It’s Old Chicago Mini-Tour time again! This time it’s (obviously) the holiday tour. I stopped by Old Chicago in Olathe tonight and will be dropping by the OP location tomorrow, at which point I should be able to give you the beer lists for both locations. 6 of the 10 are Manager’s Choice, so there will hopefully be some variations and fun things to drink.
Here’s what I had tonight to start things off:
Origin: Lost Coast Brewery and Cafe, Eureka, CA
Style: English Brown Ale
IBU: not listed
I drank this: on tap at Old Chicago, Olathe
I can sum this beer up really quickly so that you can skip the rest of the review if you want. It’s chocolate-caramel-orange malted milk balls.
So pretty much, I like it a lot but it wasn’t what I was expecting. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, to be honest – winter seasonals tend to range from the amazingly hoppy (Sierra Nevada’s Celebration Ale, which I haven’t managed to get ahold of yet this year) to the super-duper spicy (the Schlafly Christmas, among others) to the spicy-hoppy hybrids (the Boulevard Nutcracker) to the beers that ignore all of that and do their own thing (the Goose Island Mild Winter Ale, to be reviewed here shortly).
Lost Coast went with an English Brown Ale (read: mostly malts, sir). At least, that’s what beeradvocate is calling it. Lost Coast’s website calls it a brown ale but doesn’t go beyond that. I suppose I can agree – it’s brown in color – but beyond that, it’s not like any brown ale I’m used to (and Lost Coast’s Downtown Brown is one of my favorites of the style).
This beer is a pretty milk chocolate color with about an inch of quickly-dissipating foam. It has a super-thick mouthfeel, and pours like it – it’s one of those beers where you can watch it ripple all over itself as you pour it into the glass (which can be mesmerizing if you’ve already had a few, so you need to make sure you stop before you over-pour the beer because it’s pretty to watch and end up pouring beer on the table as well NO I HAVE NEVER DONE THAT). It gives off a lovely chocolate-caramel malt aroma, with a hint of piney hops in the background.
Taste-wise, it really is absolutely chocolate-caramel-orange malted milk balls, but in syrupy liquid form. The orange comes from the hops, everything else is all malt. It’s nice and completely different than anything I’m really used to – I’m not sure I’ve ever run into a beer that makes aggressive use of chocolate malts that also highlights the hop flavor so well. I love chocolate and citrus together, so I’m a fan of this concept. Again, chocolate-caramel-orange. And malts. Lots of malts. Thick, heavy, sweet malts.
People, this beer is interesting and awesome. Go have one.