These beers deserve a special nod for their rarity, one of a kind personalities, and their significant place in the world of barrel-aged beers:
Lost Abbey Cable Car 2008, 7% ABV: This beer never ceases to stop me in my tracks every time I taste it. Highly sought after and more than a challenge to come by, Cable Car is on the must-taste list of every serious Craft beer geek.
It was my pleasure to drink this during CBC courtesy of Dr. Bill & friends. The 2008 has aged well albeit with reduced carbonation. While flavors and aromas have mellowed considerably, yeast, gentle funk, earth, grass, hay, and lemon still show themselves. The 2009 and 2010 are reasonably more fresh and vibrant, but this beer is still a treasure indeed.
Harviestoun Old Dubh Special 18 Reserve, aged in Highland Park casks, 8% ABV: Wonderful. Absolutely delicious with rich notes of liquid dark chocolate, smoke, coffee, dark fruits, tobacco, and vanilla. Incredibly rounded and smooth. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to relish this gem for an afternoon with friends. May I suggest you do the same. Get this on your list. (the others are already on mine.)
Allagash Curieux (Special Edition for Wine Warehouse, only 20 cases bottled) 11% ABV: Curieux was one of the first barrel-aged beers these lips ever touched. (Turns out it was Allagash's first adventure with the process, using Jim Beam barrels. This beer is their Tripel aged for 8 months.) And frankly, I am shocked I have never reviewed it. Literally, the moment your nose approaches the glass, you know this is something you want. Beautifully complex with layered notes of vanilla, oak, yeast, white grape skin, toasted malt, coconut, and spice. This classic beer reminds me of a fine wine, so grab one for that next special occasion, sit back, and enjoy the fruits of Allagash's labor.