Thursday, January 17, 2008


Our final installment in last week’s Las Vegas beer hunting concludes with a visit to the MANDALAY BAY hotel’s in-house restaurant “BURGER BAR”. You know how I found out about this place, which happened to be in the very same hotel in which I was staying? BEER MAPPING, that’s how. Bookmark that site, and make it an invaluable piece of your life. I’d have to say that on the whole, I enjoyed my time in this establishment more than I did my sojourns to POUR 24 and THE FREAKIN’ FROG, and it’s one I’d be likely to hit up again – since they made a burger that was friggin’ out of this world. This is one of many restaurants within this massive hotel/casino/shopping mall, and it appears to cater toward the more “low end” of the market, while still being a semi-fancy, somewhat expensive place to get a hamburger and frites. People within the establishment appeared to be having a great time, as we were, and while they had a little Monday night football going on the TVs, it was definitely more of a “lounge” feel than it was “sports bar”. You know what I mean?

But we’re here to talk about beer, am I right? Then let’s go to it! They have quite a solid selection of draft (25+) and bottled (another couple dozen) ales and lagers, and I, once again, was able to tackle two that I’d never tried before. Though it was January, I apparently was still stuck back on Christmas 2007:

DELIRIUM NOEL – From the makers of DELIRIUM TREMENS, the well-regarded but somewhat dubiously-named Belgian beer that I enjoyed the sole time I had it. This Holiday beer pokes its head out every year, and it was on tap at BURGER BAR. As I often say when I encounter the mysterious, wonderful beers of Belgium, this one was, uh, “very Belgian”. A high-ABV, thick and high-malt winter ale, deep brown and mildly sweet. It thickens the saliva, shall we say, and has an undercurrent of crisp malty tastes and lighter fruits. Make these guys two for two – this one was quite delicious. 7.5/10.

ANCHOR CHRISTMAS ALE 2007 – Finally! This beer from my hometown that always seemed to be out of stock or “tapped” when I tried to get it! Several beer aficionados had told me this year’s was the best batch in many a moon, and I was in no place to argue since I figured I wasn’t gonna have one. Drinking the Anchor Christmas Ale is an annual tradition in the Hinman house, right up there with Chinese food on Xmas Eve and buying all the gifts online & not setting foot in any stores for 6 weeks. So how was it this year? Whoa. Blacker and darker than night, and quite a bit heavier than the past. I believe it was more leaden even than that Delirium Noel. Incredibly aromatic, like trees! Fresh cut Christmas trees, I kid you not! Is this a return to the fabled ANCHOR SPRUCE that I once drank a 6-pack of with a friend, but that no one seems to remember? Hey, I like how these guys mix it up every year and always have a different ale ready for the holiday season. That I happened not to think that this one was a major, major victory should not mean much – it was good enough on this Monday night at the Burger Bar, and I figuratively bid 2007 adieu when the last drop was poured. On to next (this) year. 7/10.

No comments: