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What I'm drinking tonight: from Portland, Oregon, Gigantic Brewing Company's "Superbad" Imperial Coffee Stout

What drew me to this sip was, of course, the bottle art.  The label's image of a character with a more-than-passing resemblance to Samuel L. Jackson's character in "Pulp Fiction" naturally tore at my Gen-X heartstrings.  But I did take on this Coffee Stout (which feels much more like a porter than a stout) with some trepidation, as I have had many poor experiences with caffeinated beers before.

Fortunately, Superbad is not super bad after all!  In fact it's quite drinkable, especially if you like Kahlua.  It's thick and sweet and has just enough Kahlua feel without actually being the famous coffee liqueur, and after a few sips I perversely wondered what it would be like in milk!  It's probably for the best that I elected not to actually explore that concept.  There's a bit of nutty maltiness behind the Kahlua too, but there's no question which flavour element is in charge here.

As a sweet, powerful (9% abv) hi-test, Superbad is definitely meant for dessert at home, or somewhere that you won't have to drive home from any time soon.  Sip it, prolong the experience, and respect the wallop it packs. 

Pours opaque black, with a thin, chocolate head that disappears very quickly.  This specialty import cost a little over $10 for the 650ml bomber shown, although its price point is likely more down to earth closer to home, in Portland.

My rating: 8/10.  Some will really love this, but it's definitely not for everyone, or for every occasion.

Give Trump a term in the White House and this is what you'll get.

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All the way from Jamaica, it's Royal Jamaican Alcoholic Ginger Beer!

I've been a big fan of ginger beer since I was a boy, but as an adult I have found very few opportunities to enjoy the kind of ginger beer you have to get from the liquor store.  And on those few occasions, I have been rather disappointed, until now.

You can't evaluate ginger beer as beer, even if it really is beer as this product is.  Ginger beer is a whole different animal.  None of the flavour notes I look for in lagers, ales, porters, stouts, pilsners and IPAs are present here, or if they are, they are buried under the avalanche of sweet, spicy ginger!  After a few sips, you can just start to make out a faint malty hint of lager.  The rest is pure spicy hot goodness!

Like most ginger beers, it pours with no head at all to a pale yellow, almost white.  But the spectacle is on the your tongue, not in the glass, and that, friends, is where the fireworks happen!

If you don't like ginger beer, or spicy or sweet drinks, you will hate this, and you're nothing like me =)  I enjoyed it but it is very over-the-top, and I would find it difficult to continue enjoying it if I were to, say, attempt a 6-pack at once.  As a rare treat, it truly is a treat but this is no one's nightly go-to sip, that is for sure!  Pairings?  Perhaps a tour of Willy Wonka's factory.  I can't think of an appropriate food for this.

4.4%abv, about $4 in the 355ml bottle shown.  My rating: 7/10.  With the low alcohol level, I never caught a buzz.

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I have only one thing to say about this:

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What I'm drinking tonight: Phillips Brewing's "Odyssey" Nitro Porter!

The first thing I noticed, on opening the can, was the characteristic hiss of gas being released from deep within the can, much like Guinness.  It pours to an opaque black colour, with a creamy white head that cascades away into the beer, much like Guinness!  It is quite sweet, even for a porter, but not overly heavy.  The first (and last) flavours noted are those of chocolate and caramel, with a smooth, only very slightly bitter nutty finish.  As dessert beers go, this one is lightweight, not at all overbearing and quite a bit more drinkable than I was prepared for!

Now, about that Guinness-y gas release.  I did discover, affixed to the bottom of the can, a small plastic device that released nitrogen bubbles, similar to the legendary floating widget found in Guinness Draught cans.  The nitrogenation of beer allows for smaller bubbles, producing the thick, creamy head characteristic of both Guinness Draught and Odyssey Nitro Porter.

But it is important to note that despite its superficial similarities, Odyssey Nitro Porter is a very different beer from Guinness Draught, and a worthy treat for those who love the concept.  Its flavour is not as strong as Guinness, and while that might make Odyssey less suitable for cooking a Guinness stew, it does make it more drinkable.  At 5.0%abv, it's a little stronger than Guinness' 4.2%, but then again it's a Canadian brew and we just don't do light here!

I knew ahead of the purchase that Odyssey would be following in Guinness' footsteps, and honestly, I expected it to live in Guinness' shadow.  On that last point I was quite mistaken.  Odyssey stands up very well in its own right and, IMO, might be Phillips' best product to date!

About $4.40 in a 473ml King Can.

My rating: 9.5/10, excellent!

-=( T )=-

Link: Here's a video of Odyssey being poured correctly, maximizing the head cascade! (Vimeo)

Here's a look inside the can.  The widget is glued to the bottom so it doesn't float and rattle around like the Guinness widget does.  You can see a little notch in the northwest corner of the widget - that's where the gas comes out!

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