Searching for the line between "hobby" and "obsession"

What I’ve been drinking this fall

Contrary to my wife’s logic, I can’t drink homebrew ALL the time. I have to see what else is out there so I can get inspired. Here’s a mix of stuff that has passed by my palate in the last few months:

Dogfish Head’s World Wide Stout (W.W.S.) – roasty chocolate, coffee, tart, raisin, prune, port-like, no perceivable hop profile, only slightly carbonated. Goes GREAT with a chocolate chip cookie and some vanilla ice cream.

Left Hand Brewing’s Fade to Black Baltic Porter – less viscus than W.W.S., getting a little smoke, roastiness much like W.W.S., no raisin or prune flavors like W.W.S., a more typical stout/porter profile though still nearly as high in alcohol as W.W.S.

New Glarus Uff-da Bock – love this! Smooth, clean profile, a little yeasty in the nose/aroma, slightly roasty caramel flavor, little-to-no hops in flavor or aroma.

Russian River’s Pliny the Elder – the absolute perfect balance of hoppiness and caramel malt flavor

Lakefront Brewery’s India Black Ale – not quite as roasty or as strong as the one I brewed last spring, very smooth though and not overtly hoppy

Surly’s Moe’s Bender, Darkness and Damien (from L to R) – Moe’s was almost too vanilla-y, couldn’t drink a lot of it. 2011 Darkness on Darkness Day was BRIGHT! Hoppy, malty sweet. An intense mix. My perception here is probably because I was comparing it to 2010 Darkness I’d tasted the night before. Darkness definitely changes over time. Damien? Probably the most drinkable of the three. A roasty drinkable beer that I think would go well with grilled meats or spicy mexican food.

Point Brewing’s Whole Hog Series, 6 Hop IPA – sorta two dimensional, hops and malt. Not crazy intense by any means.

And regarding homebrew…

SaiSon of a Bitch went well with salmon and sweet potato fries on a temperate late-summer evening.

CUJO SPICE V 2.1 pumpkin ale with pot roast. Freaking tasty fall meal.

CUJO SPICE V. 1.0 (brewed Oct. 2010) – This was my second-to-last extract batch. It was pretty bitter a year later, though the malt profile wasn’t horrible. This was the last 12 oz. bottle I had left. I have one more 22 oz. of this batch left and then that’s it.

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