Let me start off by saying I am a marketer’s wet dream.
Make me laugh in a commercial? I’ll take a dozen. Tell me something’s limited, I’ll hand my credit card over. I over-commit to hype, and you bet that I was crazy about all sorts of 90s trends: Beanie Babies, Tamagotchi, Zwibble Dibbles, Pokemon cards, Crazy Bones, Yu Gi Oh stuff, Cabbage Patch Kids…. You name it, I had them all.
Well, when Victory Brewing Company, a brewery near and dear to my heart/home in Pennsylvania, mentioned via Twitter and their website that their infamous Dark Intrigue was going to be released the day before Thanksgiving (affectionately known as Dark Wednesday), about 12 hours before I was going to be flying into Philly, and it could be their last time brewing the particular beer, I knew I had to obtain some. I also knew the right man for the job.
The beer sold out 3 hours after they opened their doors, and my brother, Connor, waited for 5 hours with his dear friend, Gilly. If there’s one person who is at least as intense as I am, if not more, when it comes to dedication to a cause, whether it’s a Black Friday sale or crushing some child’s spirit as he out-trades Pokemon cards (we’re a mean family), it’s Connor. And he nailed it, picking up two bombers for his big sister.
The beer was $15 a bottle and, while that’s steep, I couldn’t say no to the opportunity. As I’ve said before, what money I save when I refuse to use heat and air conditioning, I just spend on Craft Beer. Such is life.
Since pint glasses are in high demand in my household (read: there are none because everyone either drinks canned beer or cocktails), Connor enjoyed his from a classic Coca Cola glass.
Described by the brewery:
Our Storm King Stout spent the summer in bourbon barrels from Jim Beam and Heaven Hill Distilleries, and has finally emerged as Dark Intrigue. (It’s like Clark Kent going into a phone booth and coming out as Superman, only more delicious and less crime-fighty.)
This beer poured such a dark, opaque brown-black that even the head was a rich brown color. It smelled boozy to say the least, of bourbon and maybe some vanilla.
We refused to wait for the beer to warm at all for the first sip which, I’ll admit, was a little heavy on the bourbon taste for my liking. However, as my good from Michael from Rockfish taught me, sometimes you just have to let certain beers warm up for all the flavors to come out right.
One adjective I’d use to describe the flavor would be burnt, kind of the way crème brûlée tastes a little burnt. As it warmed, it sort of just tasted softer. Malty and sweet, it was definitely easier to drink as the night progressed.
Now, I have been to several classes or events that described how we should taste beer. What we should say about it, how we should use our retronasal tasting, etc. But I’m going off that formula for a second.
Maybe it was the post-Thanksgiving glow of a late night on Black Friday. Maybe it was enjoying a fantastic beer with my brother. Perhaps it was just the 9.1% ABV. Most likely, it was a combination of all three. But both of us agreed that this beer just made us feel really wonderful. As we sipped, the stressful bits of the day, the looming deadlines just slipped away. Smiling was easier, laughter came quicker, and even though we each only enjoyed one glass, I’d say that beer was worth every penny of the $15. It warms the body, and it warmed the soul.
Huge thanks to my brother and his partner in crime, Gilly, for supporting my craft beer crazy, and to Victory Brewing Company, for bringing me even closer to my brother!