The Colossus of Rhodes is known as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. And an American strong ale from the Baltimore area brewery DuClaw is a wonder of the extreme beer world. DuClaw Colossus (DuClaw Brewing Co.; Bel Air, MD; American Strong Ale; ABV: 21.0) is a beer of gigantic proportions. This dark amber ale immerses you right off the bat with big notes of sweet caramel in both the aromatic nose and initial taste. The candy like feel is complimented by apple, cinnamon spices, and honey with a hint of piny hops at the end.
Since Colossus is aged like a wine or brandy to allow its flavors to mature and alcohol to mellow, the alcohol content is deceptively hidden and there’s no burn at the finish that’s characteristic of other ales in its weight class.
For many years I have considered Samuel Adams Utopias to be the best extreme beer of 20% or more, but the wonderfully complex and silky smooth Colossus can definitely give this acclaimed ale a run for its money.
Had a chance to try another exceptional beer from Colorado brewery Oskar Blues while having dinner at Libby’s. An Imperial red ale, it features the hoppy character of an Imperial IPA with the smoothness of an amber ale.
Oskar Blues G’Knight:
(Oskar Blues Grill & Brewery; Lyon, CO; Imperial Red Ale; ABV: 8.7) is named for the late Gordon Knight, a fire-fighting helicopter pilot and local brewer who helped found the Colorado breweries Twisted Pine, Wolf Tongue, and Estes Park during the 1990s. Knight was killed in the line of duty in 2002. The beer in fact was originally named Gordon Knight, but was renamed after a trademark infringement suit filed by Gordon Biersch Brewery (sic).
The dry hopped G’Knight is a fitting tribute to Knight, with a deep amber color and hearty notes of citrus and piny hops complimented by sweet caramel malt and honey. G’Knight is a very satisfying and well balanced ale, and the alcohol content of nearly 9% is nicely toned down. It paired well with the Crispy Soft Shell Crab Po Boy that I had as the main course.
I highly recommend the superb G’Knight.