Hinterland Bourbon Barrel Doppelbock

trying to break into a bottle of Hinterland's Bourbon Barrel DoppelbockOn the advice of a friend, I bought a couple bottles of Hinterland’s Bourbon Barrel Doppelbock. Good advice. Even at the price of six ninety-nine a bottle, I was glad I made the extra effort to find some.

And speaking of effort: Hinterland gave each bottle a little hipster cachet by dipping the cap in some kind of bulletproof black plastic that’s impervious to nearly every sharp object in our kitchen. I don’t know what that crap is, but it isn’t wax, the stuff that bottles are usually dipped in and which is pretty easy to peel off, all the better to get at yummy stuff inside. The stuff on the caps of Hinterland’s brew is very emphatically not easy to peel off. It isn’t even very hard to peel off. It’s all but impossible to peel off. Hey, Bill Tressler! I love your beers, but I hate this bottle! Whoever you hired to do this to your beer ought to give you your money back.

There. That’s a load off my mind.

Now, back to the beer: I like it. I like it a lot. It’s dark, and I like beer that tends toward a darker color. This is really a very important characteristic of beer. I think beer ought to be reddish, or brown, or almost black. I get no kick out of beers that are orange, or yellow. Those are the colors of fruit drinks, or cocktails. Not that there’s anything wrong with cocktails. I like cocktails, too, but they’re not beer. To my eye, a beer’s color is a cue to what I like to think of as how sufficiently it serensifies me. After I drink a beer, I like to feel that it stuck to my ribs. That’s the difference between a beer and a cocktail. A cocktail goes to my head, but a beer sticks to my ribs.

And I like it because it’s got a flavor that I can’t help but think of as “wiseass.” I like a wiseass beer. It tastes very much like beer, but it has a way of suggesting it’s a beer doing a good impression of a drink that’s got a lot more going for it than beers made from the usual ingredients. It says, Sure, I’m a beer, but there’s something about me that isn’t like other beers. If I had to make a guess, I’d say that, in this case, that particular characteristic comes from the bourbon barrel part of this beer’s upbringing.

Finally, it comes in a pint bottle. Beer that comes in a pint bottle has something very important over beers that come in other sizes. Twelve ounces isn’t enough for me. After finishing a twelve-ounce bottle I always want more beer, but I don’t necessarily want another twelve ounces. It’s not a good size for me. It doesn’t fit. Neither does twenty-two ounces. The last few swigs from a twenty-two ounce bottle of beer make me feel like I drinking it because I have to. A pint is the perfect amount. It never feels like too much, and on those occasions when I want more, another pint isn’t too much, either. Bravo to Hinterland for figuring this out.

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