Rare Beer Club Special Offer - November 2019

The Rare Beer Club

For our latest offer, we're excited to bring our members six big, burly, and absolutely delicious brews that will warm your blood this holiday season and put a smile on your face – and those of your family and friends. This collection represents some of our favorite uber rare beers and is comprised of barrel aged Imperial Stouts, Quads, and Barley Wines. And, as they're all 500-ml or 330-ml, they're perfect as stocking stuffers and gifts for the beer lovers in your life.

Prost!
KC Signature
Kris Calef
President


For the PDF version of the Special Offer Newsletter, Click Here. The order form follows the beer descriptions below. To jump to the order form now, Click Here.

Santa's Secret

Santas Secret

To Øl – Copenhagen, Denmark

  • Style: Double Coffee Brown Ale w/ cinnamon & cardamom
  • ABV: 8%
  • Serving Temp: 48-55° F
  • Suggested Glassware: Tulip, Teku, Small Nonic or Pinot Glass

To Øl's Santas Secret (aka Mochaccino Messiah Double Shot-which keeps Santa going) is a super-tasty double brown ale brewed with coffee, oats, lactose, cardamom, and cinnamon. It felt like a must-pick for this Rare Beer Club special offer: fully festive, lots of fluffy warming coffee-cookie character, plus subtle spicing from that cardamom and cinnamon that doesn't overshadow things. This is a complex holiday beer to dig into, but keeps super easy to drink.

This pours a deep cola-brown color, topped with creamy tan foam that leaves intricate lacing behind. Generous gingerbread and spice lead the aromatics, alongside nicely roasted coffee. Everything feels toasty and silky smooth. A subtle underpinning of carbonation adds some nice lift, bringing out more of the core toffee and fruit and roastiness packed into this beer. The spice throughout remains an accent, never overpowering or chalky. Darker chocolates and sweet roast offer a lot of depth, and the oats and lactose help keep this feeling rich and creamy throughout. It's a brilliantly smooth brown ale, packed with robust malt and extras.

Aging & Pairing Notes:

While this one's 8% ABV, we'd be inclined to enjoy Santas Secret on the fresher side, just to get the most out of those spice additions. The caramelized sugars and fruit of this beer, plus the holiday vibe, suggest pairing with turkey or baked ham with a brown sugar glaze.


Xiquic and the Hero Twins

Xiquic and the Hero Twins

Amager Bryghus (w/ Cigar City Brewing) – Kastrup, Amager, Denmark

  • Style: Imperial Stout w/ black peppercorns & cedar wood
  • ABV: 9%
  • Serving Temp: 52-58° F
  • Suggested Glassware: Tulip, Teku, Snifter or Pinot glass

We've gotten to check out so many different well-made imperial stouts over the years, and a truly unique experience these days tends to be few and far between. We love this collab from Amager Bryghus and Cigar City: a reasonable 9% ABV, deftly nudged by black peppercorns and Cigar City's signature cedar wood. The net result is a delicious imperial stout with a very welcoming woody background and a complex, spicy edge from those peppercorns.

Xiquic pours the color of deep dark chocolate, nicely oily and capped by a dark brown foam. It's undoubtedly rich from the first pour. Complex waves of roasted malts and a dark baker's chocolate roll out from the aroma, touched by toasty cedar and secondary notes of vanilla. A generous core maltiness throughout. Modest carbonation provides a finely integrated impact of bubbles, lifting the expression of the various chocolates and roast. The alcohol here stays tucked away, such that there's a lot to dig into here without much accompanying warmth. A touch of cedar throughout, a spicy-woody edge that takes this streamlined imperial stout up to a whole other level, and just a ton of very careful details to this one from start to finish.

Aging & Pairing Notes:

Amager Bryghus' Xiquic and the Hero Twins is suitable for at least a moderate level of cellar time, with that peppercorn impact probably dissipating a touch with time. For food pairings: the ABV, dark roast and pepper notes here suggest pepper-encrusted steak or pork chops-something hearty enough to stand up alongside this potent, peppery, cedary stout.


Hr. Frederiksen Væsel Brunch

Hr. Frederiksen Væsel Brunch

Amager Bryghus (w/ Mikkeller) – Kastrup, Amager, Denmark

  • Style: Imperial Oatmeal Stout aged in bourbon whiskey barrels w/ Vietnamese cà phê Chồn coffee
  • ABV: 10.7%
  • Serving Temp: 52-58° F
  • Suggested Glassware: Tulip, Teku, Snifter or Pinot glass

Hr. Frederiksen Væsel Brunch is a blend of two incredible imperial stouts from Denmark: Beer Geek Brunch Weasel from Mikkeller, and Hr. Frederiksen from Amager Bryghus. The former is an imperial oatmeal stout brewed with the Vietnamese coffee variety cà phê Chồn, while Amager's stout is an American-style take brewed with 8 different types of malt, plus a healthy dose of Centennial hops. After maturing, this blend waits another year in Amager's cold cellar before finally seeing release. It's super-smooth, decadently built imperial stout.

This pours a super-dark, chocolate color with a very modest amount of light-tan foam. It's a hefty-looking pour, with patchy lacing left behind. The aromatics on this are super smooth: a rich mixture of burnt caramel, dark chocolate, and generous levels of roast. That subtle edge from the whiskey barrels provides some nice bitterness throughout. Velvety aromatics.

Fine-bubbled carbonation provides a core vibrancy here amidst the immense degree of dark chocolate, heavily roasted malts, and subtly warming bourbon influence. There's a whole lot of caramelization coming through, which sits perfectly beside that whiskey note. This lands so roundly-plump with warming vinous notes, super-smooth roasted coffee, and a layered maltiness that just keeps going. So much dark chocolate, so much going on here to dig into, but Hr. Frederiksen Væsel Brunch still manages to feel effortlessly light and smooth.

Aging & Pairing Notes:

As a 10%+ imperial stout, this is definitely sturdy enough for some additional cellaring time. Just keep an eye on the beer's overall balance as additional caramel and sherry notes settle in. For pairings: the dark roast, coffee and bourbon notes have us looking to spicy beef or pork.


Belgian Triangle

Belgian Triangle

Nøgne Ø (w/ Mallaskoski & Põhjala Brewery) – Grimstad, Norway

  • Style: Belgian-style Quadrupel aged in whiskey barrels w/ malted oats, demerara sugar & raisins
  • ABV: 14%
  • Serving Temp: 46-54° F
  • Suggested Glassware: Snifter, Chalice, Tulip, or Teku Glass

Nøgne Ø's Belgian Triangle is a collaboration beer with Mallaskoski in Finland and Põhjala Brewery in Estonia. Brewed with raisins and oats, and aged for four months in American whiskey barrels, this is an impeccably smooth release from the folks at Nøgne Ø.

Belgian Triangle pours a dark brown core with maple-syrup edges, its modest medium-tan head confined to the perimeter. Dark caramel and warming vinous red fruits lead the bold aromatics, opening up to toasty bourbon and soft oak. Nicely charred bitterness. There's a subtle carbonation balancing out layer upon layer of brown sugar and charred caramel, just decadent amounts of raisin character and dried dark fruits. For a quadrupel, this goes light on Belgian-y esters in favor of more caramelized malt complexity alongside the sweetness of the raisins. The whiskey-barrel character is a perfect addition beside that caramelly core. The finish of this quad seems to last forever: packed with candied sugars, dates, figs.

Aging & Pairing Notes:

Like most of the beers in this Rare Beer Club special offer, there's plenty of aging potential in this 14% quad. Belgian Triangle is tasting silky smooth at the moment, but this seems to offer a lot of sturdiness over the next year or more. For pairings: the caramelization plus a toasted bourbon note has us looking to roasted pork-maybe charred barbecued ribs.


Calmécac

Calmécac

Compañía Cervecera Hércules –Santiago de Querétaro, Querétaro, Mexico

  • Style: Imperial Stout aged in Mezcal barrels
  • ABV: 14%
  • Serving Temp: 52-58° F
  • Suggested Glassware: Snifter, Tulip, Teku, or Pinot Glass

The few beers we've gotten to try from Hércules have been exceptional, and none moreso than this potently constructed imperial stout. Aged in mezcal barrels (mezcal is essentially a smoky tequila), Calmécac combines that spicy-smoke barrel character with the densely built stout: milk and dark chocolate, roasted and dried fruits, deep almond and toffee. Decadent.

This pours ridiculously dark chocolate-brown, with minimal light getting through. A modest chocolate foam caps things. The aromatics lead with milk chocolate and roast-its complex specialty malts counterpointed by dense spices. Lightly carbonated, super creamy, Calmécac hides its potent alcohol well: leading with densely caramelized chocolate, roast, and smokiness. There's a touch of warmth here, as one might expect, and that helps to lighten the body of this stout overall. Packed with rich malt flavor, offset by spicy-smoke edges from its barrel treatment.

Aging & Pairing Notes:

Potent enough to stand at least a little bit of aging, though watch its caramelization. This feels properly matched to spicy beef kabobs, or (to contrast) creamy vanilla cheesecake.


Bommen & Granaten

Bommen & Granaten (2016 bottling)

Brouwerij De Molen – Bodegraven, the Netherlands

  • Style: Barley Wine
  • ABV: 15.2%
  • Serving Temp: 55-62° F
  • Suggested Glassware: Snifter, Tulip, or Teku Glass

To round out this special offer of exceptional big beers, we've got some vintage Bommen & Granaten from Brouwerij De Molen. At over 15% ABV, this hefty barleywine serves as the perfect nightcap-packed with immense caramelization and smoothly integrated maltiness.

Bommen & Granaten pours a deep copper-brown color with a bit of viscosity to it, a light perimeter of tan foam formed. The aroma provides a good sense of what's ahead: ripe and densely orchestrated fruits, smooth layers of caramelization, barely a whisper of its alcohol. For a 15%+ barley wine, this stays exceptionally smooth and mellow: dates, sweet nuttiness, a good balance of caramel and vinous/sherry character. A massive barley wine to get lost in.

Aging & Pairing Notes:

The brewery suggests enjoying this one within 25 years, so feel free to set some bottles aside in the cellar. The deep caramelization and fruitiness, combined with the higher ABV, have us wanting to try this alongside spicy roast pork or on its own after dinner, poured in a snifter.


Read this Month's Special Offer NewsletterClick here to read or download the full special offer newsletter.

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As always, if you have any questions or want something different from what we have listed above, please contact our Customer Service Team at 800-625-8238 and we will do what it takes to make it work.

Cheers!

Kristina Manning
Customer Service Manager