Written by Dave Benfield
February 1st, 2010
Our High-gravity, high-alcohol behemoth, aptly named Colossus, was bottled (22oz bombers) and shipped to our distributor last week and should be in stores this week for purchase. Just a warning, this beer is not for the faint of heart, as its alcohol comes in at 21% and has every bit of flavor to match. With that being said, Jim and Bo have done a great job of hiding the vast amount of alcohol. Not to say you won’t taste it, but it will make you think twice.
Before I go any further, let me give you a little background about our newest baby. Colossus was brewed back in 2006, and was aged a year before anyone got a taste of it (except yours truly!). To get that high alcohol content is much more art than science. But after many a nervous night, Jim’s ‘little’ boy came through for us. We released it in 2007 in a limited (about 25 cases) 1 liter bottling. And some have tasted it throughout the years at festivals like the BAM Octoberfest. And this year, some even crowd surfed to the front of the line (Here is a video of the release at this year’s BAM Fest)!
Well now it is out to the public, but just a warning. We only have about 150 cases of this bottled (Devil’s Milk run was about 400), so there is not a lot of it available. I could go on about how awesome it is, but of course I am biased. So, I figured I would let one of the raters from Ratebeer.com do it for me. His name is ‘otakuden’, and we have never gotten a write-up like this (posted on 1/3/10):
“Ever since my first glog, the Rorviv Ol-Glog, I have been on a constant look-out for another glog of equally orgasmic proportions, or a suitable beer to warm and sup as a glog. Well, that special moment descended about a month ago in the form of the DuClaw Colossus, a self-styled American Strong Ale of epic proportions, 21.92%ABV epic proportions, that is. When the time came to sup and savor this beauteous beast, Eric and I both concurred that warming her like a glog would be best, and boy were we ever more right.
Served in Grandma Johnson’s old Dutch tea cup china, soft whites with lavender flowers decorated in tasteful minimalism, a better pairing couldn’t be found anywhere then in those glasses and in that moment. Steam slowly rose from her deep murky brown and burnished mahogany depths. Tiny bubbles scatter shyly around the sides while a gentle swirl traces soft lace along the sides of my tea cup. Beautiful. Wafting upwards atop a bed of soothing steam is a pervading gentle sweetness, the kind one finds cupping a warm brandy in front of the crackling fireplace. Brown sugar coated red apples, cooked long and slow in their own juices along with fresh cinnamon, maple, molasses, and more brown sugar. Apricot, peaches, and orange are added next to the steeping sweet spiced fruit compote. The final flourish? The finest of brandies and oak-aged rums are added for soul-soothing warmth and further depth. Luxurious fits the DuClaw Colossus perfectly. My first sip is warm just enough and all about brown spices and wood. Warm brandy and rum hit fast and long, immediately tracing long slender fingers across my chest and throat, feathery whispers lingering long after their initial touch. Cinnamon sticks, apricots, peaches, red apples and brown sugar are steeped long and tenderly while maple and molasses thinly coat my lips and tongue. Her finish is on the sweet and dry side with spices lingering in each breath. Dead grass and old wood whispers in the background while each divine quaff focuses her attention on the center of my palate. Divinity is moments such as this, when souls soar and time seems to slow to an infinite crawl, all the better to savor the moment with each aching fiber of one’s being. That was my moment with the DuClaw Colossus.
I’m not sure how she would taste cellar temperature, and I’m not really sure if I care to. Should you have a bottle of this awaiting supping and sharing, give her liquid nectar a slow hot-water bath to warm her thoroughly without burning and discover the gates of heavenly ascension as I did. I can’t promise the old Dutch china, but I am sure you will find something equally worthy.”
One thing he mentions in his review (and a long one it is) is heating Colossus up, which Jim brought to my attention. If you heat Colossus in a microwave (be careful it happens quick, and don’t do it in a closed bottle) to 105 degrees, and try it like a mulled wine, you will notice a complete flavor change. Compare to a cooler version at the same time, it will knock your socks off!! Leave comments to let me know how you like it.