Perhaps at this point in the holiday season, you may feel like the chaos of holiday shopping may be passing you by. Maybe you feel like Arnold Schwarzenegger in the holiday classic movie “Jingle all the Way”. You’ve slept on buying the hot toy of the season and now it is crunch time to obtain the unobtainable at all costs. You meant to wake up early on Black Friday and line up with your sleeping bag at the door of West Vail Liquor Mart to get that one coveted bottle of Goose Island Bourbon County Stout. But alas, it was opening day @ Vail and you thought you could get a few laps in the morning. You got to the store only to find out that stout hunting beer hunters had beat you to the punch, draining the Liquor Mart dry of their small allocation.
What will you ever do? Bribe the employees for a bottle? Write a nasty letter to Goose Island accusing them of selling out? Find the rarest beer you can and try to make a trade? Or perhaps you should go Arnie style and find an underground ring of beer geeks willing to sell you a (probably counterfeit) bottle. In the midst of your panic you start to feel a calming sensation. You remember that for some reason the stars have aligned and there are countless world class imperial stouts and porters that have been raining all over Colorado for the last few weeks. The holiday spirit returns…..
The amount of amazing imperial stouts and porters that have entered the state this winter season is remarkable. From new breweries to the state to old classics, you can’t go wrong when selecting a beer from these styles right now. We will start with a heavy hitter. From Michigan, Perrin Brewing makes some awesome stuff and is newly available brewery in CO. “No Rules” from Perrin is a 15%ABV imperial porter brewed with coconut and is a world class beer. We are very excited to have Perrin available in the store, and especially excited to have, for a limited time, the “No Rules” Porter available in 22oz bottles for $15.99. Speaking of imperial porters, we also have a trio of porters from Ballast Point and two from Dry Dock. From Ballast point we have the original “Victory @ Sea”, an imperial porter brewed with coffee and vanilla. This year we are excited to have two variants, Coconut and Peppermint, all available for $9.99/22oz bottle.
From Dry Dock, we have a double vanilla imperial porter as well as a hazelnut coffee porter, both of which are delectable and great holiday beers.
Porters don’t deserve all the attention however; the king of beers in my opinion is the imperial stout. You could go with a classic like Chocolate Yeti from Great Divide or something new, like “Even More Jesus” from Evil Twin, now made portable with the switch to the 16oz can format. Really, you can’t go wrong with any of these beers but if you want to taste something truly rare and unique go for the Fremont Barrel aged Dark Star, an absolute monster of a beer. Bourbon Barrels are the best aren’t they! They did incredible justice to the already delicious Oskar Blues “Ten Fidy”. The Bourbon barrel aged version is pure bliss and may be my favorite stout of this amazing season, available now for $11.99/19oz can. So do not fret, we’ve got you covered at West Vail Liquor Mart when it comes to imperial porters and stouts. Come by and try some of these and more for yourself. You won’t be sorry you did. You can sip on them on a cold snowy night and forget all about that Bourbon County you missed out on.
-Dean LoRusso, Beer Buyer, West Vail Liquor Mart