31 December 2015

Polka Dot Awards 2015 #1 - Old North Mocha Porter

My Favourite Beer in 2015!
A year ago today my life was rolling along as it always had. One disaster after another followed by binge drinking macro lager and passing out. I wasn't looking to the future nor did I care to. But there was a glimmer of hope as the year progressed. I started to actively live my life. It didn't happen overnight, but in a series of small moments that I couldn't recognize until I put down the Old Milwaukee tall boy. It would be simplistic to say Craft Beer saved my life, but not far from the truth. Well made beer is not just a better consumer product, it is better for you. Good beer made me slow down and take stock of what I really wanted in my life.
I know in my heart I am always going to have to work at being a more present person. But with the help of my family, friends and the occasional beer, I can do it.
All of this leads up to where we are today. New year's Eve 2015. I am very grateful for every one of you who took the time to read the ramblings of the Drunk Polkaroo. It means more to me than I can express and I hope you found something to carry with you. Be it a beer you didn't know about or maybe reconnecting with an old friend, I wish you well.
On with the final review of the year.
 My crazy days of drinking crappy beer are over. The memes and pithy quotes about over consuming and blacking out are still funny, but no longer needed. It is time to grow up and drink beer as the gods intended it to be consumed. With joy and presence. I approach my beer now with an open mind and heart. This how I feel when I popped the top on this years #1 beer on the Polka Dot Awards.

Baysville, Ontario brewery Lake of Bays makes many of my favourite brews, but their Old North Mocha Porter was off the charts good this year.
You always have some expectations of what a beer is from the style or description on the bottle. I usually rely on my own judgement, but their modest depiction of what was in the bottle says it quite well.

 I had the 2014 version last winter and found it pretty decent. 2015 was a step above. It made such an impression that I couldn't get it out of my head. It held its place as the last month of the year advanced and the beers got more complex. Never did I expect this would remain the front runner, but it is a great damn beer.
Christmas at Merle's with a wonderful beer!
It pours a rich black colour with a creamy tan head. Smells incredible roasty. When you finally get done admiring how good it looks, the flavour is incredible. Coffee forward flavour drives the truck here and with the dark chocolate and bittersweet cocoa flourishing in the back, we have an amazing brew. It is a big, robust and mouth watering beer that warms you up in all the right ways. Roasted malts cascade through your senses as you take a deep breath before each sip. So very enjoyable.
This beer is exactly what I was missing before I began to trek up Mount Beer. It could be used to get drunk with, for sure. But it doesn't make me feel that way. It makes me want to lean back, turn off the TV and find out how your day was. It makes me want to read a book and sit in front of the fire. This is a beer that lets you enjoy what it is and contemplate how you ever thought Old Milwaukee was tasty.
I am a man who has missed a lot of life in the last few years, but when I get to taste beer like Old North, I know I wont miss much anymore. One bottle of this beer and you have my attention for the whole night. Okay, maybe two and we'll share.
Polkies are meant to show you what made me better this year and I don't have a doubt that this is one of those. I am constantly seeking the next great beer and finding one is such a joy.
Thanks for coming along for the ride. There were so many amazing beers this year and I am just scraping the tip of the iceberg with these ten. Any of the beers listed below could have been #1, but I had to pick just one.
 I have one ready to go and I think it will be the first beer I open when we arrive at our destination for the festivities tonight. I can't think of a better way to start a party.
It's good to have dreams. Here's one of mine.
Thank You!
Happy New Year!

Congratulations Lake of Bays! The Polka Dot Award for the Drunk Polkaroo's favourite beer in 2015 goes to you and your Wonderful Old North! I cannot wait till next winter and another new Mocha Porter!
Here's a link to their website. Fantastic brewery that never disappoints.
Cheers to the Canadian Beers!
Top Ten of 2015 from the Drunk Polkaroo
  1. Old North Mocha Porter - Lake of Bays Brewing (Canada)
  2. Pompous Ass EPA - Great Lakes Brewery (Canada)
  3. Long Dark Voyage to Uranus - Great Lakes Brewery (Canada)
  4. Riptide Rye Pale Ale - Forked River Brewing (Canada)
  5. Torpedo Extra IPA - Sierra Nevada (USA)
  6. Coast to Coastless - Flying Monkeys Brewing (Canada)
  7. Farm Table Marzen - Beau's All Natural Brewing (Canada)
  8. Pale Ale - Sierra Nevada (USA)
  9. Kentucky Bastard (2015) - Nickel Brook brewing (Canada)
  10. Curmudgeon IPA - Grand River Brewing (Canada)

Summer can't come fast enough.
See you all in the Grotto.
Happy New Year!

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