Greenbush Brewing has rolled out their bottle distribution for the first time in Michigan, and I decided to crack some celebratory bottles in their honor. But first off, here is what I am drinking at the moment.
Sierra Nevada Narwhal (imperial stout, 10.2% ABV, IBUs, 60) - As far as I know, this has not been available in NW Indiana, however, I was able to pick up a couple of bottles on my recent visit to Ann Arbor (I was able to pick up several bottles that I have not been able to find in the Michiana area, and hopefully I will get a chance to tell you about some more of them over the next week or so).
I have heard Narwhal compared to Founder’s Imperial Stout (10.5% ABV, IBUs 90), which is one of my favorites, so I figured it was worthy of a try. And my beer buds were not disappointed. The aroma contained plenty of rich roasted malt, chocolate, and dark espresso- followed by much of the same in the flavor. It is quite rich and smooth and the bittering hops (Magnum and Challenger) really stand out in the finish. If you are enjoying some big stouts on these cold nights, Narwhal is worth landing.
I have confirmation that Greenbush bottles have hit Drakes Party Center as well as other bottle shops in the Kalamazoo area. The first Greenbush beer that I cracked was one of the bottle release beers – Brother Benjamin (double IPA, 10.1% ABV, IBUs 114). Last year at my third anniversary party, this was one of the Greenbush featured beers. And from my memory and my notes, I enjoyed the draft version more than the bottle version.
But since we are talking about the new bottles, here are my notes from the bottle version. The aroma had some nice citrus, pine, and sweet toffee notes, but the flavor was very malt forward. Plenty of sweetness on the front, moving to a resinous bitter hop ending. A very enjoyable beer, but sometimes it’s just hard to capture that wonderful draft version in a bottle.
Delusion (11.7% ABV) is by far one of my favorite Greenbush beers. Using Rye Whiskey barrels from Journeyman Distillery (just down the road from Greenbush), this Imperial Cream Stout was aged for what their website describes as a “mind blowing experience”. There are plenty of bourbon barrel aged beers out there currently, but I’ve only had one other rye whiskey barrel aged beer – Tyranena Dirty Old Man – which you can find on the shelf at a couple of the Chalet Party Shoppe locations.
Whiskey, and yes, you may not believe this, but marshmallow were the two most prominent features of the aroma. The flavor contained whiskey, sweet caramel, chocolate, vanilla, and milk sugar – full body with a creamy finish. If you like beer and milkshakes (not necessarily together, but in this case, yes together), you will really enjoy this beer. Delusion is not one of the five beers that was rolled out for distribution this week. But if you make Greenbush one of your destinations (and you really should), you may find some special release bottles such as this one available.
Cheers and congratulations to Scott, Jill, and the whole gang at Greenbush.