30 December 2011

The 2011 Knights of the Beer Roundtable Beer of the Year - Three Floyds Zombie Dust

Every December since 2008, we have looked back at all the beers reviewed during our roundtables over the past year so we can pick our favorites. In some cases, not all the Knights attended a roundtable. So admittedly, our ranking method is far from scientific.

This year's field was made up of 37 competitors from seven states and four countries. The vast majority of the candidates were from Indiana - this is Hoosier Beer Geek, after all - but we feel confident that the beers receiving votes this year are as good as any beers you'll find anywhere.

Because our method isn't scientific, it's possible that we may have decided that we like a beer more or less since the roundtable in which we reviewed the beer happened. In any case, looking back, we've decided that the beers listed below left us with the fondest of memories.

And our fondest memory of them all?

Three Floyds Zombie Dust


We reviewed the beer that began its life as Cenotaph when we visited Twenty Tap during its opening week for a roundtable. Most of us had tried Zombie Dust before the Twenty Tap roundtable, so we knew what we were in for. Not surprisingly, the beer won near-unanimous acclaim from us:
"This single-hop (Citra) pale ale has the classic attributes of a Three Floyds pale ale: aggressive pineapple, mango, and grapefruit notes. It's also backed with a nice, somewhat caramel-like maltiness. . . . [I]f Zombie Dust tastes like this when I have it in the future, it will officially become my favorite Three Floyds beer. The best of the bunch."
"The orange-pineapple nose was bright and very enticing. The similar flavor gives a sweet, sticky kiss on the lips rather than a punch in the mouth, but don’t tell Floyds that. They have a punch-in-the-mouth image to uphold. Not only would I order this without question, I would go out of my way to find it."
This is the first year that we picked a Three Floyds beer as our beer of the year, but it was only a matter of time before that occurred. Perhaps it's appropriate that Three Floyds won beer of the year honors from us on the year of their 15th anniversary. Our congratulations go out to the Three Floyds crew!

And now for an explanation of our ranking system...

We ranked our top five beers with the option of listing beers under "honorable mention." We awarded 3 points to a first place vote, 2 points for a second, 1 for a third, 0.5 for a fourth, 0.25 for a fifth, and 0.1 for an honorable mention.

As you'll see, Three Floyds is well-represented in the rankings; the brewery also won second place for Three Kings Pale Ale, a beer it brewed in collaboration with Sun King. And in addition to local brewery Sun King, locals Brugge, Flat 12, Ram, and Upland are represented in our rankings.

Here are the votes from each Knight of the Beer Roundtable:

Jason

I had a lot of great beers this year. Some of them were consumed but not reviewed, which is a shame. Beers like Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Rare, which I often crave. Or beers like Brugge Diamond Kings of Heaven (the world is coming to an end folks when I start enjoying sours).

But there was only one reviewed beer that I could remember off of the top of my head without looking at a list. And I find myself craving it. My number 1 beer of the year is Ram's Anaheim IPA.

2. Pizza Port Carlsbad Barrel Aged Barleywine
3. Three Floyds/Sun King Three Kings Pale Ale
4. Pizza Port Carlsbad Barrel Aged Night Rider Imperial Stout
5. Founders Nemesis 2010

Honorable mention: Upland Bourbon Barrel Ard Ri, Paulaner Salvator, Flat 12 Pogue's Run Porter, Three Floyds Zombie Dust.

Jim

1. Three Floyds Zombie Dust
2. Trinity Old Growth Flemish-Inspired Wild Sour
3. Three Floyds/Dogfish Head Poppaskull
4. The Alchemist Heady Topper
5. Three Floyds/Sun King Three Kings Pale Ale

Mike

1. Three Floyds/Sun King Three Kings
2. Three Floyds Zombie Dust
3. Nøgne Ø Dark Horizon 3.edition
4. Pizza Port Carlsbad Night Rider Barrel Aged Imperial Stout
5. Three Floyds/Dogfish Head Poppaskull

Honorable mention: Brugge Black (still), Ram Anaheim Chili IPA

Gina

1. Three Floyds Zombie Dust
2. Three Floyds/Sun King Three Kings
3. The Alchemist Heady Topper
4. Ram Black Widow Stout
5. Trinity Old Growth

Rod

1. Nøgne Ø Dark Horizon 3.edition
2. Trinity Old Growth
3. The Alchemist Heady Topper
4. Three Floyds Zombie Dust
5. Three Floyds/Mikkeller/Surly/De Struise Baller Imperial Stout

Honorable mention:

6. Trinity Double Rainbow Saison
7. Three Floyds/Sun King Three Kings

Matt

1. Nøgne Ø Dark Horizon 3.edition
2. Three Floyds/Sun King Three Kings
3. Three Floyds Zombie Dust
4. Trinity Old Growth
5. Ram B-Java Disorder Porter

Chris

1. Three Floyds Zombie Dust
2. Three Floyds/Sun King Three Kings
3. Trinity Old Growth
4. Flat 12 Pogue's Run Porter
5. Ram Black Widow Stout

I'll do an honorable mention for Flat 12 Tangerine Porter, which I thought was amazing but we didn't review this year.

The Master List of 2011 Rankings. Here's our list of all beers that received votes, ranked in order of points received.

1. Three Floyds Zombie Dust
2. Three Floyds/Sun King Three Kings Pale Ale
3. Nøgne Ø Dark Horizon 3.edition
4. Trinity Old Growth Flemish-Inspired Wild Sour
5. Ram Anaheim IPA
6. The Alchemist Heady Topper
7. Pizza Port Carlsbad Barrel Aged Barleywine
8. Three Floyds/Dogfish Head Poppaskull
9. Pizza Port Carlsbad Night Rider Barrel Aged Imperial Stout
10. Ram Black Widow Stout
11. Flat 12 Pogue’s Run Porter
14. (tie) Founders Nemesis 2010, Ram B-Java Disorder Porter, Three Floyds/Mikkeller/Surly/De Struise Baller Imperial Stout
19. (tie) Brugge Black (2011), Flat 12 Tangerine Porter (not reviewed), Paulaner Salvator Doppelbock, Trinity Double Rainbow Saison, Upland Bourbon Barrel Ard Ri.

Past winners of the Knights of the Beer Roundtable Beer of the Year Award:

2010: Brugge Brasserie's Spider
2009: Broad Ripple Brewpub's Monon Porter (on cask)
2008: Mikkeller Santa's Little Helper (2007)

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