Hashigo Zake

In May this year, during the long twilight of a sunny spring evening at the edge of Copenhagen’s Royal Danish Horticultural Society Garden, a few dozen of the world’s luckiest diners assembled outside the restaurant known as Mielcke & Hurtigkarl. The occasion was a dinner to match and celebrate the beers of Three Floyds (ratebeer.com‘s number 1 brewery) and Mikkeller.

Before entering the restaurant a new beer was offered to those gathered. It was a Mikkeller beer brewed specially for, and named after, the restaurant – a strong Belgian pale ale aged in Château d’Yquem barrels. Yes, you read that right – a beer aged in not just any old Sauternes barrels, but ones that once held the world’s most famous dessert wine.

The result was a beer that should change many people’s opinion of how barrel ageing can change a beer. We have acquired just twelve 375ml bottles of Mielcke & Hurtigkarl, and they’ll be for sale shortly for around $40 each.

At around the same time as the aforementioned dinner was the 2011 Copenhagen Beer Festival. Since 2009 Mikkeller have been releasing a festival beer with the name Stella. The 2011 release – Stella 2 – is a sour beerflavoured with cranberries. As well as acquiring a handful of this magnum-sized release, we’ve also managed to top up our stock of 2010’s Stella 1, an imperial porter.

Look out too for a couple of extraordinary Mikkeller beers appearing on tap. For instance the last time we stocked bottles of the chipotle-infused Texas Ranger the staff drank most of it, which was fun for us but a little selfish. So we’ve picked up no fewer than three kegs of this monster. (And some bottles of the barrel-aged version.) We also have a single keg of Happy Lovin’ Christmas, which is actually a 7.8% IPA. Obviously we should find a slot for this beer before Boxing Day. Another that needs to be drunk soon is our single keg of American Dream. This is a 4.6% lager packed with American hops in the manner of a flamboyant IPA.

We’re actually building up quite a stockpile of Mikkeller kegs. Most of these are the kinds of beer that can stand up to a little ageing (such as the 17% Imperial Stout simply called Black), so we’ll be in no hurry to rush them to the taps. Alternatively it could be argued that our stash deserves a fitting event to serve a lot of them at once. Some kind of Mikkeller festival anyone?

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