The ten best new Colorado beers of 2012
Crooked Stave pulled off an interesting feat with WWBI, balancing tart blueberries with oak in a way that made both shine perfectly. In fact, this show worked so well that, like a lion in a circus, you could almost forget that it's wild -- fermented with brettanomyces yeast. WWBI is tart, but not in a way that makes your salivary glands get hyperactive. Bright and refreshing, it was the cleanest wild or sour beer that I tasted in 2012. And, as a bonus, some of its characteristics changed as it warmed in the glass, giving WWBI a smooth, almost buttery mouthfeel. Crooked Stave owner Chad Yakobson liked it as well, and says he plans to brew this one again in 2013.
2) Deviant Dale's
Thick, rich and decidedly dank, Deviant Dale's lives up to its name and its enticingly hoppy aroma with an almost overwhelming wallop of flavor that can become addictive. Brewed with copious amounts of Columbus hops, Deviant put down roots as a tap-room specialty before growing into a special project for Old Chicago and then blossoming as the Longmont brewery's first foray into sixteen-ounce cans. And it carries such a huge load of pine and grapefruit flavors that a single sip will make you feel as if you're chewing on a hop cone. A touch of sweetness mellows the bitter flavors on the back end.
1) Uncle Jacob's Stout
Vanilla, oak, molasses, butter, bourbon, figs. And that's just for starters. It might take all day to nail down the complex blend of thick, velvety flavors that burst out of Uncle Jacob's Stout and coat the tongue. A 17.4 percent ABV bomb that Avery aged for six months in bourbon barrels, the beer will no doubt age well, but it was hard not to drink every drop I could find. At $12 per twelve-ounce bottle, though, I had to limit my intake. Avery plans to make this beer again in 2013, so I'm saving my pennies.
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