Saturday, December 22, 2007

99 Bottles of Beer on the Blog - Sinister Rabbit

A while back, I wrote a fair but scathing review of Mac's Beer, brewed by the folks over at Flying Monkey Brewery. 6 weeks or so ago, I found a beer tasting station at Lukas Liquors, and they were pouring a different Flying Monkey effort, and I gave it "Roadtrip Brewing Sinister Rabbit Ale" a try. Tonight, with the snow and sleet flying, I popped the top off of one and it's still a pretty darned respectable beer.

The key to this beer is hop bitterness. It's a porter (though I think the sample dude told me it was a stout). The aroma is coffee, with a touch of maltiness. The color is dark brown, almost black, topped with a classic tan head of an all-malt porter. From the aroma, you'd expect something rich and sweet like St. Bridget's Robust Porter.

And then the hop bitterness hits. The maltiness is still there, but the sharpness of hops transforms it into something different and distinctive.

Hops can do three different things in a beer. They can add aroma, they can add flavor, and they can add bitterness. In this one, it's all about the bitterness. If you want aroma and flavor and bitterness, try Sam Adams Hallertauer Imperial Pilsner, but Sinister Rabbit has little hop aroma, not much hop flavor, and a healthy dose of hop bitterness.

Bitter doesn't sound that good, I suppose, but it's not set-your-teeth-on-edge bitterness, it's sharp and interesting bitter. It's like how a sharp cheddar is better than Velveeta. It's like how dark chocolate is better than milk chocolate. This is a great beer that will stand up to and enhance rich foods, and cut through sauces.

I love the porter style and this is a good example, with its own unique personality. Lots of breweries make rich, sweet, malty porters, and I enjoy those as well. But Sinister Rabbit stretches the envelope toward the bitter side, and it's a welcome addition to the world of porter. On top of that, it's brewed locally, so it deserves your attention when you see it in the beer aisle.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Dan- Check out Dab from Germany and Quilmes from Argentina. Both pretty good beers.

Also, thought you would get a kick out of this commercial.

12/24/2007 12:13 PM  

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