The 5 best beers in the world

29 Jan

Credit: Creative Commons / mfajardo

Credit: Creative Commons / mfajardo

Recently, I was asked to provide my top five beers for a 50 Best Beers of the World article by food and drink website I was one of many beer bloggers asked to contribute their opinions, but I was pleased to provide my thoughts. For me, a great beer has to have a certain character as well as superb craftsmanship. There has to be great color, head, aroma and mouthfeel to go along with the heady flavors. That is why I picked the following five beers as my all time favorites:

#5 – Zombie Dust by Three Floyds Brewing Company

Grapefruit and other citrus aromas and flavors dominate this American pale ale with a touch of sweet malts as under notes. Even with its explosive hops character, this beer has a medium mouthfeel and a smooth, crisp finish.

#4 – Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout by Cigar City Brewing Company

Cigar City has made a name for itself by producing consistently outstanding brews. But, its annual release of Hunahpu’s is nothing short of brewing alchemy. This luscious, thick, inky black stout tantalizes with aromas of chocolate, malts, vanilla and a hint of chili peppers. Several sips will reveal a satisfyingly thick mouthfeel and the flavors promised in the aroma with the peppers coming in at the very end for a slight tingle.

#3 – Iris by Brasserie Cantillon

Sour beers are making a play for the American palate in a big way. But, this beer is deceptive in that it hides a slight caramel sweetness within its sour punch. Brewed in Brussels, Belgium and spontaneously fermented, Iris displays the characteristic funk of this style beer along with complex flavors of lemon zest, apple cider vinegar and oak.

#2 – Bourbon County Brand Stout by Goose Island Brewing Company

If stouts are the darlings of many beer snobs’ cellars, Bourbon County must occupy space in many cool dark places. This annual release from Chicago’s Goose Island brewery is one that improves with age, but is a complex delight fresh as well. Aromas of molasses, dark roast coffee and dark chocolate carry through with intense flavors and a lingering, mild sweetness.

 #1 – Westvleteren 12

Cliché as it may be, the monks at the Abbey of St. Sixtus of Westvleteran have won my heart over with this huge Belgian quad that packs more complexity into a bottle than any other beer I have ever tasted. The beer is outrageously rich with aromas of dark fruits like figs and raisins cloaked with rum and other sweet fragrances. The flavor is as rich as the aroma with slight hoppiness, sweet caramels, dark fruits and spicy yeast.

So, there you have it, my top five beers in the entire world. I have each in my personal collection and occasionally drag a bottle out for a special event. These are not every day beers; most are low-production, special-release beers that beer aficionados will wait in the most extreme conditions to have an opportunity to obtain. But, to a true beer connoisseur, braving long outdoor lines in snow storms or driving rain is worth the discomfort when they open one of these bottles.


Posted by on January 29, 2014 in Beer


7 responses to “The 5 best beers in the world

  1. Steve Rushe

    January 31, 2014 at 12:39 PM

    Here’s mine…

    Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout Cigar City Brewing
    Pliny The Elder Russian River Brewing Company
    Rare Bourbon County Stout Goose Island Beer Co.
    Hottenroth Berliner Weisse The Bruery
    30th Anniversary – Grand Cru Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.


  2. Skip

    February 3, 2014 at 2:15 PM

    How extensive is your travel abroad?


    • mwisdom562

      February 3, 2014 at 3:32 PM

      I have had the opportunity to spend a good deal of time in Belgium, The Netherlands and Italy. And, this fall, I will be spending time in Belgium, Germany and The Netherlands. I have also visited the Caribbean, Mexico and Canada. Finally, I have had the pleasure of traveling the United States extensively. Why do you ask?


      • Skip

        February 3, 2014 at 4:19 PM

        I ask because our local beer reviewer was asked to participate in this same survey and I have no evidence that he’s ever left the country. I was wondering if the survey is going to quiz beer bloggers throughout the world or just the United States.



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