I believe I've hit my abv "wall."

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by MVotter, Jan 20, 2013.

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  1. MVotter

    MVotter Disciple (333) Sep 9, 2007 New York

    I know. I know. If it's brewed, it's beer.

    Just sayin'...I had the Bourbon County Brand Stout, and it was delicious and potent, and still "beer." I think I am going to draw the line at BCBS's 15% abv. And, personally, I enjoy higher alchohol malty brews than higher alcohol hoppy ones. I think that the flavor possibilities with the malts lends the opportunity for a more varied profile.

    Of course, if another brew comes along with a 15%+ abv and I love it, then this post blows-up. But, I'm pretty sure that I'm at my personal threshold.

    BCBS...all around.

    Thoughts on beer abv thresholds? Preferred high alcohol styles? Suggested higher abv brews? Persuade me.
    Errto and Arbitrator like this.
  2. PatriotsRule

    PatriotsRule Aspirant (257) Sep 25, 2012 Massachusetts

    Strictly Utopias, it's a sort of minimum threshold.
    DonDirkA, patrickcmcd and YogiBeer like this.
  3. dgilks

    dgilks Initiate (0) Jul 14, 2008 Australia

    It's a good point. To be honest, you need to be doing something pretty special to make it worth going past 12 per cent.
  4. jzeilinger

    jzeilinger Poo-Bah (5,406) Dec 4, 2004 Pennsylvania
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    Is your threshold flavor vs. sh*tted? :stuck_out_tongue: (I have no idea why I substitute sh*t when it comes to crucial vowels in words...besides the point...)

    When it comes to the higher alcohol (15%+) brews, to get the ABV to that level and still retain hop crispness is d@m (there I go again!) impossible. I much prefer a hop bomb but granted, I agree, a maltier beer lends itself to more complexity and I really enjoy that as well. But, there's alot of other non-hop forward beers out there well under 15% with really nice complexity. I really dig (now there's an atiquated term, almost as bad as "groovy") There's a myriad of beers out there well under 15% that are complex but because of the malt bill are not enjoyable because the booze masks the complex and subtle nuances.
    zestd and MVotter like this.
  5. Danny1217

    Danny1217 Champion (856) Jul 15, 2011 Florida
    Beer Trader

    Mephistopheles is the highest abv distributed beer I've had and i enjoyed it.

    The highest abv beer I've had was an 18% imperial stout from some homebrewers near me. I enjoyed that as well. I still haven't reached my limit
    basscram likes this.
  6. Dope

    Dope Poo-Bah (2,384) Oct 5, 2010 Massachusetts

    Chocolate Rain at 19.5%ish was excellent in my opinion. Smoked BCBS in my opinion. Haven't had anything higher than that that was any good yet. Got some Utopias sitting in the cellar though...

    dcloeren likes this.
  7. FunkyMacGroovin

    FunkyMacGroovin Initiate (0) Sep 22, 2009 California

    I don't believe I've had anything higher in ABV than Black Tuesday, and I fucking love Black Tuesday.
  8. Etan

    Etan Initiate (0) Jul 11, 2011 Wisconsin

    Utopias is always nice (27%). Struise has a few fun beers over 20% (Special Kay, Double Black, 5 Squared). Black Tuesday and Chocolate Rain (~19%) are great.

    I'm drinking a bottle of Monster29 from Dark Horse right now. At 17%, it's pretty good. I'm always down to try something over 15%.
    SageO and jzeilinger like this.
  9. jzeilinger

    jzeilinger Poo-Bah (5,406) Dec 4, 2004 Pennsylvania
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    I was "timed out", please refer to my response above before I get flagged for bad hippy grammar.
    MarcatGSB likes this.
  10. skunkpuddle

    skunkpuddle Aspirant (259) Feb 14, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    Stop thinking and just drink
    MexicanSkittel and MVotter like this.
  11. SageO

    SageO Initiate (198) Jul 13, 2010 California
    Beer Trader

    Out of all the high-ABV beers I’ve had, Black Damnation V does the best job of being the highest-ABV beer that still tastes like beer. Utopias is only a couple ABV points higher but definitely drinks more like a port/brandy. Black Damnation V is stupid though – it drinks easier than most other double-digit ABV beers.
    Pete27lax likes this.
  12. costanza46

    costanza46 Initiate (0) Jan 20, 2013 California

    I think that around 10% it begins to lose its beer-ness. I.E. to much alcohol bite
    MVotter likes this.
  13. MeadGuyfromMD

    MeadGuyfromMD Aspirant (215) May 23, 2007 Maryland

    Dogfish 120 and WWS are two favorites of mine, typically around 18% abv. I thoroughly enjoy Utopias as well, as I have had the last 3 releases, all at slightly climbing abv levels. I tried Sink the Bismarck at it was hot, but the flavor itself, was a bit off putting. I don't think abv should be your determining factor, it's all about flavor and your enjoyment of the brew.

    Lantern likes this.
  14. sukwonee

    sukwonee Crusader (740) Dec 13, 2011 Washington
    Beer Trader

    Uncle Jacobs was amazing.
    bifrost17, JulianC, Angst and 4 others like this.
  15. Derranged

    Derranged Devotee (480) Mar 7, 2010 New York

    'Aven't 'ad anything stronger than 18.0 abv Oi 'aven't. Dogfish 'ead 120, WWS and Raison D'Extra.
    Lantern and DonDirkA like this.
  16. Azzy

    Azzy Initiate (0) Jul 16, 2012 Texas
    Beer Trader

    Bcbs has high abv but you don't feel like your drinking something with a big boozy mess, I love it.
    BetterBeerPlz and MVotter like this.
  17. Pete27lax

    Pete27lax Initiate (0) Jul 13, 2011 New York
    Beer Trader

    Completely agree with this. After trying Utopias, and not being a huge fan, I thought Double Black was a lost cause. Opened mine a few weeks ago and loved it. Amazing how well it drank for the extremely high abv. Try going after this beer before setting your ABV limit!
    MVotter likes this.
  18. RaulMondesi

    RaulMondesi Meyvn (1,396) Dec 11, 2006 California
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    I just personally want to thank you for putting the period on the inside of the quote.
  19. bylerteck

    bylerteck Poo-Bah (2,823) May 17, 2009 Ontario (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    I've found that more malt forward beers tend to win over overly hopped ones when you're getting up around 15%+ in ABV. Sink the Bismarck is my highest 'had' beer at 41% and it was rough goings. The hop/alcohol mix was alot to deal with.

    I've found malt forward beers in the 15-19% range to be exquisite and complex for the most part, and the alcohol seems to compliment rather than blend poorly with the alcohol.
    MVotter likes this.
  20. fx20736

    fx20736 Meyvn (1,026) Mar 7, 2009 New York

    I tend to hold the minority view but I don't typically like beers with a high abv (My favorite beer is 4.7%). I used to drink Eliot Ness regularly in the Summer until I started realizing I always seemed to get buzzed after a couple. When I discovered that the abv was 6.2% I stopped buying it and now when I want a Vienna Lager I buy Brooklyn or Boston Lager. I do love Porters and fortunately most of the ones I like are under 6%. Once in a while I like to have IPA but that style isn't even close to being a favorite. The one category of high abv beers I make an exception for is Belgian Strong Dark Ales. They taste so amazing that I don't mind going into a stupor for one of them.
    shand and MVotter like this.
  21. JuicesFlowing

    JuicesFlowing Poo-Bah (2,115) Jul 5, 2009 Kansas

    I know I'm in the minority here, but anything over 8% is too much for me.
    jrnyc likes this.
  22. erik_c

    erik_c Initiate (8) Dec 31, 2012 District of Columbia

    I love 2012 BCBS. So much so that I bought 2 cases. It's high in abv, for sure, but the beer is so well-made that you don't taste the alcohol as much as you'd expect. I've had Dogfish Head World Wide Stout, which is somewhere around 18%, and it's very good, too, with some alcohol heat but lots of other flavors to help mask some of the heat. It all depends on how the alcohol is integrated with the other ingredients.
    MVotter likes this.
  23. Blueribbon666

    Blueribbon666 Zealot (596) Jul 4, 2008 Ohio

    For me ABV is like anything else, there is such a thing as too much. However, I enjoy a well crafted big beer that's abv is hidden in the overall balance. There in lies the art of craft, taking big flavors, malts, hops and ABV & creating a smooth balanced work of liquid art that sneaks up on ya and surrounds your senses & warms your soul like a blanket. Then you stand up and realize "Anything worth doing, is worth doing right." Some well crafted higher ABV's that spring to my mind Blackout Stout, Backwoods Bastard, FBS, La Fin Du Monde, La Chouffe, Aventinus...
    MVotter likes this.
  24. BearsOnAcid

    BearsOnAcid Savant (968) Mar 17, 2009 Washington
    Beer Trader

    What the fuck is an abv threshold?
  25. abraxel

    abraxel Initiate (0) Aug 28, 2009 Michigan

    Interesting, I'd be more likely to thank someone for placing punctuation outside the quote; it's much more logical. :slight_smile:

    I don't see the point in setting an ABV limit for yourself, especially if you haven't tried anything higher. I recommend the OP try to get their hands on some aged WWS and perhaps split the bottle with a friend. It's quite tasty!
  26. patrickcmcd

    patrickcmcd Initiate (96) Dec 25, 2010 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    I dont really believe in this "alcohol treshold" thing. If they can brew and balance it, im in.
    luwak likes this.
  27. Dennoman

    Dennoman Initiate (0) Aug 20, 2011 Belgium

    People dissing BCBS for being too hot and boozy need to have it with at least a year, preferrably 2-3 years on it. The 2009 is flipping stellar now, and I hear it goes over the hill after 5-6 years, though obviously it was lower in ABV back in those days. It's too hot and overwhelming fresh. With this year's ABV on it, it'll probably age gloriously. So yeah, either drink at least a 2011 one, or we'll talk next year.
    fredmugs likes this.
  28. fredmugs

    fredmugs Poo-Bah (1,547) Aug 11, 2012 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    Mine seems to be around 10% A good example of this is that I love Rochefort 8 but the Rochefort 10 is too strong.
  29. fredmugs

    fredmugs Poo-Bah (1,547) Aug 11, 2012 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    I really hope you're right. I bought 2 four packs, drank one, and put the rest away.
  30. Hotmetal1

    Hotmetal1 Aspirant (286) Feb 28, 2012 Mississippi
    Beer Trader

    I had 2 high abv beers this week. Black Buffalo at 19.2, it was hard to handle, took me the biggest part of the day to finish it.
    Had this 15% abv and it was excellant, could not taste any alcohol at all. You would think it to be around 5% until you had finished it, kinda sneaks up on you.
  31. jrnyc

    jrnyc Meyvn (1,270) Mar 21, 2010 New York
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    I Like the drinking of he beer, too much abv means less of the drinking, so I am with you, 8 or less is about right for me too.
    JuicesFlowing likes this.
  32. MarkyMOD

    MarkyMOD Meyvn (1,136) Apr 5, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Avery, Fruet, Fort, 120, maybe WWS aged, Toyko* and many more I haven't tried. Some of the best beers I've had. BCBS, Dark Lord and White Chocolate round out that list for beers ~15%.
    luwak likes this.
  33. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,139) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    I like the hot mess that is a green high abv brew. Thought this years bcbs was just fine fresh, and I went through a case of uncle jacobs without having the patience to age one. Also whiiiile on the topic of barrel aged beers, if it isn't ready to drink, why are the brewers bottling them up and getting them onto the shelves? I know avery's "barrel wrangler" is always sampling beers and won't release them until he feels they are ready. I would assume that GI would do the same.
  34. amp138

    amp138 Initiate (0) Dec 21, 2011 Rhode Island

    I thought 2012 BCBS was pretty damn good, didn't find it overly boozy at all.
  35. cmac1705

    cmac1705 Initiate (0) Apr 30, 2010 Florida

    Not all high ABV beers are created equal.

    Some get there with cloying sweetnes, making the whole thing a mess.

    Others get there with relative dryness, maintaining drinkability. This is where the brewer's technique really takes hold.
    WhiteJordan likes this.
  36. BrewStew58

    BrewStew58 Initiate (0) Mar 29, 2011 New York

    I haven't had mine yet, but I'm hearing good things about sweet sixteen, I know that's only 1+ but I bet jewbleation 17, 18.... Will be solid if brewed. It's 16% ABV also if that wasn't obvious.
  37. WhiteJordan

    WhiteJordan Initiate (0) Sep 6, 2012 Washington
    Beer Trader

    I think it's all about the flavor of the beer. I tasted some 16th Anniversary Shmaltz and it tasted muddled and unnecessary. Typically I think the flavor of the beer is compromised by the desire for super high ABV.
  38. Rohkey

    Rohkey Initiate (0) Jan 13, 2013 Michigan

    BCBS tasted too much like a shot to me. My girlfriend bought one at Old Chicago no one at our table could tolerate it, I ended up having to down most of it and didn't have much desire to continue drinking after that. Though I'm new to beer drinking and only 22, so far I've found 12-13% to be about my limit. I like quads and some other strong ales but some of them border on tasting too similar to wine, which I don't care for. I think the ABV range for typical tripels is what I'd ideally like to have in my beer.
  39. taxman

    taxman Initiate (0) Feb 22, 2012 Illinois

    I haven't given much thought to it. If the beer is well made, balanced and taste good then I'll enjoy it. I've had many cask strength whiskies at ABV's of 55% or more, so 15% - 18% doesn't bother be.
    MVotter likes this.
  40. MVotter

    MVotter Disciple (333) Sep 9, 2007 New York

    Actually, I'm going to do what any self-respecting/beer-respecting Ba would do. I'm going to cellar a BCBS until next holiday season and purchase some fresh at that time, so that a comparison can be done; probably do the same with some of the other excellent suggestions for higher abv brews in this thread. Oh...and I'm also going to take @abraxel's advice, split some of this with a "tasting" partner...a very prudent move when tasting the MOST extreme of extremes.
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