Slash “Gordon” (Price-Wise, That Is)

Beer prices are out of control, as we all know. It used to be that a hard-working citizen could head home from work on a Friday evening with a sawbuck in his pocket, stop at the local beverage store for a six-pack, and still have change for the ride home. Those times ain’t right now.

It seems that you can’t find any six-pack — not even a mediocre one — for less than a ten-spot these days. Those $10 sixers used be reserved for the truly best beers at the local booze emporium, and every once in a while, you’d plop down $9.99 for a sixer of Dogfish 90 Minute or Stoudt’s Double IPA and know that what you were getting was gonna be top-notch. (These purchases were also usually reserved for special occasions to reward yourself for a job well done, like when you got that raise or got out of the pool to pee.)

Nowadays though, any respectable six-pack is going to run you at least ten bucks, and possibly upwards of eleven or twelve. It’s a harsh reality, although I for one am loathe to become accustomed to it.

Every once in a while, though, it’s not uncommon to see a beer that is outrageously overpriced. One that I had recently was Arcadia Brewing’s Hop Rocket, a beer whose price would be lynch mob-inspiring if it weren’t so got-damned delicious. (Further info coming on that later.)

One that I have had my eye on over the last few months was Gordon from the dependable folks at Oskar Blues. The cost on this beer is, as they say, prooo-hibitive: USD$10 for a four-pack. I picked up a sixer fourer, considering that I’ve already plunked down as much on mediocre six-packs, so why not try something that has the cojones to charge $2.50 a bottle… check that, $2.50 a can!

The brewery’s website talks of Gordon thusly:

Gordon is a hybrid version of strong ale, somewhere between an Imperial Red and a Double IPA. We make it with six different malts and three types of hops, then dry-hop it with a mutha lode of Amarillo hops. It is 8.7% alcohol by volume, and has 85 International Bittering Units. … Originally our winter seasonal beer, it has become a cult favorite of extreme-beer lovers, so we now brew occasional batches of Gordon throughout the year. Released in bottles in 2003 and 2004, Gordon is now sold in four packs of hand-labeled cans and on draft in select markets.

The site also mentions that the beer is named after craft beer promoter Gordon Knight, who was tragically killed. So I figured that tipping a few back to Gordon was worth a couple extra bucks, at least for one try.

So what did we think about this concoction?

Well, because of the nature of cans, this one didn’t lend itself to much head in the glass; it was hard to get any carbonation in my pour. But then again, pouring from cans is not my specialty, so it might have been user error. The color is tremendous, however: dark orange mixed with red. It’s deep, rich and cloudy, like a double IPA should be. The color’s attractiveness makes up for any lacking in the head.

The aroma: well-balanced between some dark, amber malts and woody hops. The malts are toasted and rich, which counterbalance the pine-tinged hops beautifully. At the tail end there is the slightest hint of sweet flowers. It’s darn good in the nasal cavity.

The taste is makes good on the promise of the smell, bringing hops that come first and come hard. It’s sweet and flowery at first, and then countered by rich, dark amber malts on the back of the tongue. Both elements are very strong, and both are excellent. This is a tremendous flavor. On the palate, this beer is milky with a pleasant bite on the way down. It also has a nice fizzyness to it that adds yet another depth.

My only complaint about this beer is that it is just too damn pricey. I understand that it’s a seasonal beer, and I’m sure it’s a tremendous seller, but $10 for four cans is a tough sell, even for someone like yours truly who lives well beyond his means.

If you see fit, go out and pick up a four-pack of Gordon at least once. There is nothing disappointing about the beer itself, other than you’d wish there were two more left when the four pack is done.

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~ by William H on June 19, 2009.

2 Responses to “Slash “Gordon” (Price-Wise, That Is)”

  1. […] Blues – Gubna So it turns out that “Gordon” isn’t the most overpriced beer that Oskar Blues has: that honor is now taken by “Gubna,” which might just be the most overpriced beer of […]

  2. […] The second canned offering of the box, this one from Oskar Blues, arguably the most well-known canned craft brewer in the United States (of America, that is). Personally, I find all of their beers to be both very good, and very overpriced.  […]

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