A mellow, but fun, mid-winter gathering. Technically, it was the first full day of Spring. In actuality, I am writing this recap at the end of May and (except for three or four somewhat warm days) we haven't fully shaken off the coooooold weather. Let's just say that Spring has been "unusual."
Heartland can get pretty crowded. Luckily, we got a table pretty quickly and when we outgrew that, were able to move to a booth. What a swarthy crew we had tonight! David and Dan joined me as usual, but so did "P" and Kevin. Kevin regaled us with stories from his maritime past as a steward on the Bobolo Boats' Lake Michigan steamboat, Saint Clair. I can only imagine what a thrill it was to stay up all night counting the cups on the Saint Clair.
One of my favorite seasonal Heartland brews was still on tap tonight—or "not tonight." I speak, of course, of the magnificent (and magnificently-named) Not Tonight, Honey Porter (6.5% ABV). IF you have the chance, try this! It is a lovely dark chocolatey malt concoction with a bit of molasses and, of course, honey thrown in for good measure. I could have a long and happy relationship with this beer.
To cleanse the palate, I next went with the Belgian Golden Pale Ale. This was a light color but packed a punch at 5.5%. The Belgian yeasts gave off notes of orange, lemon and flowers. It sure beats their much lighter Indiana Pale Ale.
My next quaff was an Imperial Oatmeal Stout, a right whopping strong beer (9.5%) served in a girly-glass. By comparison, their Farmer John's Oatmeal Stout is a mere 6.0% ABV. Yes, the Imperial was great, but yes, it's a little too strong on the alcohol.
I had another Not Tonight, Honey Porter. After that, I finished a 4 oz. taster of Farmer John's that "P" inexplicably did not finish. A fun night hanging out enjoying the usual silliness and good cheer! What could be bad about that?
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