Saturday, February 6, 2010
Karl Strauss 21st Anniversary Ale
Karl Strauss Brewing Co. is a San Diego institution, and this ale is the culmination of 21 years of great craft beer here in America's Finest City. Weighing in at over 10% alcohol, this Belgian strong ale is brewed with juice from old vine Zinfandel grapes. I had a hard time picking out the aroma and flavor at first. I got notes of prune, raisin, and even currants. On my second session with the brew I got hints of bourbon, and a large alcohol presence. It was only after my tasting that I found out it was brewed with Zinfandel grapes, and then what I had tasted finally made sense to me. It had a rich mahogany color, light carbonation, and a resinous, oaky finish. I liked it quite a bit, but it's richness prohibited me from drinking more than a glass or two at a sitting. I doubt this will be available for long, so I recommend getting to your local Karl Strauss soon to try it for yourself. If you make it in by Sunday you can pick up a growler of it for only $9.95, a steal for a beer of this caliber. Take it home, pour a glass, let it sit for a bit, sip it at close to room temperature, and let me know what you think. Whatever you conclude about this one, you have to respect the legendary brewing of Karl Strauss!