If I were to name the brewer who had the firmest grip on my wallet, it would be Danish tryllekunstner Mikkel Bjergsø, whose beers often hit the sweet spot between interesting flavor, attention grabbing (though not particularly impressive) bottle art, and affordability (in that they're expensive but never seem outrageously so).
While is sometimes seems to me that Gina buys unusual beer indiscriminately*; I have to be prodded or convinced. Even though his record is not perfect, Mikkeller has me convinced.
We've drank Mikkeller Black Hole before. It seems like we've drank it quite a bit of it here and there*. As a result, two new varieties of the beer practically jumped off the liquor store shelves and into my cart.
Mikkeller Black Hole: Bourbon Barrel Aged - A "that's gonna be rich" nose jumps out of the glass, with a strong vanilla extract scent taking center stage. The weird thing about this beer is that it moved right past my palate to on first sip, slipsliding through my tastebuds and breaking like a wave on the back of the tongue. The beer is unbelievably smooth - I had to almost swirl it around my mouth to pull the bigger flavors out.
When paired with milano cookies, the dark chocolate elements of the cookie draw the alcohol flavor out. Big and smooth don't often go together, but this beer is exactly that. Tasty in a weird way. Definitely different than the regular version of Black Hole.
Mikkeller Black Hole: Cognac Barrel Aged- This one was definitely different. A bigger nose with sandlewood/cedar elements, and hints of dark fruit. The beer had the same smoothness as its Bourbon aged brother, but bit a little earlier, with notes of cocoa powder and baking chocolate also coming though. A richer, bigger, but not markedly different beer, which might Be surprising considering the difference in liquors.
In any case, another winner from Mikkeller.
*Gina would say that both of these statements are untrue.