Some of you who know me may know that one of my favorite hobby horses is the Apocalypse. I *love* cheeseball History Channel mockumentaries about “Nostradamus predicts the world will end NOW” or “Let’s misread the Mayan Calendar for fun and ratings” or “even Sir Isaac Newton predicted the Apocalypse (!)” – which Newton did, for 2060.
So when Stevens Point came out with a black ale in honor of the end of the Mayan Long Count Calendar (aka, where people got the “OMG WORLD WILL END ON 12/21/2012” fervor), I was super-duper excited. (PSA: The world won’t end then – Mayan conceptions of time are cyclical, people, so the only logical way to interpret the Mayan Calendar is to assume that when it hits the last day it will start over on the first day and repeat for another 26,500 years or however long the Long Count goes. /history lesson and “Kim’s interpretations of eschatological brouhahas.”)
Onto the beer then, shall we?
Name: 2012 Black Ale
Origin: Stevens Point Brewery, Stevens Point, WI
Style: American Brown Ale (sayeth beeradvocate), or Black Ale (sayeth me and, you know, the name of the beer)
I drank this: poured from a bottle
First things first. If you’ve had a New Belgium 1554, you’ve got the general idea of this beer. It’s a bit darker, definitely thicker, and a bit heavier on the coffee, a bit lighter on the smoke, and a bit maltier, but it’s recognizably the same style.
The 2012 is stuffed full with roasty-toasty dark malts and a hint of chocolate in the scent. It has a thick, very smooth mouthfeel with light carbonation and a slight bite on the tongue. I like the creamy-smooth/bite combo – it’s complex and makes for a lot to think about while enjoying the beer.
Flavor-wise, this is heavy on roasted malts, which give off all kinds of smoke and coffee hints in the background. I don’t notice the chocolate in the scent so much when I’m drinking it. The hops are only a feel thing (the aforementioned bite on the tongue) – otherwise, they’re nonexistent, which works well in this beer.
Overall, this stuff is really, really good, and I’d say grab a six-pack
while it’s available whenever you want, because further research tells me this is a year-round offering. It’s a great beer for cold November evenings, but without the mega alcohol punch of the type of beer you’d want in December/January. I’m a fan.