Reserve was our Beer of the Year (the Isthmus, too). Can it take the crown two years in a row? Well. You'll have to check back in late December or early January to find out. Until then, here's the low down:
Lake Louie Louie's Reserve
Appearance: Poured into the exact same becher pint as I used last year (I washed it in the meantime, don't worry), the head was brief but softly foamy that works down to a wispy Wisconsin winter cloud; the body is deeply copper and ever-so-slightly opaque; nice lacing on the sides
Aroma: a subtle dark tea and biscuit aroma; like drinking a proper British breakfast – the malts then come forward and remind me that I am smelling a beer, leaving me wondering why exactly I'm smelling it (or writing about it for that matter) and not drinking it
Flavor: roasted chocolate; if you took a chocolate bean and put it in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes it might smell like this; if said oven was coated in peat; if you took a whole bunch of these beans, steeped them in a water and added some cream for body, well, it would probably taste really nasty. This is the exact opposite of really nasty.
Body: bold, assertive, surprisingly sulfate hardness that helps to clean up a bit; a very slight hoppy and alcohol bitterness in the finish and lead a slight residual brightness
Drinkability: A great example of a drinkable, if not sessionable beer; give me one every day for the rest of my life, but it would be a struggle, for me, to drink 3 of these in a row
Summary: It seems "bigger" than last year's version, more bold, more assertive; a fantastic beer that continues to show that Wisconsin's brewers aren't just master lagermeisters