We didn't do a cocktail last night. I managed to find 3 of the "Must-Try" beers on my list of beers from my 365 Bottles Of Beer For The Year calendar (chronicled on my Pinterest board), so we had just beer instead. I decided to serve them up in rising ABV (Alcohol By Volume) order. They are all pretty strong beers, though.
So that meant first up was the Founders Cerise Cherry Fermented Ale, made from real Michigan Montmorency sour pie cherries. I am not a big "fruit" beer fa, although oddly enough I had the Wachusetts Blueberry Wheat beer for lunch and really enjoyed it, despite the bar insisting on floating 3 blueberries in it (I really abhor putting foreign objects and food in my beer). It was fresh and crisp, with very nice blueberry aromas but the blueberry taste itself was very very slight.
And so it was with the Cerise (the most repinned and liked post on my 365 Beers Pinterest board). I really didn't have any hope of finding it, as not only is it a seasonal beer, but one from a Michigan brewery that I hadn't remembered seeing around here. But I was very excited to find it at the local "big" liquor store and anxious to give it a try.
It pours very nicely. I've taken to being very aggressive at pouring, since reading about it in my Tasting Beer book. It gave up a nice head and the color is really spectacular. A very nice deep red color, with a nicely red-tinged head. It had a fine light cherry aroma, with some interesting hops or something.
Unfortunately, one of the bottles that I poured wasn't right. I didn't really notice anything when I opened it or poured it, but after pouring both, one had a very nice head and the other was flat. And it tasted flat. So I think the bottle cap seal wasn't good. So I tossed it out and opened a new one and it worked very nicely.
Again, it tasted great, with a very crisp taste and only a hint of cherry, although more than the Wachusett had of blueberry. This is a very refreshing beer.
Then we cracked open a Rochefort 6, a beer the calendar called possibly "the best beer in the world". At US$6 for a 120z bottle, it had better be! I actually had one a few weeks ago at a local beer bar and thought it pretty excellent. But maybe because it followed the unique taste of the Cerise, it felt a little lacking. Mind you, very nice and quite crisp for a Belgian. It poured with lots of carbonation and a big aroma. At 7.5% ABV, it is pretty strong. I enjoyed it, but I think I will try the 8 and 10 next. This one may be more of a lunch beer.
To top the evening off, we jumped into a Widmer Bros. Nelson Imperial IPA. At 8.6% ABV, it may have been just a little much for the end of the evening, but it sure had no problem standing up to the fine beers that preceded it. And excellent pour, with a big head and big aromas. Both malty and hoppy, a really great beer. Very drinkable and thus probably pretty scary. I had another one tonight and it gets another big thumbs up.
And for gaming, we had our second night of Dead Island, the co-op zombie shooter. Last week's game session wasn't too impressive. The three of us wandered around, usually not together, and beat up, easily, on random zombies. There is a little bit of a skill tree, and you can work on your weapons, but that's about it for RPG elements. I've never been too keen on the games that have your weapons "wear out" - my least favorite party of System Shock. Not sure why after hacking on a few zombies my machete would just explode into dust.
But this time we adhered to the main story quest, worked together, and had some fun. We all went up a few levels and added some more skills. I read online where the game gets a little tougher once you get off the island and into the city, so that's good. And we also got to drive cars, which is always fun. Chasing down zombies and blasting into them with a car is always a grand time.
One oddity caused by the weapons wearing out is that you hit the zombie to knock it down and then proceed to kick the shit out of it to avoid "wasting" your weapon. So it gets pretty gruesome really. But we played for almost 3 hours and had a pretty good time. At this point, the three of us have played together about a year, so we have plenty of history. I'm the one that can't be trusted with a thrown weapon or anything with splash damage (although that's not really a bad shortcoming in this game, as there doesn't seem to be friendly fire). Michael is the one who just charges forward, no subtlety. And Chris pushes us forward like a drill sergeant. It's a blast and we got into the game's rhythm, so I'm looking forward to next week's session.