Fall of Man (Imperial Porter, 11.4% ABV), Bourbon Barrel Fall of Man (Imperial Porter, 11.4% ABV)
Man oh man, are these guys on point. A few months ago, we featured four of their beers on tap, all of which stuck to the hoppy and/or farmhouse-y side of the spectrum; F*** Art, the Heathens are Coming! is one of my favorite beers of the last year, and is a great example of the true “grisette” sub-style of saisons. But the Danes have a dark side, too, and these gypsy brewers are Macbeth-ing the hell out of our tap lines right now. On the one hand, you’ve got the standard Fall of Man, a massive porter that ranks, for me, right up there with Bell’s Expedition Stout and Oskar Blues Ten FIDY for deep, complex malt bills in an imperial dark ale. The flavor profile is a riot: deep, top-shelf gourmet chocolate, hints of espresso, marshmallow, graham cracker, and just a touch of dark fruit. Then there’s the bourbon barrel edition, which adds oak astringency, vanilla bean, and salted toffee notes to the already ridiculously intense beer.
Customers and staff alike are divided on a favorite, but all agree that these are two of the best imperial stouts/porters that we’ve had on in a long time. Come and see what the fuss is about.
Goseator (Strong Gose, 9% ABV), Tequila Barrel Goseator (Strong Gose, 10.5% ABV)
If you’ve seen one beer from Bayerischer Bahnhof, it’s likely been their Leipziger Gose. It’s a striking bottle, featuring a Mario Bros.-meets-Orson Welles sort of guy hefting a glass of beer, wiping the foam off his considerably epic mustache. The beer is also quite good (we carry it in bottles), and sticks faithfully to the style: light and wheaty, with tart notes and hints of coriander and sea salt.
It’s an odd move to make for such a traditionally minded producer, but Bahnhof decided to ramp things up with their Goseator, a version of their flagship beer that nearly doubles the strength. Despite the name–the suffix “-ator” refers to the practice of breweries naming their dopplebocks in tribute to the original, Paulaner Salvator–the beer comes across as more of a weizenbock take on the gose: the body is heavier, though the wheat keeps things relatively soft. The taste is full and bready, with a perfect balance of sour, salty, and spicy.
If Goseator stretches stylistic parameters, the tequila barrel version beats them half to death. The beer is drier, though its strength is much more apparent, with the oak and agave coming through in a huge way. It’s still a bit tart, but with a caramel sweetness and astringency that recalls both toasted and white oak. It is, hands-down, one of the most unique and polarizing beers we’ve ever had here, and we once tapped a wild ale aged on whiskey barrels with mustard seeds.