$100 for good beers
I would like to treat myself to some good beers, and wanted to limit my budget to $100. Given that budget, were there any thoughts on how I can get the most bang for my buck? I was thinking 3 to 5 good bottles of beer, probably an imperial stout, a double IPA, and maybe a geuze. I know some really good beer perveyors so finding rarities is usually not an issue.
Consecration (sour, dark, currants in syrah barrels)
Supplication (sour, dark, cherries in pinot barrels)
Temptation (sour, light, chardonnay barrels)
Pliny The Elder (DIPA)
Lou Pepe Kriek (cherry)
Saint Lamvinus (wine grape, expensive, amazing)
Oud Beersel: (sour)
Oude Gueuze Vielle (wonderful)
Oude Kriek (not as good, but great)
Harvest Ale (any year, barleywine)
Barrel-aged Harvest Ale (port or sherry, whiskey isn't the best)
I can find no flaw in Josh's recs (though I prefer the Lagavulin JW to the others). I will add some favorites that I save for a special occasion;
Cantillon Fou Foune (Lambic)
Hanssens Oudbeitje (Lambic)
Bière Du Boucanier Superior (Strong golden)
De Dolle Du Teve (Tripel)
JW Lees Manchester Star (Porter)
St. Bernardus Tripel (Tripel)
re: Ernie Diamond
Port barrel-aged Harvest Ale + chocolate is fantastic.
Definite second to the Cantillon, Hanssens, and Manchester Star. I recently learned that Manchester Star was a collaboration between JW Lees' brewer and Garrett Oliver of Brooklyn Brewing.
And speaking of Brooklyn Brewing, I'd add the Local 1 and 2 to my list. Those are incredible beers.
"Manchester Star was a collaboration between JW Lees' brewer and Garrett Oliver of Brooklyn Brewing. "
Ah, yes, tasty stuff. I was a bit shocked (happily so) when I first poured it out and tasted it- was not prepared for a beer like that which was merely labeled "ale".
I believe the rear label on the bottled version from Lee's mentions the Brooklyn connection. The Brooklyn version, a few years earlier, was apparently a draught-only "Brewmasters Reserve" and only 28 bbl, to boot. Sorry I missed it, but not many of the BR's get to NJ (the one bar I frequent that once got them no longer does. They never could keep straight WHICH beer they had on tap, to begin with.)
What beers are in the $20 to $30 range for you? As you well know expensive doesnt necessarily = highest quality. Those are great recommendations above from both Josh and Ernie but most of them I can find for significantly less than $30 WHEN and WHERE they are available. (You cant introduce the scarcity factor into this. Just because they made only 100 cases doesnt mean its the only great example of its style). Even the Saint Lamvinus I have seen for $20 in stores. I guess if you really want to throw money at a top quality beer product go for a Sam Adams Utopias which if you are lucky enough to catch them when they are first released to stores you can get for around $120 a bottle. Otherwise shoot for 8 to 10 beers with your hundred dollars with any luck.
re: Insidious Rex
The beers listed would be in that range, as well as almost anything that was aged or has a high alcohol content. Anything over 12 oz and imported from belgium would also fall into that category. I am buying beer in Chicago, so while I could probably find beers cheaper outside of the city, I don't really have that option unless I order online, which I haven't found to be terribly cheap. I think of the beers listed I would be able to pick up 4 to 5 total, but if I can get more I will obviously do so.
Troegs brewery in Harrisburg PA has Mad Elf ale out right now, if you can score some of that give it a shot. But let it age at least a year. I bought a bomber last year and a six pack two weeks ago to compare and the aged version was much better. I'm headed up there this Wednesday and I'll be getting a couple of bombers for extended cellaring.