[*Disclaimer: I read an article somewhere about how to get people to read your blog posts, and it mentioned that you should always have a catchy title for your post that gets people to see what it's about. Hence what you see above. Of course, I believe everything I read on the Internet, so we'll see ]
My first love has always been beer. I really like cocktails (obviously) and appreciate the distilling and bartending crafts, but beer drinking and beer making got me really geeked out on the whole artisinal side of imbibing. I recently have been picking up limited edition or special brews that I see in the few outlets around the DC area that carry them. About 3 months ago, I picked up a Terrapin "The Dark Side" Belgian Style Imperial Stout, one of their line of Side Project, one off production brews. I learned recently via Twitter that it was pretty much at its peak, so I decided to crack it open (although imperial stouts aren't what you would immediately think of as a hot summer day type beer.) How wrong you would be.
I've had Terrapin's Rye Pale Ale before, and really liked it (I am a sucker for rye in any form, apparently). So I was anticipating good things, although I was concerned that the beer might be past its prime. If it is, then this beer must have been freakin' glorious when it was at the height of its game. It pours with a very thin, toffee colored head, and smelled of light coffee and that special Belgian yeast smell that's really hard to describe. I expected a thick mouth feel, but it was very dry - caramel and chocolate was there, but not the sweetness that you would associate with those tastes. It went down clean, and then a slight bitterness formed on the side of my tongue, adding a nice complexity to the beer. This is a somewhat high ABV beer (8.5%), but you don't get that sense at all while drinking it (I'll probably feel it later, though)
Overall, I really liked this, and am glad I picked it up. Too bad it's not more widely available, or I'd pick up some more. My love for dark snapper will have to be shelved (for now).