Saskatoon microbrewers Paddock Wood recently launched their 1,000 Monkeys Stout on the weekend of Jan. 27.
Hosted in the Two Twenty building, well-dressed go-getters shuffled diligently while clutching plastic cups of booze, keeping a wary eye on the Tweet wall. The event was kept somewhat secretive with an exclusive RSVP-only guest list – likely a good idea when free beer is involved. Bottles of Loki and Red Hammer flowed fiercely.
Those beers, however, could hardly compare to the beer of the evening – 1,000 Monkeys, a Russian imperial stout that’s been aged in Wild Turkey bourbon barrels, packs a gorilla’s wallop.
The initial thought was that the beer was bitey and thick, with notes of smokiness. Some said it had chocolate notes, while others noted a roasted coffee flavour. Although madly robust, the taste was still smooth enough to mask the 10% alcohol content of the beverage.
Thankfully, Paddock Wood had the foresight to offer both a warning and some sandwiches. The food was well-heeded – the advice not so much.
One of the cooler moments of the evening was when artist Augusto Kapronczai gave a quick presentation on the making of his poster. Kapronczai had constructed a sped-up tutorial of his work, giving us six hours of art compressed into two minutes. Other highlights included some live jazz guitar performances and hanging out next door at Collective Coffee.
Paddock Wood does an excellent job of making strong, full-bodied beers that skimp neither on the deep flavours nor the boozy content. While these beers have become entrenched in my weekly purchases – certain waitresses at The Yard and Flagon are known to bring me a pint of 606 without even being asked – I’ve always wondered what Paddock Wood could do for a lighter pale ale or a blonde beer.
Call me a sissy but sometimes its novel to drink an entire six-pack and not feel completely goosey and cock-eyed.
Then again, you know a beer is good when you drink one and start fishing around for bus fare because you know its not a good idea to drive, carry a conversation or attempt to function beyond a crawl.
1,000 Monkeys was delicious, but does come with a fair warning – when I woke up the next morning I was naked in bed and facing the wrong way. My wallet was in the kitchen sink for some reason – my phone was next to the toilet.