I can't wait for the barleywine festival now. If just to return to Toronado and their amazing selection of beers.
I'll give a brief ranking of all the beers (written on the back of a coaster from toronado):
#8 - Two Rivers
Cider - Ken wimped out on us the last round and went for a cider, so it's last place by default, but it was good for a cider
#7 - Alaska
Smoked Porter - The only thing of real interest in this beer is it's finish, which is interesting upon first taste, and bitter after a whole glass of it. Not a terrible beer, but nothing special.
#6 - Ommegang
Three Philosophers - Fairly complex flavor, but the finish was a little too hoppy and dry
#5 - Speakeasy
Godfather (barleywine) - I had not tried barleywines before this evening, so I really liked the flavor of this one. Maybe a little bitter, but only in comparison to the much better Anchor Foghorn.
#4 - Schreider
Aventinus - I only had a small sip of this one, but I really liked it. - A dark wheat beer with a somewhat straightforward but definitely not boring taste. Very satisfying - especially in the huge glass it was served in (I think that's what did Ken in).
#3 - Anchor
Old Foghorn (barleywine) - Well balanced, fruity, and just plain tasty. This was the agreed upon champ of round number 1.
#2 - Unibroue
Edition 2004 - Holy crap this is an awesome beer! Smelled sort of like spiced cider, with a fittingly fruity taste with hints of apple and nutmeg. Great body, great balance of fruit and spice, and just a very easy drinking beer. After we'd finished this off (the king of the first 2 rounds), I told Peter I'd be very surprised if we could top this one. Then along came...
#1 - Het Anker
Gouden Carolus Noel - It smelled like a muscat, and one might think it would be overly sweet judging from the smell, but what an amazingly delicious beer! Sweet (but not overly so), with a luxuriously creamy taste. Like Peter said: Heaven on your palate!
Overall a great night out. Evidently Peter has found a place online that sells the Het Anker for $10.40 for a 750mL. Going to have to get a few bottles of that!