BeerAdvocate Top 100

At the beginning of the year I like to take a look back at the BeerAdvocate’s Top 100, see what’s moved up and down the charts, what’s new new on the list, and how many I’ve been lucky enough to try over the past year.

No surprise, Heady Topper is still number one and Hill Farmstead takes the most spots on the list. Cantillon, Three Floyds and Russian River still dominate here, and I don’t think that’s going to change any time soon, same with Alpine’s excellent hoppy offerings. The new Bourbon County variants have made a huge splash since their release, all landing on the Top 100.

Newcomer Toppling Goliath has taken a few spots with their PseudoSue, Morning Delight, and KBBS. Nice to see Jester King, Prairie and Perennial show up this year, and I’m sure Cory King’s Side Project will make an appearance next year as more of the product gets in the hands of BAs.

Beers highlighted in bold are beers I’ve had in the past:

  1. Heady Topper – The Alchemist 4.7 5274
  2. Pliny The Younger – Russian River Brewing Company 4.65 1797
  3. Pliny The Elder – Russian River Brewing Company 4.64 7920
  4. Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout – Goose Island Beer Co. 4.64 3160
  5. Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) – Founders Brewing Company 4.62 6142
  6. Zombie Dust – Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub 4.61 4521
  7. Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) – Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren) 4.61 3708
  8. Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean – Dark Lord Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub 4.6 661
  9. Parabola – Firestone Walker Brewing Co. 4.58 3288
  10. Double Sunshine IPA – Lawson’s Finest Liquids 4.57 1069
  11. Cantillon Fou’ Foune – Brasserie Cantillon 4.56 1204
  12. Bourbon County Brand Stout – Goose Island Beer Co. 4.55 6008
  13. Supplication – Russian River Brewing Company 4.54 3556
  14. Abner – Hill Farmstead Brewery 4.54 992
  15. The Abyss – Deschutes Brewery 4.52 3796
  16. Citra DIPA – Kern River Brewing Company 4.52 910
  17. Founders Breakfast Stout – Founders Brewing Company 4.51 9336
  18. Bell’s Hopslam – Bell’s Brewery, Inc. 4.51 7212
  19. Trappistes Rochefort 10 – Brasserie de Rochefort 4.51 5650
  20. Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout – Cigar City Brewing 4.51 1791
  21. Duck Duck Gooze – The Lost Abbey 4.51 741
  22. §ucaba (Abacus) – Firestone Walker Brewing Co. 4.5 2502
  23. Bell’s Black Note Stout – Bell’s Brewery, Inc. 4.5 1886
  24. Black Tuesday  – The Bruery 4.5 1799
  25. Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th – Dark Horse Brewing Company 4.5 1217
  26. Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Fourth Dementia – Kuhnhenn Brewing Company 4.5 1124
  27. Bourbon County Brand Barleywine Ale – Goose Island Beer Co. 4.5 1094
  28. Abrasive Ale – Surly Brewing Company 4.49 2135
  29. Beatification – Russian River Brewing Company 4.49 1317
  30. Cantillon Lou Pepe – Kriek – Brasserie Cantillon 4.49 896
  31. Ephraim – Hill Farmstead Brewery 4.48 550
  32. Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII) – Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren) 4.47 1374
  33. Barrel-Aged Abraxas – Perennial Artisan Ales 4.47 342
  34. St. Bernardus Abt 12 – Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV 4.46 5779
  35. Darkness – Surly Brewing Company 4.46 1909
  36. Cantillon Saint Lamvinus – Brasserie Cantillon 4.46 1104
  37. Everett Porter – Hill Farmstead Brewery 4.46 1104
  38. Double Galaxy – Hill Farmstead Brewery 4.46 441
  39. Consecration – Russian River Brewing Company 4.45 2855
  40. Permanent Funeral – Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub 4.45 870
  41. Proprietor’s Bourbon County Brand Stout – Goose Island Beer Co. 4.45 253
  42. Mornin’ Delight – Toppling Goliath Brewing Company 4.45 203
  43. Temptation – Russian River Brewing Company 4.44 2254
  44. Cantillon Gueuze 100% Lambic – Brasserie Cantillon 4.44 1632
  45. Chocolate Rain – The Bruery 4.44 965
  46. PseudoSue – Toppling Goliath Brewing Company 4.44 546
  47. Cable Car – The Lost Abbey 4.44 487
  48. Adam From The Wood – Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room 4.44 408
  49. AleSmith Speedway Stout – Bourbon Barrel Aged – AleSmith Brewing Company 4.43 828
  50. Kentucky Brunch Brand Stout – Toppling Goliath Brewing Company 4.43 149
  51. Cantillon Blåbær Lambik – Brasserie Cantillon 4.42 473
  52. Double Citra – Hill Farmstead Brewery 4.42 462
  53. Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier – Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan 4.41 4895
  54. Enjoy By IPA – Stone Brewing Co. 4.41 4244
  55. Samuel Adams Utopias – Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) 4.41 1327
  56. Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord Imperial Stout – Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub 4.41 436
  57. Sculpin IPA – Ballast Point Brewing Company 4.4 6263
  58. Dreadnaught IPA – Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub 4.4 3904
  59. Nelson – Alpine Beer Company 4.4 1472
  60. Mother Of All Storms – Pelican Pub & Brewery 4.4 1061
  61. Imperial Eclipse Stout – Elijah Craig (12 Year) – FiftyFifty Brewing Co. 4.4 866
  62. AleSmith Speedway Stout – AleSmith Brewing Company 4.39 3546
  63. Péché Mortel (Imperial Stout Au Cafe) – Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel 4.39 2931
  64. Prairie Bomb! – Prairie Artisan Ales 4.39 766
  65. Hoppy Birthday – Alpine Beer Company 4.39 407
  66. Society & Solitude #5 – Hill Farmstead Brewery 4.39 393
  67. Drie Fonteinen Oude Geuze Vintage – Brouwerij Drie Fonteinen 4.39 345
  68. Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout – California Brandy Barrel Aged – Cigar City Brewing 4.39 323
  69. Victory At Sea Coffee Vanilla Imperial Porter – Ballast Point Brewing Company 4.38 2841
  70. Duet IPA – Alpine Beer Company 4.38 1253
  71. Melange No. 3 – The Bruery 4.38 974
  72. Exponential Hoppiness – Alpine Beer Company 4.38 833
  73. Cascade Sang Noir – Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub 4.38 708
  74. Cantillon Lou Pepe – Framboise – Brasserie Cantillon 4.38 599
  75. Susan – Hill Farmstead Brewery 4.38 533
  76. Tröegs Nugget Nectar – Tröegs Brewing Company 4.37 5028
  77. Lagunitas Sucks Brown Shugga Substitute Ale – Lagunitas Brewing Company 4.37 4691
  78. Matt  – Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room 4.37 488
  79. Society & Solitude #4 – Hill Farmstead Brewery 4.37 365
  80. Backyard Rye Bourbon County Brand Stout – Goose Island Beer Co. 4.37 347
  81. Ten FIDY – Oskar Blues Brewing Company 4.36 5332
  82. Evil Twin Imperial Biscotti Break – Evil Twin Brewing 4.36 1551
  83. Edward – Hill Farmstead Brewery 4.36 1082
  84. Cantillon Lou Pepe – Gueuze – Brasserie Cantillon 4.36 486
  85. Bad Boy – Alpine Beer Company 4.36 338
  86. Imperial Russian Stout – Stone Brewing Co. 4.35 5506
  87. Founders Imperial Stout – Founders Brewing Company 4.35 3858
  88. Lunch – Maine Beer Company 4.35 1828
  89. Drie Fonteinen Schaerbeekse Kriek – Brouwerij Drie Fonteinen 4.35 591
  90. Atrial Rubicite – Jester King Brewery 4.35 286
  91. AleSmith Speedway Stout – Kopi Luwak (Bourbon Barrel-Aged) – AleSmith Brewing Company 4.35 280
  92. Murda’d Out Stout – Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub 4.35 219
  93. Baudoinia – Goose Island Beer Co. 4.35 215
  94. Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock – Privatbrauerei Franz Inselkammer KG / Brauerei Aying 4.34 4260
  95. Double Jack – Firestone Walker Brewing Co. 4.34 4135
  96. Blind Pig IPA – Russian River Brewing Company 4.34 3223
  97. Wisconsin Belgian Red – New Glarus Brewing Company 4.34 1795
  98. Fat Head’s Head Hunter IPA – Fat Heads Brewery & Saloon 4.34 1696
  99. Pure Hoppiness – Alpine Beer Company 4.34 1515
  100. Drie Fonteinen Oude Geuze – Brouwerij Drie Fonteinen 4.34 1471

As for how many of these beers I’ve actually been able to try? Last year at this time I had 47 out of the beginning of 2013’s Top 100. Today, I stand at 90 out of the beginning of 2014’s Top 100. A respectable jump in numbers. I’m sure I’d be saying otherwise this time last year but I don’t think the last 10 would be that hard to try if I really was interested in getting my hands on them (although I shudder to think about the amount of Hill Farmstead I’d have to give up to do so).

How many on the list have you have you had?

Merc’s Birthday Beers


While Merc wasn’t around for his actual birthday, on his next swing through the Capital District we had a pretty fucking stellar tasting to celebrate. He brought over a shit ton of Russian River bottles and some extras, I brought out some Juicy and Golden Blend, Pig Destroyer Jon brought over some Fruet. Seriously, not a bad beer of the night. Which is near impossible to be had considering how many bad Cigar City beers Merc manages to find and bring over.

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BeerAdvocate Top 100 (Most Popular)

Well, since BeerAdvocate has gone and changed the way they are determining the ratings of their beer, there’s been a bit of a shakeup at the top of the charts. Long time champ Pliny the Younger has gotten knocked down from newcomer Heady Topper, and there have been plenty of other changes down the line as well. After seeing Adam’s post on the matter, I thought it’d be a good idea to go down the line and see how many I’ve been able to try in 2012. Hads are starred and in bold:

*1 Heady Topper The Alchemist 4.71 2362
2 Pliny The Younger Russian River Brewing Company 4.69 1309
3 Bourbon Barrel Aged Vanilla Bean Dark Lord Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub 4.67 361
*4 Founders CBS Imperial Stout Founders Brewing Company 4.66 1821
*5 Pliny The Elder Russian River Brewing Company 4.64 5311
*6 Trappist Westvleteren 12 (XII) Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren) 4.64 2431
*7 Zombie Dust Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub 4.63 2283
8 Peg’s G.O.O.D. Rare D.O.S. Peg’s Cantina & Brewpub 4.63 92
*9 Founders KBS (Kentucky Breakfast Stout) Founders Brewing Company 4.62 3917
*10 Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout Goose Island Beer Co. 4.61 1486
*11 Parabola Firestone Walker Brewing Co. 4.59 1860
12 Citra DIPA Kern River Brewing Company 4.59 595
*13 Double Sunshine IPA Lawson’s Finest Liquids 4.59 445
14 Kaggen! Stormaktsporter Närke Kulturbryggeri AB 4.59 126
15 Adam From The Wood Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room 4.58 259
16 Duck Duck Gooze The Lost Abbey 4.57 367
17 Cantillon Blåbær Lambik Brasserie Cantillon 4.57 328
*18 Double Galaxy Hill Farmstead Brewery 4.57 226
*19 Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout – Laird’s Apple Brandy Barrel Cigar City Brewing 4.57 211
*20 The Abyss Deschutes Brewery 4.56 2693
*21 Supplication Russian River Brewing Company 4.56 2338
*22 Cantillon Fou’ Foune Brasserie Cantillon 4.56 758
23 Dark Horse Bourbon Barrel Aged Plead The 5th Dark Horse Brewing Company 4.56 579
*24 Ephraim Hill Farmstead Brewery 4.56 322
25 Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel Fourth Dementia Kuhnhenn Brewing Company 4.55 624
*26 Abner Hill Farmstead Brewery 4.55 447
27 Drie Fonteinen Oude Geuze Vintage Brouwerij Drie Fonteinen 4.55 210
*28 Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout Cigar City Brewing 4.53 981
*29 Cantillon Lou Pepe – Kriek Brasserie Cantillon 4.53 592
30 Cable Car The Lost Abbey 4.53 312
31 Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Lord Imperial Stout Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub 4.53 282
32 Peg’s G.O.O.D. RareR D.O.S. Peg’s Cantina & Brewpub 4.53 119
33 Keene Idea Alpine Beer Company 4.53 65
34 Alesmith Speedway Stout – Vanilla & Coconut AleSmith Brewing Company 4.53 32
35 Bell’s Hopslam Ale Bell’s Brewery, Inc. 4.52 4953
36 Black Tuesday The Bruery 4.52 1068
37 Trappist Westvleteren 8 (VIII) Brouwerij Westvleteren (Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren) 4.52 1037
38 Hoppy Birthday Alpine Beer Company 4.52 234
*39 Founders Breakfast Stout Founders Brewing Company 4.51 5896
*40 Trappistes Rochefort 10 Brasserie de Rochefort 4.51 3860
*41 Bourbon County Brand Stout Goose Island Beer Co. 4.51 3495
*42 Beatification Russian River Brewing Company 4.51 879
*43 Bell’s Black Note Stout Bell’s Brewery, Inc. 4.51 696
44 Ann Hill Farmstead Brewery 4.51 89
45 Oude Tart With Sour Cherries The Bruery 4.51 82
46 Abrasive Ale Surly Brewing Company 4.5 1296
*47 §ucaba (Abacus) Firestone Walker Brewing Co. 4.5 1261
*48 Everett Porter Hill Farmstead Brewery 4.49 492
49 Bad Boy Alpine Beer Company 4.49 216
*50 Society & Solitude #5 Hill Farmstead Brewery 4.49 146
51 Darkness Surly Brewing Company 4.48 1285
*52 Cantillon Saint Lamvinus Brasserie Cantillon 4.48 677
53 Mother Of All Storms Pelican Pub & Brewery 4.48 667
54 Silva Stout Green Flash Brewing Co. 4.48 363
55 Imperial Eclipse Stout – Elijah Craig (20 Year) FiftyFifty Brewing Co. 4.48 345
*56 Birth Of Tragedy Hill Farmstead Brewery 4.48 259
*57 Society & Solitude #4 Hill Farmstead Brewery 4.48 186
58 Bell’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Batch 9000 Bell’s Brewery, Inc. 4.48 151
59 Marshal Zhukov’s Imperial Stout – Zhukov’s Final Push Cigar City Brewing 4.48 46
*60 St. Bernardus Abt 12 Brouwerij St. Bernardus NV 4.47 3952
61 AleSmith Speedway Stout – Barrel Aged AleSmith Brewing Company 4.47 429
62 Imperial Eclipse Stout – Elijah Craig (12 Year) FiftyFifty Brewing Co. 4.47 387
63 Imperial Russian Stout – Bourbon Barrel Aged Stone Brewing Co. 4.47 225
64 Winter Ale (2012) / 5th Anniversary Ale Kern River Brewing Company 4.47 186
65 Churchill’s Finest Hour 2012 Port Brewing Company / Pizza Port 4.47 98
66 Dirty Horse De Struise Brouwers 4.47 91
67 Darkness – Bourbon Barrel Aged Surly Brewing Company 4.47 55
*68 Consecration Russian River Brewing Company 4.46 1808
*69 Temptation Russian River Brewing Company 4.46 1534
*70 Cascade Sang Noir Cascade Brewing / Raccoon Lodge & Brewpub 4.46 365
71 Matt Hair of the Dog Brewing Company / Brewery and Tasting Room 4.46 323
*72 Double Citra Hill Farmstead Brewery 4.46 158
73 Hop Venom Double IPA Boneyard Beer Company 4.46 108
74 Exponential Hoppiness Alpine Beer Company 4.45 595
*75 Chocolate Rain The Bruery 4.45 397
*76 Dreadnaught IPA Three Floyds Brewing Co. & Brewpub 4.44 2668
*77 Cantillon Gueuze 100% Lambic Brasserie Cantillon 4.44 878
*78 Cantillon Lou Pepe – Gueuze Brasserie Cantillon 4.44 282
*79 Maple Bacon Coffee Porter The Funky Buddha Lounge & Brewery 4.44 186
*80 Susan Hill Farmstead Brewery 4.44 148
*81 Nor Hill Farmstead Brewery 4.44 139
82 Drie Fonteinen Framboos Brouwerij Drie Fonteinen 4.44 89
83 Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan 4.43 3318
*84 Sculpin India Pale Ale Ballast Point Brewing Company 4.43 3251
*85 AleSmith Speedway Stout AleSmith Brewing Company 4.43 2124
*86 Samuel Adams Utopias Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams) 4.43 736
*87 Brute Ithaca Beer Company 4.43 634
88 Bourbon Barrel Aged Hi-Fi Rye Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery 4.43 218
89 Humulus Lager The Bruery 4.43 210
90 Columbus Bodhi DIPA Columbus Brewing Company 4.43 128
91 Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout – Bourbon Barrel Aged Cigar City Brewing 4.43 128
92 Moe’s Bender Surly Brewing Company 4.43 118
93 AleSmith Speedway Stout – Kopi Luwak AleSmith Brewing Company 4.43 61
94 Oil Of Aphrodite – Kopi Luwak Jackie O’s Pub & Brewery 4.43 34
*95 Péché Mortel (Imperial Stout Au Cafe) Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel 4.42 2049
*96 Fat Head’s Head Hunter IPA Fat Heads Brewery & Saloon 4.42 527
97 Melange No. 3 The Bruery 4.42 431
98 Drie Fonteinen Schaerbeekse Kriek Brouwerij Drie Fonteinen 4.42 405
*99 Drie Fonteinen Oude Geuze Golden Blend Brouwerij Drie Fonteinen 4.42 213
100 Black Damnation V – Double Black De Struise Brouwers 4.42 160

47 out of 100. Not too bad. Ease of access to the numerous Hill Farmstead beers has hit a huge chunk on this list, but I definitely have some work cut out for me. How many of the BeerAdvocate Top 100 (Most Popular) beers have you had?

Sour Beer Mail from Illinois

Man, the delivery guy has been treating me well this week. First Zombie Dust and BCBCS, now some Fou’Foune, Gilgamesh, Beat B5, and Cascade Blueberry, plus Bottleworks 13 and some New Glarus to top it off. With the Classic Gueuze versus Gueuze 100% Lambic Bio we did on Tuesday, and Zwanze Day coming up on Saturday, it’s a very Cantillon filled week! No complaints here.

Thanks makdeco!

Pliny versus Pliny

Pliny The Elder

— The last time Merc was in town, he was coming up on a milestone tick on BA so he brought over a couple of bottles of Pliny the Elder to open up. The big difference between the two? One was a year old.

Now if you read the little blurb around the label of the beer, and if you’ve ever heard the cry of hundreds of beer nerds out there you know that old Pliny is garbage, you can’t age it, Pliny older than 24 hours is barleywine, etc. What better way to gauge the hype than to crack one open that he forgot about in his beer cellar?

So what’s the verdict?

Well, let’s get the obvious out of the way, the year old Pliny had no hops. There was only a slight amount of bitterness left but it was mostly sweetness from the malts. However, to me, it was darker, and thicker mouthfeel than the new stuff, which to me as of late has been lacking of flavor and overly watery. (I blame The Alchemist, Hill Farmstead, and Lawson’s for that). Anyway, I tried to capture the slight difference in color with my camera as best as possible. Hopefully you can tell, the old Pliny is definitely darker in color than the new stuff, with the new being lighter, and more straw like in color, with the older having a slight orange tint to the hue. Batch variations? I dunno.

I would have preferred the body and mouthfeel of the older Pliny with the hops of the new Pliny. Since that’s not possible, I’ll just have to keep drinking Heady Topper…