1. Chimay Red. DJC brought a bottle of this home one night, and seeing as that he loves hoppy, bitter IPAs that upon smelling, cause me to make the icky-beer face, I thought this was just another in the long line of beers I would hate. I was so wrong. It's a little more carbonated than I would have liked, but overall, very drinkable and totally tasty. DeKap and I tore through a big bottle of the Triple Cinq Cents at lunch a while back. Decent, but a bit on the hoppy side for my taste. I'll stick with the Red.
2. 1554 Enlightened Black Ale. Because of the dark color, I was sure I would hate this beer. Again, I was totally wrong. Don't let the blackness fool you. This beer is not nearly as bitter as it looks. Actually, its not bitter at all. Its very creamy and malty, clean and refreshing. Surprisingly good.
3. Xingu Black Beer. The snobs at Beer Advocate are exceptionally harsh and take their beers *very* seriously, so a grade of "B" for this one is not bad. Again, another black beer that scared me at first because it's literally the color of dirty motor oil. But the taste...heaven. So light, smooth and pleasing. Definitely a good sunny day beer. I could easily put down at least three in a sitting, which is totally saying something for me! ;)
4. Summer Solstice Cerveza Crema. I first tried this on tap at the Anderson Valley Brewery in Boonville, and I was immediately in love. Smooth as buttah, ya'll. Another perfect sunny day beer. In fact, DJC and I snagged a six-pack and then consumed them all on a beach near Mendocino while basking in the sun. So. Nice.
5. Alleycat Amber. This one's a bit out of bounds for my tastes, but I still like it nonetheless. Funny how something I thought I'd hate based on its smell ends up being one of my favorite libations. Very clean, malty flavor. I always get a kick out of the people who say they smell and taste different fruits in beers. Maybe my palate and nose are just not refined enough to pick up the subtle citrus flavors, but maybe those subtle citrus flavors are why I like this beer in the first place. Who knows...
I know Kasper, Dermo and DJC will have LOTS to say about how other beers are better and more advanced and dimensional, and ya know...they might be right. But these five beers happen to be right for *me*. Indulging in them is always a pleasing experience. Hopefully, you've found what's right for you.
Remember, proper glassware and drinking temperature can completely change the taste of certain beers! Until I met DJC, I did had no idea that big, chalice-looking cups actually served a practical purpose! Crazy, huh?!
Happy drinking! =)