I haven’t put together a Top 10 list like this before. It felt hackneyed and a crowded space to be in. However, my content hasn’t been abundant this year so I’ve put this list together. The Top 10 beers I tasted in 2019.
This list is in no particular order. The beer does not have to have been bottled/canned in 2019. This is merely the beers I personally enjoyed most.
This beer offered everything about Coconut Vibes b2 that I liked, but then tempered down the lingering decadent sweetness with some tasty barrel. This beer is simply awesome.
A comparison against BAA is not unrealistic for Hubbard’s Cave here. The original pre-barrel was an adjunct assault, bordering on a train wreck sweet mess. The barrel aged version by way a Warehouse Liquors store pick barrel, provided a better canvas for this beer than the original version. If you’re seeking a comparison between BA Abraxas, I’d say this has lesser viscosity, but bigger cinnamon assault.
So often I expect BA stouts in the >$500 secondary neighborhood to over promise and under deliver. This was not one of those scenarios. Made me nostalgic for fresh Prop 13, but I think this was probably a successor to that lineage. If I had to choose between BA Coconut Vibes and Faha, Faha would be my choice.
It feels so long since I’ve had a ‘new’ Golden Blend. This was an enjoyable blend. Massive sticker shock for Americans with the common sticker price above $60, but at least you weren’t dependent on waiting for email replies from Etre to get these.
Do you remember the first time you had BVDL. Yeah, not Handjee, BVDL. How the vanilla and mouthfeel just permeated your every tastebud? How it felt like no other vanilla beer could approach what was accomplished in those silkscreen bottles from Munster, Indiana? That’s what Derivation felt like for me. Like tasting 2013 BVDL for the first time.
This entrant from Cerebral gets the distinction of being the only beer at FoBAB that I sought out for a second, and a third pour.
The third iteration of this exhibition of masterful blending of complex stouts is back. If you’re asking me, for this series, I order them 2018 > 2019 > 2017.
This was a perfectly cromulent way to visit the ground first broken by Goose Island in 2014 with Vanilla Rye. Everything in harmony. Everything in its place.
The only hoppy selection to make it into the Top 10, this was an impressive triple IPA from a brewery I’d had very little in the past from. Remember when all the Triple IPAs used to taste like malty 3 month old IPA, that someone decided to double dry hop? I like to think the worst of that is behind us.
This shine has somehow came off this annual release a bit, but I think it still slaps. Cinnamon is probably the best long lasting adjunct in stouts. We drank a 2014 bottle earlier in the year and the adjuncts surprised with how well this still was after being sat on for so long.
So this list of 10 favorites also just happens to be my Top 8 Barrel Aged Stouts, I guess. Sorry. I didn’t know this was the highly traversed land we were going to trudge over once more, when I set out to build this. It appears I have the stoutenvy for St. Louis folks. What a time to be alive there.
On the plus side, at least no 450 North slushy IED cans made the list.