Monday, February 13, 2012

Court Avenue Brewing Company - Des Moines, IA

Tonight we went to the Court Avenue Brewing Company in Des Moines, IA.  They have quite a range of beers, but where they really excel is in their selection of “premium” beers, so as I do whenever I arrive in Des Moines, I make it a point to stop by Court Avenue Brewing and find out what thier new specialty brews are.  As is usually the case I was not dissapointd tonight when I tried three of their new beers: Vindication, a Belgian Quad aged in rum barrels; Mole Mole Mole, their stout afted in oak barrels with cocoa and chipotle peppers; and Shogun Named Marcus an Imperial Rice Ale.

Vindication was a very nice Quad with the interesting element of being aged in rum barrels.  It poured a pale amber with a thin white head.  It smelled strongly of rum, and alcohol.  Vindication was a great large bodied beer with excellent linger and medium carbonation.  It had a great malty, carmelly, sweet taste that was very run forward and very alcoholic.  At 9% ABV this was definitely a quad that could stand on its own merits.  My only regret is that I ordered it as my first beer, prior to ordering dinner and finishing a glass of Vindication on an empty stomach was like being hit by a freight train.  Great flavor, great body, excellent linger, but a high alcohol content.
All in all this was an excellent Quad and I would happily order it again.

Mole Mole Mole! Was an interesting aged stout.  It is barrel aged version of their oatmeal BlackHawkStout.  They aged it in barrels with cocoa and chipotle peppers.  As a cask conditioned beer, it poured with very little carbonation. It was a dark translucent black with no head.  The scent from Mole Mole Mole! Was extremely malty, spicy, and almost bourbon.  It was medium to high bodied, with strong chipolty spice and a smooth finish.  At 6.25% this beer was a little less noticeable than their Vindication quad, but still stood as an interesting spiced stout.  If you like spicy beers, try this one out!

Shogun Named Marcus was interesting.  Since it is a rice beer, I was expecting something a little more like Kirin, the Hitachino rice beer, or a stronger sake flavor.  Shogun Named Marcus was straw in color with a small, white head.  It had a very pleasant citrusy, floral scent that was followed by a great floral hop flavor with a very slight hoppy bitterness.  It had a nice medium carbonation that provided for a clean finish.  At 8% this was a surprisingly strong beer, and an interesting one, but it definitely was not the beer I expected it to be.  Not that that is always a bad thing.

Well, Court Avenue Brewing did not disappoint, then again I did not expect them to.  They make awesome beer, and their extreme beers are not for the faint of heart.  Stop by if you find yourself in or around Des Moines!

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