When something comes along that changes the paradigm of a culture or even a product class, like Deschutes Black Butte NA absolutely has done, the bar, the minimum requirement for quality moves in an almost visible way.
Echoes Brewing “Mother. Of. All. Tripels”, unless Washingtonians have even less general beer awareness than they used to, SHOULD wind up being considered a Pacific Northwest icon.
It would be nice if today’s beer fans could bother to explore some of the styles of ale that sidle up to Lager Territory (Cold IPA, Brut, and Extra Pale come to mind) and quit reflexively running back to the comfortable haven of Less Flavor.
What comes out of this bottle is rich and palate-painting but where you would normally expect something like this to be impossibly sweet, it really is not. What it IS…is Perfect.
I sold my first article in 1967, to an old Chicago underground newspaper called The Chicago Eye. It was about student activism on high school campuses around Chicago. And I got my first angry letter a week later. As I recall, it started with, “You suck!”
If your jam is Year ‘Round IPA action, you owe it to yourself to pick up some “Wreck The Halls” and see what’s possible in neatly slipping the square peg of “hoppiness” into the round port of “winter seasonal”.
Seems like the sheer size of that Big Check obscures the sun and lets them think that cowering in the shadow of that will hide their dismissive actions from view of the patrons they’re leaving behind.
This is a fine, SERIOUS seasonal Stout, with BODY (No pun intended) for days, depth, richness, and not a bit of pandering to the craft newbie crowd who insist on dragging their childhood candy habits into their adult beer fandom.