I hardly ever get a hangover. This is mostly because I'm such a lightweight when it comes to alcohol that I don't drink that much. It is possible, however, for a new beer to sneak up on me and whack me in the head repeatedly before I know what's coming.
My first beer at Rich O's last night was, as usual, a Cone Smoker. I'm tempted to call last night's glass a sample of yet another version of this Sybil of beers, but it was actually very close to version #5, with a slightly less bland background behind the smoke.
Next I was on to the experimentation phase of the night. The NABC has released a new Belgian-style pale ale called Merckx, and I had a small pint of that. The only word I can think of to describe it is "cloying." There didn't seem to be much of a distinct flavor, but what there was lingered for quite a while.
I next tried to order an Alaskan Smoked Porter, but they were out. The bartender then tried to kill me. She selected a bottle of Schlenkerla Urbock Smokebeer, reasoning that since I like smoky beer I should try what is perhaps the strongest entry in that field.
Well, the smoke was indeed very powerful. It was also quite a different type of smoky flavor than the Cone Smoker, Rogue Smoke Ale, or any other Rauchbier I've tried. I got a definite grapey taste from the smoke. I don't know if I would call it a good taste, but it certainly did the job of concealing the alcohol behind it.
After just two or three drinks I began to suspect that this would have to be my last beer of the night. After a couple more I started wondering if I would even finish the bottle.
I did manage to finish it and raced home before the alcohol still in my stomach could join its brethren in my bloodstream.
Now this morning I feel like shit and probably look worse.