So I recently moved to Sterling from the beer mecca of Fort Collins, which I brought up in my last post. (And let’s be honest, if you’re reading this, you mostly likely helped me move at some point). And while Sterling is smaller and flatter than Fort Collins, I held hope that it might have the same selection of beers lingering around. And why not? It’s only, two hours away, right?
Nahhhh. The selection’s pretty sparse. But what the little liquor stores lack in quality of selection, they make up in personality. So far, I’ve been to three liquor stores with names like “Liquor” or “Discount Liquor,” determined to find beers I haven’t tried yet. So far, I’ve been successful. I won’t give the names of the liquor stores, so I’ll be free to make whatever comments I want without people coming after me. But I’ll give a brief, brief review of my experiences at each of them.
Liquor Store #1.
The first place I went was bar none the biggest I found in the city. Still, I’m not sure I’ll go back. There was wine in the sections labeled “Rum” and “Tequila” and vast open spaces, which I’m guessing were for all two of the liquor store’s patrons to roam around. Also, the person behind the counter, while personable, kind of scared me. I grabbed the first beer I could find that looked different and ran.
Breckenridge Brewery’s Dark Oatmeal Stout
This beer was a smooth, toasty, flavorful surprise. It fits the name, pouring jet black with a milk chocolate head that sits on top like a coaster. The smell is sweet and toasty, like a good oatmeal stout should smell. What really makes this beer so good is its incredible, effortless drinkability. It his sweet up front, and the chocolate, caramel and roasted barley malts (I checked the website, don’t worry) give it body and silky smoothness that flows down the gullet. A faint roasty flavor sticks around after awhile. It’s also at 4.95% ABV, which makes this a fantastically sessionable beer.
The good people of BeerAdvocate gave this beer an 83, but I think it’s more of a 90. No, I don’t think, I know. This is a 90. It does everything I think a milk stout should do. What keeps this from being a great beer is its lack of creativity. There’s nothing that really stands out in this beer to make it different from other oatmeal stouts. Even the name is generic (even if the label isn’t. Check it out). Any less of a rating would do disservice to its sheer tastyness; any more would give it more praise than it deserves.
It’s at least worth a try.