The Return of My Favorite Local Beer: Rivertown Death!

I try to avoid playing favorites with the local breweries and their beers but I’m not going to lie that Rivertown Death has been my single favorite beer ever released by a local brewery. As soon as it hit my lips I was disheartened that it was a limited one-time only release.

For those who weren’t in Cincinnati or weren’t into Craft beer yet I’ll provide some background. Back in 2012 someone interpreted the Mayan calendar poorly and thought the world would end in 12/21/2012. To honor this “event” Rivertown released a series of beers for the four horseman of the apocalypse. Not all of these beers were loved by everyone but they all did live up to the idea of the four horseman.

Pestilence was a sour brown ale with 7 varieties of malted barley and wheat, organic whole Hibiscus flower pedals and spicy hops from the Hallertau growing region of Bavaria. That hibiscus and sour combo gave it a odd funk kind of like it was ridden with pestilence and disease.

War was a smoked Irish red ale that was a dark red like blood and was one of the smokiest things I’ve ever tasted. It did a good job of reminding me of the imagery of battle and war. You can hit this link to read my full review of it from when it was released.

Famine was a Bavarian wheat ale that barely topped 4% and, quite like a real famine would, gave you just enough to get by but left you wanting a lot more. Like War and Famine they weren’t really great tasting beers but man did it nail the concept of famine. Check the full review out here.

The final of the four horseman, and the final beer released, was Death. For Rivertown Death they made a 12% Russian Imperial Stout and threw some of the hottest peppers on earth in there. I’ve talked to many folks who did not like this beer. I, however, am a big fan of spicy food and that love extends to spicy beers. There are too few good spicy beers out there. So often it’s some insane pepper in a light lager that scorches  your taste buds and makes you regret buying it.

Death was a great blend of stout flavors that let you know it was a bit hot with each sip then by the end of a pint you had a solid burn going on. A solid burn but nothing painful or damaging, at least in my opinion. I know many thought it was too hot. You can read my full review of it back here.

A few weeks ago I heard it a rumor that it was coming back and I’m happy to announce that the rumor has been confirmed! If you loved Death the first time around or missed out on it then just hang tight till June 1st and join me at Rivertown’s Tap Room to welcome the return of Rivertown Death! Sadly it will again be a limited run, so you better get there while you can.

Rivertown Death

Beer Review: Rivertown Death

Right, first thing’s first, I’m a little scared and very excited. I’m excited because I love Rivertown and enjoyed both Famine and War, plus I’m all in for high gravity beers. I’m scared because the pepper in this beer, the Jolokia pepper. This thing used to be Guinness World Records hottest pepper in the world, it’s also being used as a weapon by the Indian Army, they’re putting it into grenades. The following table shows various peppers and where they fall in the Scoville unit, the table and all this pepper info is jacked from Wikipedia.

Scoville units Examples
1,500,000–2,000,000 Most law enforcement grade pepper sprayTrinidad Moruga Scorpion
855,000–1,463,700 Bhut Jolokia chili pepper – This is what they used in this beer
100,000–350,000 Habanero chili
50,000–100,000 Bird’s eye chili (aka. Thai Chili Pepper)
30,000–50,000 Cayenne pepper
3,500–8,000 Jalapeño pepper, Chipotle, Tabasco sauce
No significant heat Bell pepper

This is the last of the Brewmaster’s reserve limited release apocalypse series. Here are my previous reviews of Famine and War, unfortunately I missed the boat on Pestilence.

From the label:

Batch No. 4 in The Brewmaster’s Reserve Limited Release Series Death is the fourth of four brews released centered around the Mayan apocalypse of 2012 signifying worlds end on December 21st 2012.

Death is a high gravity Russian imperial stout. Rich malt complexity from a blend of dark malts, paired with Jolokia peppers (Ghost chili peppers) emphasize the finality of the series and the horseman himself. Save one for December 21st 2012.

Time to get drinking!

Continue reading “Beer Review: Rivertown Death”

Beer Review: Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti

So far my excursion into dark beers has been less than stunning especially this week with cans of Guinness Draught and Murphy’s. I expect this beer to radically change all that, at the very least in terms of getting me drunk since this is more than double the ABV of either of those two.

Continue reading “Beer Review: Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti”