Bronze goes to Firestone Walker and their latest Luponic Distortion. #16. A swirling mix of peach and pear with just the right amount of balancing bitterness. The other IPA comes from Bearded Iris. I had never heard of them but Jimmy at the Glendale Tap pointed them out to me and Homestyle IPA was fantastic. Big aroma. Hops everywhere but no palate wrecker.
Which brings us to the winner….
Firestone Walker’s Cherry Barrel Blossom. This was such a layered beer. A touch of smoke here, Cherry note there, salt perking up the beer. Then the final barrel impact just made for a fantastic beer.
Pairs well with uncertainty and best enjoyed six feet apart is the tag line for the latest hazy from Smog City, Strange Times. Combining Cryo Amarillo, Ekuanot and Citra hops, it is beer one of five with the remainder being, an IPA, Hazy DIPA, DIPA and lastly a TIPA.
Smog City follows up Amarilla Gorilla with a new Wood Cellar beer, Aztec Currency. Starting with a brown ale that is soured then Barrel-aged in Ted wine barrels, then a spicy kick of cinnamon and chiles along with some vanilla. Sounds like a nice warming mixture.
I am a little hesitant about talking about future beer events but hopefully, Smog City will be able to get fully “Canimalized” come May 9th. Laurie and Porter always throw a fun party with loads of rare and fun beers. So mark this on your calendar.
If you have not treated yourself to one of the wild Wood Cellar beers from Smog City then you are missing something. But you are in luck because a new beer, Night Howler, is now out. Here is how they describe this new offering: “This dark farmhouse ale showcases subtle smokiness rounded out with juicy, ripe fig with a dry and pleasantly funky finish.”
I am ever so slowly draining my cellar of beer and a weekend back, I decided to pull up two beers from Smog City. One from 2014 and one from 2015.
Goldie (2014) pours a deep amber color. This beer lets you know it’s big but not in an aggressive way. Cheeks aren’t warm but you can feel the effects of the beer. The bourbon character melds with the strong ale equally. Hint of pineapple and caramel. Slight burn with each sip. A little tiny touch of honey sweetness leads to a dry finish.
Infinite Wishes (2015) Pours dark black but not much head to it. The barrel has left this building. There is some red wine aged notes. Odd that a 2014 strong ale with less ABV in Goldie lasted longer. This may have turned just past the point of maturation. Getting some cherry notes making it a little bit sour. Chocolate is the predominant taste.