The Brew Site

The Session #23: The New Year

Today is the first Friday of the month, and that means it’s time for The Session: group beer blogging on a common topic.

It’s also the first Session of the New Year, and that leads us straight to this month’s topic, which is hosted by Beer and Firkins:

[W]hat will you miss about 2008 (feel free to list your tasting notes, if that item is a particular beer) and what do you expect will excite you most in 2009, in the "Beer World"?(again, if that is a beer, what about it is special and worthy of being excited about?)

I’m writing this in the spirit of "what one thing" I will miss/look forward to, partially because I plan on writing a much longer 2008 wrap up later, as well as revisiting my 2008 predictions and coming up with 2009 ones. Both are of course New Year-related posts, but larger in scope and not really as on-topic.

So… what one thing will I miss about 2008, beer-wise? That’s a really tough question, of course, but one thing that comes to mind is Deschutes Brewery‘s Black Butte XX. I didn’t miss the beer entirely, of course—here’s a bit of my notes:

Taste: Creamy coffee and dark notes of alcohol—"dark" as in dark fruits and oaky. Lots of coffee going on. Bittersweet dark chocolate. It’s not really heavy though—to me it still has the lightness of Black Butte Porter with all the dry, roasted, smoky notes. (Maybe a Baltic porter thing going on.)

Mouthfeel: Chewy and syrupy but paradoxically not too thick. Full and smooth and finishes nicely dry with drawn-out coffee notes.

Rather, what I miss—perhaps regret is a better word—are more bottles of XX. I wish I had bought a case of it, or even just a few extra bottles, when it came out, but I missed the boat. (I was also unemployed at the time, which goes a long way to saying why I missed the boat.)

As for what I’m looking forward to in 2009, or what will excite me… it’s a little too early to tell, actually. I think right now, the prospect that I’m looking forward to the most is writing about beer—a whole new year of beer to explore and write about.

Of course, I’m drinking a beer even as I finish this, so already 2009 is off to a good start!