I was sitting at the Alibi the other day, and I actually got called out for selecting a Beer of the Month that the person next to me didn’t love. So, let’s review the rules, folks. Beers of the Month are beers that meet these criteria:
- I have tried them
- I liked them or found them technically interesting
- Are beers that I feel need broader attention
Notice anything missing from that list? Yeah: “Are really great.” A BOTM nod from me does not mean that this is the best beer you’ve ever had (although it might be, I haven’t been keeping up on my duty to stalk every reader and keep track of what beers you have or have not drunk), but it does mean the beer is interesting to me, Chuck, or perhaps an unusual beer from a brewery not known for unusual beers.
Mini rant over.
Okay, just to keep it interesting, for February I am choosing a beer that just happens to be really great as well. This might confuse some of you, but I just don’t care any more. February’s Beer of the Month is Lighthouse Belgian Black 2013. I know, I know, I’m pretty predictable.
I love this beer for a few reasons. First, the bottle: it’s painted all-over with a textured black paint that makes it stand out as much as it completely blocks any incoming light. The bottle also has a pirate skeleton on it, and I cannot stress how much this improves a beer simply because you can say “Yaaaaaaar!!!!” while pouring it, or maybe slip in an “Avast!” or two between sips. Try it. It makes the beer better; it truly does.
Second, a year ago this beer signalled to the planet that Lighthouse Brewing was playing for keeps in the good beer game in BC. Sure, Deckhand made us realize that “Lighthouse” and “Good Beer” could be in the same sentence, but Belgian Black was a great beer bombshell that took us all by surprise. Simply put, before Belgian Black I didn’t believe Lighthouse could produce cellar-quality ales and after I flat out knew they could.
Third, it’s even better than last year. A lot better. Brewmaster Dean McLeod tweaked the recipe to be a bit more Belgian, and wow it shows. The tone of the beer has become more malt forward, with hints of all the right dark Belgian flavours: cherry, plum, date, and a wee touch of a certain monk-i-ness. There is a depth and complexity of flavour in this beer that was only hinted at in the 2012 version.
It’s drinking well right now, but lay some of these down for a year or so and you will not be disappointed.
Nose: Plums, raisins, dates. Basically 3/3 of the Belgian Strong checklist. Fruity/spicey esters are absent/very low though.
Appearance: Persistent medium carbonation, thin tan head over a dark, opaque black body. Sexy!
Taste: Very malt forward with a complex Belgian funk. Hops are prominent but balanced.
Should I buy it?: Oh hells yes.
|Pirate Score||1 for 1|
|Availability||Widely available at LRS|
|Cost||$8.00+ per 650ml bottle.|
|Similar BC Beers||P49 Vow of Silence|