Ken Schmidt/Maui/Stone Kona Coffee Macadamia Coconut Porter
8.5% ABV bottled
Like corned beef, chopped liver, lox, and gefilte fish, macadamia nuts are one of those foods us Jews innately like for some reason. But, unlike corned beef, chopped liver, lox, and gefilte fish, which you gentiles often don’t quite have a taste for, all human beings love macadamia nuts, arguably the world’s best nut. Thus, I was quite excited for the first beer, I’m aware of, to be made using luxurious macadamia nuts. As Morty Seinfeld once said, “They’re like 80 cents a nut!” I’d really enjoyed the previous Stone collaboration beers I’d had–their Special Holiday Ale with Nogne O and Jolly Pumpkin and their Belgian Triple with Mikkeller and Alesmith–and luckily The Drunken Polack was able to secure me a bottle of this treat too! This beer is cool in that one of the collaborators is a home brewer, the aforementioned Ken Schmidt, who won a contest Stone put on, crafting a beer so good the big boys from San Diego decided to try and recreate it on a larger scale. This porter–as mentioned earlier this week, a “new” favorite style of mine–is getting near universal acclaim, but I wasn’t quite as floored as the masses. And, I’ll readily admit, that’s probably due to my expectations. What with its massively long name, essentially listing all the ingredients at once, I assumed the most prominent flavors would be of macadamia nuts and sweet coconut. So, when I got a beer that was actually prominently focused on the Kona coffee, I was confused at first. Eventually, being a big fan of coffee beers though, I grew to really enjoy this one. This is very much a roasted, dark and rich beer ala Peche Mortel. Not a hair of sweetness. Really got only the slightest hint of slick sweet coconut and macadamia nuts on the finish, but maybe those with niftier pallates can extract those flavors better than I can. Nonetheless, another great one from Stone.
Juxtaposition Black Pilsner
10% ABV bottled
Better and more succinctly named than the previous Stone collab, but equally hard to photograph with a non-label label I’m still not sure whether I like or not–major pain in the ass to have to get your magnifying glass out to figure out which of the collaborations you actually have–this was another beer sent to me by Drunken Polack. A Stone completist, I absolutely needed to try this joint offering with BrewDog and Cambridge, but I actually wasn’t that excited for it. A pilsner? Bleh. I was so wrong though, this was quite delicious. After you get over the fact that you’re tasting an incredibly hoppy dark beer, you can see Juxtaposition for it brilliance. Floral and piney on the smell, some added roastiness on the taste, shockingly drinkable for the ABV. This isn’t quite the iconoclastic beer Stone seems to think it is–aside from the coloring–but it’s awesome nonetheless. I wish I had more bottles of it.
Keep the collaborations comin’!