morning delight

Decorah is a weird little town. It’s uncharacteristically gorgeous for Iowa, surrounded by large verdant hills so tall and imposing it feels almost like you’re in the Pacific Northwest. The town is connected to a little private college, and so the political vibe is much less terrifying than an out-of-stater might suspect (the eastern half of Iowa is pretty progressive, actually, and a lot less shitty than rural Illinois or Indiana). But the political sanctuary feel combines with the surrounded-by-hills feel to give the place a very isolated vibe, like you’re on a boat lost at sea.

Anyhow, we visited the TG brewpub in Decorah. It was the day before the release party for their awesome bourbon aged maple coffee stout, and the party vibe was already going strong. It-it was like the fucking Lotus Eaters, like a group of weird little beer nymphs sitting around playing lutes and pouring heavenly nectar into our glasses to trick us into never leaving this magic valley.

That BA-stout is named Kentucky Brunch, so it’ll probably eventually get them sued. Because, if the non-BA version is any indication, Founders is gonna want to aggressively attack TG, because Founders’ stouts are getting embarrassed.

I’ve never had enough CBS to give it a full review. I have had enough, however–at festivals and tastings and other places where tiny pours are given–to know that it’s not worth the exorbitant price it goes for on the trade market. It’s a very good beer, yes, but… man, when I heard about a barrel aged syrup beer, I had a certain idea in mind. I wanted it to taste like a combination of the way an RIS tastes and the way a plate of breakfast smells right when it’s placed down in front of you. CBS didn’t deliver on my fantastic desire. And that’s not it’s fault. No beer could.

Or could it… (?!?!?!?!)

Mornin’ Delight does deliver. It is exactly what I hoped CBS would be: pancakes and stout all rolled into one. Nothing cloying, nothing overly sweet or alcoholic, just a wall of delicious breakfast flavors.

Maybe–maybe–this is better without the bourbon aging. We were one day early for the Kentucky Brunch release, so I can’t say, but I’m willing to bet that the bourbon smooths out the syrup nodes, rather than accentuate them. Maybe that’s what happened with CBS? I dunno. I do know, however, that this is one of the very best beers I’ve ever had.

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