April 26, 2008 at home
After missing out on Jim, Mike, and Gina's recent trip to HotShotz, I decided to go out and find some Struise Pannepot of my own (Crown at 65th and Allisonville). The glowing reviews made it sound like an incredible beer. And the beer is worth the hype.
Pannepot is a very dark brown beer with a dark tan thick bubbly head. It has a strong Belgian nose of plum and other fruits. The mouthfeel is metallic and soapy. From the first taste, sugary notes pop out. Brown sugar, molasses, all the usual suspects. Just a knock out of flavors. And at 10% ABV, a TKO of a beer.
So, I'm thinking of giving this beer 4.5 mugs. What does that do for the rating? If it were to be factored into the previous review, my rating would drop the average score from 4.87 to 4.78, making it the third highest score (BBC's Jefferson's Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout would move to 2nd at 4.82).
But I was at home, alone, watching TV. They were in a bar, together, talking, laughing, quoting Freddy Lizard (or somebody). Which is usually what we are doing when review beers. So does Pannepot suffer because I didn't review it at the right place at the right time?
I'm going to bump my score by .2 to factor in atmosphere and company. That would be 4.7 mugs. That would be a KOTBR score of 4.83, just barely keeping that number 2 spot. I'll let the other Knights decide if they want to factor in my score or not.
May 1st, 2008, 8:30pm, at Spencer's Stadium Tavern
Spencer's has a great tap lineup, no doubt about it. Even with the Old Style, which I like. Hey, I'm a Cubs fan, so sue me!
The bottle beer lineup is pretty good, though not as good as HotShotz or BadaBoomz. But when it comes to smart bartenders, Dustin is up there with Hanz and Mike (on Mondays and Wednesdays when he is behind the bar). And like Hanz and Mike, he's generous to those who pay attention to craft beers. I started with the sourball of a beer Third World Old Ale and finished with a Heavy Seas Loose Cannon (Hop3 Ale).
In between, Dustin gave me a healthy sampling of Left Hand's Haystack Wheat. It is an American Pale Wheat Ale that has a strong Hefeweizen nose and a not-as-strong Hefe taste. It's like if Oberon and Franziskaner got it on in the hayloft. Pretty good stuff. I recommend stopping in Spencer's and tasting this one. Perhaps as a future roundtable? Nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more...