My busy schedule has not allowed me to keep up with my beer reports. I'm not even entirely sure I remember all the beers I've tried over the past couple of weeks. So, I'll just highlight a few noteworthy brews in no particular order.
Goose Island Matilda '08
This beer was part of a shipment from New York. I traded a few MO-centric brews for a mixture of fine beers. The Matilda was one of these beers. I had recently enjoyed the '09 version at Sycamore, but someone on Twitter assured me that the '08 version was better. (Link) They may have been right. Although, I'm curious if this had to do with aging as the '08 was a lot milder than the '09, sort of the way a barley wine settles into its flavor after a year or two on the shelf. Either way, this was a great beer. Belgian yeast is all over this thing with a nice bit of spice and booze to round it out.
Anchor Old Foghorn Barley Wine
I recently discovered that my partner's spicy lamb kebabs go well with a barley wine. We had guests over and thought I'd break into my stash of barley wines for this meal. I chose this beer because it comes in 12 oz. bottles (in case my guest did not want barley wine) and it was my least favorite of this year's offerings. However, in only a few months on the shelf, this beer has begun to age nicely. I will hold on to the other two bottles I have left as long as possible to see where this goes.
North Coast Old Rasputin Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout
I hear through the hop vine that this imperial stout was being shipped to the 'Tag, our usual happy hour digs. The beer was there despite the lack of friends. No matter. I sipped on this great beer on my own. The bourbon is really pronounced, but the beer isn't nearly as sweet as a similar version by Schlafly. I am so glad this beer came to Columbia and that it's in 500 mL bottles.
Stone Ruination IPA
Forgotten in my stash of beers is my collection of Stone. I try not to drink these all at once, but I need to work my way through all the IPA's before they lose their punch. I previously judged this batch to have already lost a little something, but this bottle renewed my faith. Surprisingly, I think it had to do with drinking this beer in isolation. It's surprising in that it's Ruination, the beer that supposed to ruin your taste buds for other beers. What I got out of this beer last night was that it's way more complex than I remember. There's all kinds of hop complexity in there. That and a nice touch of booze.
Bell's Expedition Stout
I've mentioned this beer a lot lately. That might be because it is easily my favorite imperial stout. It won at the recent blind stout tasting. The sitter drank a half, leaving me the other. All that and I had one of my own recently, leaving me with maybe two to hold me over until fall. This beer has it all: booze, chocolate, coffee, toffee, caramel, and even a little hop. I love me some Expedition Stout. I'd marry it if I could.