Sure, the beer is good, distinctive, and creative. But the brewery is welcoming, the brewmaster is accommodating, the tasting room is comfortable, the staff is friendly.
The combination of all that makes for an enjoyable drinking experience.
I acquired a bottle of Shebeen's special limited edition winter beer; a Bourbon Barrel Aged Double Rye Porter. Sounds good, right?
So, I popped that bad boy open. Literally "popped" it open since the bottle has a swing top cap.
Bourbon Barrel Aged Double Rye Porter (10% ABV) pours a rich sable brown with ruby highlights. It builds a small but dense head the diminishes quickly and leaves behind a skim of depleted bubbles on the side of the glass. Not quite lacing but clingy, nonetheless.
The aroma is fairly low key but bourbon tinged malt wafts forth.
The taste was unexpected. What I mean by that is that, based on the ABV and pre-conceived notions, I expected a full frontal assault of booziness and intense flavor. What I got was a nice, soft malt forward beer complimented by a goodly measure of rye. The bourbon flavor is subtle and doesn't overwhelm the beer. This brew is moderately sweet and slightly bitter. The alcohol is scarily well concealed.The finish is roasty with a hint of the bourbon.
The mouthfeel leans towards full but is lighter than I would expect. The carbonation is low; typical for such a high ABV brew.
This Bourbon Barrel Aged Double Rye Porter is smooth and drinkable; too drinkable. Be careful, there's a lot of booze in that bottle!