29 December 2015

Polka Dot Awards 2015 #3 - Long Dark Voyage to Uranus

Just something about the name makes me smile.
Long ago, in the barren macro lager land of the Drunk Polkaroo's past lies a sad little truth. I never understood what it meant to drink good beer. Anything but the coldest, flavourless lager would chase me from the table and make me hide behind my tall boy of Old Milwaukee.
Moving my taste buds away from not feeling anything at all through drinking better beer led me to discover how much I love the dark stouts of Winter. So many flavours, textures and combinations of ingredients make for some amazing beers. This might be one of the best. Not to mention, what a name!
Gravenhurst, Ontario brewer Sawdust City makes many good beers, but I looked forward to no beer more than the return of Long, Dark Voyage to Uranus. I bought the beer for the wacky name and wanted it again because of what was inside. I rarely quote the blurbs found on the beer I drink, preferring to craft my own not so eloquent description and I will, but this is too much to pass up
"What's in a name? Uranus by any other name would smell so sweet. That was written many eons ago by Toftorg Golshop, Ruler of the Third Empire of Uranus on one of his many voyages to earth (it was stolen and re-written by "you know who" sometime later).
And while on earth for one of those trips, Toftorg grew fond of the rich, robust stouts of Northern England. Designed to withstand the grueling intergalactic voyage from Earth to Uranus, "Long, Dark Voyage" is a Uranal Stout of the highest order. Ass puckeringly bitter and dry as a bone, this dark chocolate treat is quite dangerous and can sneak up on you from behind if you don't keep your wits about you. You've been warned! "
I mean, come one. Who doesn't want to try this seasonal beer after that.
Pours thick as motor oil, with an impenetrable black colour and a creamy bronze head. Smells like dark chocolate. Tip the glass back and get a thick mouthfeel that cascades coffee, bittersweet chocolate and roasted barley malt. Hint of caramel and licorice add to the complexity of the darkness. Driest stout I've ever had and the finish is a great bitter punch that leaves you wanting more. At 9.5% ABV and 60 IBUs, this isn't a beer for the weak of heart.
This brew was the first time in my life I waited for a beer to come back. I never knew that such a thing as seasonality existed when it came to malted barley and hops. Learning the patterns and tastes of each season really is a treat and I appreciate what they bring as the world turns. These dark, high alcohol beers are perfect for the long cold winter here in Canada. they warm you up and give you a healthy glow as we hibernate and wait for the first light of spring.
I am in love with this beer and have one set aside for next year to age as well as one in the fridge for New Year's Eve. Nothing but great beers that night.
Congratulations Sawdust City and Long Dark Voyage to Uranus on your Polkie win!
Cheers and let's go exploring!
Seems like these guys should get together and make a beer.
I know, sometimes it's like I'm 12.

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