Friday Froth: Strong Drinks...Black Hog, Two Roads Brewery & Litchfield Distillery

James Gribbon

The shadows seem to be growing this January. Winter daylight is all too brief, darkness glooming in through a window you swear was sunny the last time you walked by. It suddenly feels like it's gone dark all the time now. Maybe you feel it, too. And how long to go before the next sunrise? Ugh. The days ahead seem so stretch on to the invisible horizon. Maybe you could use a drink, a 16oz. weight to hang from time's pendulum to speed those dark hours on their way. Make it a strong one, because maybe we can clip off some of tomorrow's darkness while we're at it. Gravity shapes space, as we all know, and space is tied to time, so let's grab a few high gravity beers, and bend the long arc.  

That is, if you should feel like your mood these days could benefit from such a thing, for some reason.

Beer one: Black Hog Leaves A Mark imperial stout, and it's dark. Black as the night outside, actually, just look at it. No, don't look at the night and the streetlights and the puddles, drink the - oh, that's actually really good. It's malt, not so much like malt in a heavy beer, although this is a heavy beer, my god, it's like oil, more malt like in a milkshake. That's a good memory, milkshakes. I mean, this stout is darkly-toasted-grain roasty, and it kind of burns (11.2%ABV, huh? Wow.) but, did this beer just jump start a good thought? Huh - that's a change. It's hot, going down, and I can definitely use a little tongue of fire inside on a night like this. My face even feels warmer. 

Beer two: Two Roads Igor's Dream. Oh, nice, that's right, the Two Roads Igor's Dream bottle release is tomorrow. Lucky to have found a place with an earlier vintage on tap. I wonder how the new versions, aged in rye, gin, or Armagnac barrels will be. We came in here for a lift, right? What was it...  something about this week. Hmm, I had it a minute ago. Anyway, nothing lifts like a helicopter, just ask the Mercury astronauts. Smooth, this one, and a little chocolatey. You'd never know it's about 11%, too. Feel it on the brain more than the tongue. Imagine those astronauts, when the helicopter showed up and saved them from drowning. It must have - oops, the glass is already empty.  

Beer three: whiskey. Yes, whiskey counts as beer, it's a well known axiom. At this point, whiskey seems like a natural, sound decision. There was something... something out there. Something bothering you, maybe? Well, it's gone now, so could it really have been that important? Clearly not, and anyway, just look at the way the orange glow from the Edison lights in this very well and originally appointed bar suffuse the amber liquid in the bottle up on that shelf with such a warm, loving glow. It looks just like a blanket you wear on the inside. Comfy. A comfy feeling. Isn't that what you came here for in the first place? Yes, let's make that happen. Maybe the Litchfield Distillery Batcher's Bourbon whiskey? It's warm, fiery, and the light in here is kind of like candles, now that I really notice. 

Lights? Did it just get - yep, definitely brighter. How is it last call? I just got he- oh wow, it really is that late. Where did the night go? Time to walk out of here. Like a movie star's shadow: framed by the doorway with halogen light spilling in from outside, moving confidently on my way. It feels like raindrops can't touch me, that gloomy darkness, either. Maybe I'm doing alright. I can get through this night.