The BEST beer, liquor, wine and champagne you have ever had?

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The BEST beer, liquor, wine and champagne you have ever had?

Postposted on Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:45 pm

Looking back at your years on this blue marble, what is the BEST tasting beer, liquor, wine and champagne you have ever had?

My experiences have been limited to low budget bars and lack of knowledge
Beer-Blue Moon, Irish Red
Liquors-Crown Royal, Amo (best Tiquila I have ever tasted in El Paso rated #4 in world (can't recall who said that, made in Mexico) Whiskey=Knob Creek, Jagermister and red bull (NOT ALONE), Grey Goose Vodka=White Russian and Colorado Bulldog (a few)
Wine-too drunk to recall-trying to remember
Champagne-Too drunk to recall-trying to remember
Apple-cider...mmmmm brings me back to going up state during this time of year with the leaves changing color.
Last edited by RAMBO on Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:05 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: The BEST beer, liquor, wine and champagne you have ever

Postposted on Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:51 pm

Liquor? Bowmore 12 when it's out of a fresh bottle. Call me crazy but there's something about the mix of band-aids and smoke. Laphroaig 10 would be my next pick.

Don't really care for beer or wine, though.
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Re: The BEST beer, liquor, wine and champagne you have ever

Postposted on Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:16 pm

Beer/ale = Chimay Grand Reserve. Also love some of the Goose Island beers, including their usually terrific Winter Welcome seasonal
Wine = Heitz Cellars Martha's Vineyard 1974 (wish I could find and afford more!!)
Liquor = ? It's been years since I've drunk anything other than vodka - I usually buy Ketel One, but Chopin is supposed to be very good
Champagne = Probably Vintage Perrier-Jouet (don't recall what year it was). For US domestic sparkling wine, Schramsburg makes some great bubbly (awesome rose and extra brut)!
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Re: The BEST beer, liquor, wine and champagne you have ever

Postposted on Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:21 pm

I guess it depends on how you define "best", but in terms of wine, I'm a big fan of Barefoot, simply because their prices are reasonable, and other than a slightly under-aged bottle of Zin a couple months ago, I've never had a bad vintage -- particularly the Cabernet and the Pinot Noir, which are not particularly complex but are always palatable.
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Re: The BEST beer, liquor, wine and champagne you have ever

Postposted on Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:28 pm

Crystal Head Vodka
18yr old Jameson
Smithwicks ice cold on tap... mmmmmm
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Re: The BEST beer, liquor, wine and champagne you have ever

Postposted on Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:34 pm

This one is easy:

Whenever and whatever happens to be sitting in front of me.
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Re: The BEST beer, liquor, wine and champagne you have ever

Postposted on Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:44 pm

I don't think I could pick one (or even a dozen) favorite beers, because there are so many I really like. Some standouts: Orkney Brewing Skullsplitter; Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA; Goose Island Bourbon County Stout; Three Floyds Alpha King; Schneider Aventinus; Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen; Unibroue Fin Du Monde; Left Hand Smokejumper Porter; Flying Dog Raging Bitch; La Trappe Quadrupel; Liefman's Goudenband... and that's just the ones I could think of off the top of my head. I could also ramble on about favorite batches of homebrew I've made, or standout batches brewed by other people that I've tried at homebrew club meetings.

Ever since training as a beer judge about 10 years ago, there's also this little mental battle I need to fight when drinking certain beers. A beer can be very good on the "do I enjoy drinking this" scale, yet absolutely horrible on the "does this beer fit the parameters of the style claimed by the brewer" scale. Sometimes I need to turn off my "beer Nazi" mode when drinking a very good (yet out-of-style) beer. Conversely, when judging in competition you need to be careful not to give a mis-categorized beer too many points just because it's very enjoyable (e.g. you can't award an excellent IPA a ribbon in the Stout category if it was entered there by mistake).

I don't drink hard liquor much. I do enjoy the (very) occasional shot of Bourbon (preferably Maker's Mark), or once in a blue moon some single-malt Scotch.

I'm not much of a wine drinker either. On those rare occasions where I drink wine instead of beer, give me a glass of "Three Buck Chuck" (preferably something dark and oaky) and I'm happy. :lol:
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Re: The BEST beer, liquor, wine and champagne you have ever

Postposted on Wed Sep 14, 2011 2:54 pm

just brew it! wrote:I don't think I could pick one (or even a dozen) favorite beers, because there are so many I really like. Some standouts: Orkney Brewing Skullsplitter; Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA; Goose Island Bourbon County Stout; Three Floyds Alpha King; Schneider Aventinus; Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen; Unibroue Fin Du Monde; Left Hand Smokejumper Porter; Flying Dog Raging Bitch; La Trappe Quadrupel; Liefman's Goudenband... and that's just the ones I could think of off the top of my head. I could also ramble on about favorite batches of homebrew I've made, or standout batches brewed by other people that I've tried at homebrew club meetings.


Maybe you can help me as you are obviously very experienced in this area. I'd really like to find some good microbrew beer in the USA. But by and large, other than a couple of exceptions (which, unfortunately, I can't recall at the moment) the effort has been futile.

Let's start with IPAs. I've spent a bit of time in the Boston and Chicago areas and have tried a number of microbrews that I could find on tap in local pubs that specialized in such beers, but have been largely disappointed. However, when I was in Boston, I frequently bought Harpoon IPA in bottles, as I found it to be fairly tasty and not offensive.

My issue, very crudely put, is that most of the time, when I've found a really flavorful and hoppy IPA, more often than not, it is has a terribly unbalanced finished - you really know that you're drinking a 6%+ beer on the finish. Out of the beers you've listed, I remember that I've tried Dogfish Head, Three Floyds and Goose Island beers, but unfortunately I can't remember which specific ones and how much I've liked them... :oops:

I know this is hugely biased, but I just feel, after my minor experience with American micro brewed IPAs, that I am better off with what I can get locally in Toronto. But I know that there must be much better American style IPAs than most of what I've had that are, well, brewed in America.

So, my question is this: Other than the Dogfish Head 90 min IPA, what else would you add to your top 5 (or so) US brewed IPAs?

A couple of new excellent IPAs I've been impressed with in the Toronto Area are:
1) Spearhead Hawaiian Style Pale Ale (yes, it contains pineapple juice - this put me off at first - but upon trying, was not overly sweet at all and very good overall)
2) Muskoka Mad Tom IPA (A bit sweet on the finish for me, but overall, very nice and well balanced)

Older local fave IPAs
1)Compass Starlight Ale
2)Mill Street Tank House Ale (this one is quite reserved for an IPA - only about 5% or 5.5%, but the added malts make it really flavorful and easy drinking)
3)Flying Monkey's Smash Bomb IPA (the atomic version is a little over the top for me, but still good)
4)Durham Hop Addict
5)Duggan's No. 9 and No. 99 IPA
6)Great Lakes Devil's Pale Ale (this one is not as well balanced and would probably loose a few marks if judged, but I still like it)

And as to answer the rest of the OP, for liquor, the Aberlour A'bunadh is a very nice single malt, and as for Champagne, I bet the bottle of Dom sitting in the fridge (received as a gift) is very good, but it will probably go off waiting for a special occasion to drink it :roll:
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Re: The BEST beer, liquor, wine and champagne you have ever

Postposted on Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:05 pm

Best beer: Probably the St. Bernardus Abt 12, though I'm a big fan of the McKeller line, especially their Beer Geek Breakfast oatmeal stout.

Best vodka: My favorite is Jean Marc XO, retails about $60 a bottle. The BEST vodka I've ever tried is Kauffman's, though I can't recommend it as it's well north of $200.

Best whiskey: When it comes to bourbon, nothing is better to me than George C. Stagg, but I'm a sucker for high alcohol content. In the world of Scotch, I tried some Last Drop stuff that had forty years of age behind it, and it was ridiculous how good it was.

Best rum: The original Ron Zacapa 23 year was absolutely incredible, blew the socks off some Scotches and cognacs for the money. But then some big company bought it, I think, and it's not quite the same.

Best cognac: Jacques Cardin VSOP if you're looking for the $20-30 range. Kicks Hennessey's butt, that's for sure. Don't know much about pricier cognacs, it's never quite been my thing.

Best wine: I'm a sucker for Quintessa, Papillon, and Chateau Montelena. There's a pile of amazing Chilean wines for great prices too, like Casa Lapostolle.

Best champagne: NOT Dom Perignon. Garbage. I tried some Laurent-Perrier Grand Siecle a few years ago that was delicious, but I tried another vintage last year that was still good but not quite so hot. Ace of Spades is good, too, but ridiculously overpriced (thanks, rap guys!).
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Re: The BEST beer, liquor, wine and champagne you have ever

Postposted on Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:06 pm

There is this beer called blue ale, which is essentially a blueberry flovored beer. I'm not much of a beer drinker but I am indeed quite a bit fond of it.

Also have a bit of a thing for Lambics as well.

Not really a wine guy, but most Moscato's are quite tolerable. They are essentially a sweet, white wine.

As for champagne, I really can't tell the difference between classes.
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Re: The BEST beer, liquor, wine and champagne you have ever

Postposted on Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:10 pm

Beer: I'm a pretty big fan of Leinenkugel's brews in general, but I'd have to say the BEST beer I've ever had was a Sam Adams Irish Red.
Liquor: Jameson. Any decent Irish whiskey really, but Jameson is definitely my favorite for taste.

I don't drink wine or champagne unless the occasion calls for it. I've had certain dinners that really were enhanced by the selected wine, but I couldn't begin to remember what they were.
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Re: The BEST beer, liquor, wine and champagne you have ever

Postposted on Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:42 pm

Beer: Boddington's
Irish Whiskey: Midleton's Very Rare for special occaisions, Tulamore Dew for everyday. You would have to hold a gun to my head to drink Jameson's.
Scotch: Johnny Walker Black or Glenmorangie Lasanta or Extremely Rare. I haven't yet tried their The Quarter Century. There was also a honey brandy I had from Slovenia that was amazing, but they didn't have a label.
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Re: The BEST beer, liquor, wine and champagne you have ever

Postposted on Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:45 pm

bthylafh wrote:Liquor? Bowmore 12 when it's out of a fresh bottle. Call me crazy but there's something about the mix of band-aids and smoke. Laphroaig 10 would be my next pick.

Don't really care for beer or wine, though.


You've got to try Smokehead... absolutely amazing.. smoky and smooth...
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Re: The BEST beer, liquor, wine and champagne you have ever

Postposted on Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:57 pm

elmopuddy wrote:Crystal Head Vodka
18yr old Jameson
Smithwicks ice cold on tap... mmmmmm


I lately polished off a bottle of crystal head vodka,it was very good but side by side with grey goose i would have to pick the goose,kettle one is also good,as for flavored vodkas 3 olives Dude is a treat to drink,its green only 65 proof i think and tastes like mountain dew,I keep a bottle of goose and dude in the freezer.Wife cringes when i just pull the bottles out and take a couple of gulps "yummie"

As for the best wine we ever had was on our honeymoon cruise,it was a german piesporter ,god was it good we had 2-3 bottles with each meal,after the 5th day no more left on the ship and me or my wife could not remember the name of it,we have tried about 50 german piesporters since then and have yet to find anything even close to being as good.Any suggestions would be appreciated"note we like it to have some fruitiness and not very dry but a tiny bit of dryness if that makes any sense :)"

As for beer,hands down guiness tastes the best,but its kinda hard to drink enough of it to get drunk(thats what shots of vodka are for)but its very heavy and like a meal in a glass but even after it sits and the little bit on the bottom is warm,its still yummie.

As for champain Don perion only had it twice but i liked it even though imm not crazy about the bubbly,but i would never pay for it.
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Re: The BEST beer, liquor, wine and champagne you have ever

Postposted on Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:06 pm

@cynan -

Most American craft IPAs are not particularly subtle, and it is done on purpose. Craft beer drinkers seem to expect American IPAs to be hop bombs, and the breweries oblige them. Then they add more malt, in an attempt to maintain some semblance of balance; this in turn pushes the ABV up.

Harpoon (which I love too, BTW!) IMO straddles the line between an American IPA and a straight American Pale Ale. As such, it falls into that "beers I really enjoy, but which I'd probably knock for being somewhat of an outlier for its declared style if I judged it in competition" group.

Alpha King straddles that line too, but for the opposite reason; they bill it as just a "Pale Ale", but it really seems closer to an IPA.

The Dogfish Head 90 minute is more of an Imperial IPA... maybe not what you're looking for, as it is around 9%! :lol:

Other craft IPAs I like: Bell's Two Hearted, Victory Hop Devil, Sierra Nevada Celebration (available around Christmastime only), Anchor Liberty.
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Re: The BEST beer, liquor, wine and champagne you have ever

Postposted on Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:11 pm

vargis14 wrote:As for beer,hands down guiness tastes the best,but its kinda hard to drink enough of it to get drunk(thats what shots of vodka are for)but its very heavy and like a meal in a glass but even after it sits and the little bit on the bottom is warm,its still yummie.

Draft Guinness is actually pretty low in alcohol and calories. Remember that old Fosters commercial where they go "Fosters... Aussie for 'Beer'"? Well Guinness is effectively Irish for 'Light Beer'. :wink:

Ever made an ice cream float with it? Don't knock it 'til you've tried it. (Though I actually prefer to use a heavier/stronger Stout like North Coast Old Rasputin for beer floats... mmm... beer for dessert!)
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Re: The BEST beer, liquor, wine and champagne you have ever

Postposted on Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:29 pm

I'm low brow. Bacardi or Curzon for liqour...
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Re: The BEST beer, liquor, wine and champagne you have ever

Postposted on Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:35 pm

just brew it! wrote:Other craft IPAs I like: Bell's Two Hearted, Victory Hop Devil, Sierra Nevada Celebration (available around Christmastime only), Anchor Liberty.


Thanks for those recommendations. I'll try and get to them when I can.

And BTW, I (think I) enjoy a hoppy strong American IPA - most if not all of the (local Toronto) IPAs I listed are I think what you would call American IPA style and most are quite hoppy. Some extremely so. And all but the Mill Street Tank House are between 6% and 8% - though I think most are around 6.5%. But that reminds me, I had limited release Black Oak (another local Brewery) IPA that was 8% last weekend that I was also impressed with. So I don't think my problem is just that the most of the American IPA's I've had are just too strong or too hoppy..
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Re: The BEST beer, liquor, wine and champagne you have ever

Postposted on Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:38 pm

just brew it! wrote:Draft Guinness is actually pretty low in alcohol and calories [...] Ever made an ice cream float with it? Don't knock it 'til you've tried it. (Though I actually prefer to use a heavier/stronger Stout like North Coast Old Rasputin for beer floats... mmm... beer for dessert!)

That sounds crazy, and is something I never would have thought of trying. Until now, that is. 8)

(I'm not going to answer this thread's specified questions because I haven't been drinking much of anything in so long that I'm starting to forget things, and the wines I like are mostly whites anyway. But I do like Dogfish Head 60 Minute. 90 minute seemed too much bubbliness, and tasted almost like it was flavored. The sort of thing I wouldn't drink more than 1 or 2 of at most over a period, mixed with 60 minute's in between.)

The only problem with that crazy ice cream float idea is that I have a powerful aversion to things like sweet and sour foods (or, really, anything sweet on my dinner plate especially in meat-containing dishes, although something on the side like applesauce is OK, even if I'm not overly fond of it). I like sour things a great deal, though, which is why I think I began drinking the kinds of beer I've become partial to in recent years. So it makes me wonder if I'd appreciate the combination. But it's worth testing. Thanks for suggesting it here, JBI. :D
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Re: The BEST beer, liquor, wine and champagne you have ever

Postposted on Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:51 pm

Ragnar Dan wrote:That sounds crazy, and is something I never would have thought of trying. Until now, that is. 8)

Guinness floats are to die for.
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Re: The BEST beer, liquor, wine and champagne you have ever

Postposted on Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:06 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
Ragnar Dan wrote:That sounds crazy, and is something I never would have thought of trying. Until now, that is. 8)

Guinness floats are to die for.

Is this a restaurant thing or do you think my local pub might accommodate? Sounds awesome
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Re: The BEST beer, liquor, wine and champagne you have ever

Postposted on Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:36 pm

Lucky Lager is by far the world's best beer. You guys are all wasting your money if you buy anything else. Plus, there are little puzzles on the bottle caps. How much fun is that?
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Re: The BEST beer, liquor, wine and champagne you have ever

Postposted on Wed Sep 14, 2011 6:52 pm

Beer: Ringwood 49'er
Liquor: Green Chartreuse
Wine: I don't remember the name but it was a Spanish Red, served at the same meal as the Green Chartreuse and very old as well.
Champagne: Only really had Moet & Chandon.
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Re: The BEST beer, liquor, wine and champagne you have ever

Postposted on Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:09 pm

wirerogue wrote:Lucky Lager is by far the world's best beer. You guys are all wasting your money if you buy anything else. Plus, there are little puzzles on the bottle caps. How much fun is that?

Somehow I don't believe you. It's piss beer like that budweiser/miller crap they call beer.

Even Beeradvocate rates it a D ( http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/478/16247 ). If you like water and corn over a real beer, then by all means - go for it.

Now... just like JBI said, it's hard to pick a favorite or even a few fav's when there are just so many!

Beer: New Belgium 1554, Weinhard's Blue Boar Ice Ale (no longer brewed), Dogfish Raison D'extra (no longer brewed), Arbor Brewing Mackinac Island Fudge Stout, 3 Floyd's Alpha King, Russian River Pliny the Elder, anything from Bell's, Short's, Right Brain, Kuhnhenn's, Dragonmead, and most of the 100+ microbreweries in Michigan! I LOVE THIS STATE! (And there are some beyond MI - New Glarus, Victory, Dogfish Head, Evolution, New Belgium, 3 Floyd's, Russian River, 1000s more probably).

Whiskey/Whisky/Scotch: Jameson 18, Johnny Walker Gold, Macallan 18, etc... etc... not too much into the peaty swill, more into the sweeter, caramelized, sugary, sherry notes.

Wine/Mead: anything dark, red, and sweet - best I've had was an aged Châteauneuf-du-Pape. nom nom nom. Also love sweet thick meads, especially from B Nektar!
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Re: The BEST beer, liquor, wine and champagne you have ever

Postposted on Thu Sep 15, 2011 3:29 am

just brew it! wrote:
vargis14 wrote:As for beer,hands down guiness tastes the best,but its kinda hard to drink enough of it to get drunk(thats what shots of vodka are for)but its very heavy and like a meal in a glass but even after it sits and the little bit on the bottom is warm,its still yummie.

Draft Guinness is actually pretty low in alcohol and calories. Remember that old Fosters commercial where they go "Fosters... Aussie for 'Beer'"? Well Guinness is effectively Irish for 'Light Beer'. :wink:

Ever made an ice cream float with it? Don't knock it 'til you've tried it. (Though I actually prefer to use a heavier/stronger Stout like North Coast Old Rasputin for beer floats... mmm... beer for dessert!)

Well i would have never thought it was low on calories,with its beautiful cascade and frothy thick top........imm not saying head you perverts.As for the floats ill try anything once.
Mabey its like the salty and sweet acidy mix deal how, lets say pineapple is yummy in a cheese steak stromboli,or super salty chocolate covered pretzels.
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Re: The BEST beer, liquor, wine and champagne you have ever

Postposted on Thu Sep 15, 2011 6:12 am

vargis14 wrote:Well i would have never thought it was low on calories,with its beautiful cascade and frothy thick top........

Well it isn't low in calories in an absolute sense (still more than, say, Coors Light), but it *is* surprisingly low compared to what you'd expect (it has fewer calories than Coors Original, Budweiser, etc.), and it does have less *alcohol* than any of the major brands of "light" beer (only around 4%).

http://www.realbeer.com/edu/health/calories.php

The cascade and frothy top are due to the use of around 10% *unmalted* barley in the recipe, and the way it is served (forced through a nozzle with many tiny holes, using a CO2/nitro mix).

vargis14 wrote:imm not saying head you perverts.

You just did! :lol:
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Re: The BEST beer, liquor, wine and champagne you have ever

Postposted on Thu Sep 15, 2011 7:00 am

I'm going to have to agree with everything JBI has said. I'll also toss in a few of my favorites.

Stone's Arrogant Bastard Ale - If you find this one on tap, avoid the Aged In Bourbon Barrels version. I found it to be too heavy on the spruce and pine flavors.
Lagunita's A Little Sumpin' Sumpin' - An enjoyable American Pale Wheat Ale. Had nice floral and citrus notes.
Westmalle Trappist Tripel - Isn't this one of the top rated Trappist beers in the world?
Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout - Almost my favorite Imperial Stout.
Samichlaus Bier - Very high alcohol content at 14%ABV. Still, one of my favorite Doppelbocks.
Rochefort 10 - I can't find this locally, unfortunately. Picked it up when I was in Tennessee a while back. Best Quadrupel I've ever had.

Noggenfogger Mead - Noggenfogger is the brewery name I gave my homebrew. This was the first, and only, mead I home brewed. It was neat to taste the progression of the flavor throughout the fermentation. It went from WTF hot alcohol to a smooth honey and citrus (I used a local orange blossom honey) taste. Must make more.
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Re: The BEST beer, liquor, wine and champagne you have ever

Postposted on Thu Sep 15, 2011 7:12 am

BuddhistFish wrote:Stone's Arrogant Bastard Ale - If you find this one on tap, avoid the Aged In Bourbon Barrels version. I found it to be too heavy on the spruce and pine flavors.

Yes, it is pretty intense; but occasionally I am in the mood for an "extreme" beer!

BuddhistFish wrote:Westmalle Trappist Tripel - Isn't this one of the top rated Trappist beers in the world?

Yup. (And IIRC Westmalle invented the Tripel style... or at least popularized it.)

BuddhistFish wrote:Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout - Almost my favorite Imperial Stout.

Mmm... this is one of my favorites as well!
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just brew it!
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Re: The BEST beer, liquor, wine and champagne you have ever

Postposted on Thu Sep 15, 2011 7:22 am

For beer, I'll separate my choices. For a bulk drinking kind of beer, I like Guinness. But for a nice single drink beer, it would have to be some variant of Chimay.

For the various liquors, I would say Forty Creek double barrel whiskey is my favourite whiskey. I don't really drink much in the way of vodka, but I guess Grey Goose was nice enough.
I never drink gin, or tequilla. Not really qualified to say anything about either.

I don't drink a lot of wine, but I did enjoy Peller Estates 2006 Signature Series Cabernet...though I'm not paying that much for booze. It was nice to try though. Better than most of the crap wine you get at social gatherings.
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Re: The BEST beer, liquor, wine and champagne you have ever

Postposted on Thu Sep 15, 2011 7:30 am

BuddhistFish wrote:Rochefort 10 - I can't find this locally, unfortunately. Picked it up when I was in Tennessee a while back. Best Quadrupel I've ever had.

I left this one out (probably left out 20+ awesome beers)... But we can constantly get this locally (until supplies all run out), and worth every penny! SO GOOD!
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