I've been too busy tracking ticket scammers like a hellhound to write my own Tuesday Top Ten this week. Thankfully, I received an email today from Binny's Beverage Depot (Chicago's greatest chain of liquor stores) listing their top ten beers of 2010. Here is their list, with their descriptions. Yes, I know last week's Tuesday Top Ten was beer-related as well, but tis the season for boozing, so you're welcome.
10. Stone Double Bastard
The 10.5% ABV Double Bastard is the big brother of Stone's most popular brew, Arrogant Bastard. It has a tremendous malt bill to go along with a ridiculous amount of hops. This beer is definitely not for the faint of heart. Are you worthy of this aggressive brew?
9. Smuttynose Robust Porter
One of the gems of the east coast, Smuttynose Brewing Company, debuted in out stores in October. Their Robust Porter is everything you could hope for in a porter, and more. It has a coffee and espresso like bitterness, along with flavors of chocolate and caramel.
8. Goose Island Night Stalker
Night Stalker is a monster of a beer, clocking in at 11.2% ABV and 60 IBU's. It is on the hoppy side for an imperial stout, as it is gushing with Simcoe and Mt Hood hops. The "midnight" color of the Night Stalker is derived from the six different types of malts used during the brewing process.
7. Emmett's McCarthy Red
Emmett's Brewing Company has been crafting beer locally at their brewpub and restaurant in West Dundee since 1999, and have since added locations in both Downers Grove and Palatine. McCarthy Red has a nice toasted malt flavor and a slight hop bitterness. It is easy drinking and has great balance.
6. Scheldebrouwerij Hop-Ruiter
This beer pairs aggressive American hops with Belgian yeast. But rather than the hops taking away from the Belgian yeast characteristics, they add complexity. Flavors of fruit, grass, and spices such as clove paired with assertive hops make for a very interesting and intricate brew.
5. Stillwater Stateside Saison
Some of us had the chance to sample this beer at the Belgium Comes to Cooperstown beer festival, and it stood out among the hundreds of beers we tried. We were elated when it debuted in our stores a few months later. It is floral, fruity, easy to drink, and definitely one of the premier saisons on our shelves.
4. Samuel Smith's Yorkshire Stingo
This traditional English Strong Ale is aged in oak barrels that previously held cask-conditioned ale. It is also bottle conditioned, and these two attributes unite for a rare combination. Flavors of caramel, dark fruit, oak, and toffee make up this 8% ABV brew.
3. Brooklyn Sorachi Ace
Brooklyn decided to use their bounty of the rare and coveted Sorachi Ace hop variety to craft a saison. This beer pulsates with a lemon citrus aroma, backed up with some herbal spices and yeast. The flavor is packed with more lemon, spice, and a bit of that funk that seems like a staple for saisons. The finish is mildly bitter but extremely refreshing.
2. Troubadour Magma
Magma is a decorated beer, having won top honors at Zythos, the biggest as well as the premier beer festival in Belgium. Magma is brewed with Belgian yeast, and dry hopped with American simcoe hops, resulting in a Belgian IPA that clocks in at 9% ABV. Flavors of strawberries, citrus, and yeast are apparent. The hoppiness is pleasant and not overwhelming.
1. Central City Red Racer IPA
Central City has come along way during their youthful 7 year brewing history. They were recognized as the 2010 Canadian Brewery of the Year at the Canadian Brewing Awards, edging out other Canadian brewery heavyweight favorites such as Unibroue. Their Red Racer IPA took home the gold medal for best American IPA at the same event.