I tend not to blog about individual beers, aside from my Advent Calendar venture in December. Even when I’ve had a single beer worth writing about, it’s led to further proclamations and deciphering thoughts. Perhaps I’ve been intentionally avoiding making this a blog that is solely beer reviews, but the right beer does deserve the right stage.
I could probably name my top 5 favourite beers if I truly stopped to think about it. I could possibly consult untappd to see which few beers have ever received a five star rating from me, and whilst there are plenty of 4’s or 4.5’s knocking about, I can’t remember the last time something blew me away quite like the Mikkeller and Three Floyds collaboration Hvedegoop.
As a huge Barley Wine fan and huge Mikkeller fan, as soon as I first heard of the “goop” collaborations, I knew they were something I had to get my hands on. Any further blogs I read, or even the odd YouTube review, just confirmed that they were for me. Of course, this can’t always be guaranteed, and with the first that I found available in the UK being a “wheat wine” rather than barley, I should have perhaps had some reservations. Added to that, the price made this the most expensive beer (at the time of purchase – around October 2012) that I had ever bought for myself. Expectations were raised, meaning that I repeatedly put off the moment this beer would be opened. The large abv of 10.4% on a big bottle of 750ml just meant that there was always a reason not to drink this.
But in a night where I felt I needed to both settle my nerves and reward myself, the time has come for Hvedegoop
Hvedegoop pours like no beer I’ve ever had before. I pour it and let it sit for a minute, then another minute, and then another five. This beer retains a two inch thick foam head that continues to replenish itself in a fountain of bubbles as it sits in your glass. The head is thicker than an Ibiza foam party and it’s impossible to resist a finger dip. I don’t think I’ve ever sat and looked at a beer for such a prolonged period of time without tasting it.
It smells like a crushed vat of parma violets, next to a bowl of Christmas pot pourri, fragranced with mango zest and pineapple chunks, over a melted down pack of Werther’s Originals. It’s different.
It packs a punch taste wise, but this isn’t Audley Harrison on another career revival swing, this is Rumble in the jungle punches with a winning connection every time. Every hit is palpable. It would sing of a tropical island fruit salad, if those English winter berries weren’t making themselves heard too. It would tell you of Canadian Maple leaf, if Winnie-the-Pooh wasn’t swinging his honey pot in the background. It would boast of rich salted taffy, if our own sticky toffee pudding didn’t want it’s share. This is unbelievable.
I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed a beer this much. I can’t remember the last time I savoured every drop with fear that I may never taste this ambrosia once more. Does the rarity of this beer increase it’s impressiveness? For once, no. I could have this as a regular treat and never grow bored and I know this for certain. I’m thinking of the Boogoop and Risgoop I’ve yet to have, stored away, and I’m gleeful. More to come. Hopefully more exceptional moments.
Tonight was as far removed from those first cans of Grolsch you had as a 14-year-old lad at your first house party as beer can be. This beverage tonight explains all that excites me about beer in a bottle. For all those that could never grasp it as a hobby or interest, this defines my fervour. If you don’t enjoy Hvedegoop, you’ll never understand my passion.