Editor’s Note: This sponsored column is written by Nick Anderson, beermonger at Arrowine (4508 Lee Highway).
“Not everything that goes around comes back around, you know…”
That’s a line from the title track of the new Queens Of The Stone Age album, …Like Clockwork, and while beer has absolutely nothing to do with the themes of the album or that song in particular, that line came to mind the other day as I opened a beer from my cellar. That beer was Fort, from Dogfish Head, and it was the last bottle I had, and maybe would ever have of one of my favorite beers to age.
To make a long-ish story short, Dogfish Head revises its brewing schedule every year, discontinuing beers to make room for new ones or rotating occasional rarities in-and-out of the lineup. Even among the Dogfish faithful Fort was never the most popular beer, so there was little surprise when their 2012 schedule showed that Fort had been discontinued.
Still, I was disappointed: yes, Fort was an insane 18%-ABV Belgian-style base beer fermented with a ton — literally one ton — of raspberry puree in every tank. It was true that on release Fort was boozy, obnoxiously fruity and sweet, with a syrupy feel that made it nearly undrinkable. With a year and a half to two years in the cellar, though, I would put Fort up against nearly any beverage on the planet.
When the word went out that Fort was not going to be made anymore I only had one bottle in my cellar, a 2011 that I’d recently purchased. Ever since, I’d thought about opening it at least 3-4 times but couldn’t bring myself to do it know that once I did, that would be it.
Any hobbyist can tell you about the difficulties of coming to the end of something they enjoy — the last book in a series; the last bottle in a case; the last bite of a perfect meal; the pause as the lights go down just before the ending credits roll at a movie. At heart hobbyists are sentimental; you have to be to develop such attachments to what for most are at best interests and at worst distractions. Along with that attachment comes the knowledge that one day, you’ll have to let that wonderful thing go, whatever it is.
After nearly 15 years of chasing down craft beers and wines I’ve gotten pretty good at letting go, but occasionally it is still difficult. My last bottle of Fort was one of those occasions.
Eventually, I accepted that my bottle of Fort was right where I wanted it to be age-wise, and that I should enjoy it rather than hold on too long. Collecting is one thing, hoarding is another. We should never buy beers simply to own them, but rather to savor and share them. We should not grow so attached that we stifle our capacity to discover — there is always something new around the corner, and our aim should be toward finding it. Not everything that goes around comes back around. Not everything should, nor should we expect it to. Sic transit gloria, in the words of the philosopher Max Fischer.
Anyway, here are my notes from that bottle of 2011 Dogfish Head Fort:
Time has fined the carbonation of this bottle, restraining the aromas so that they don’t overwhelm. The heat of the alcohol still makes the first impression on the nose, but the raspberry is there in force. On the palate, the cloying, lip-smacking sweetness of Fort’s youth is all but gone; only an assertive flavor of ripe raspberries remains. With the sugars mellowed, the high alcohol now works to contribute an acidic element to the slightly tart fruit. The finish is long but subtle: you can take minutes between sips but Fort never really leaves you. If you have any Fort, don’t make the mistake I made — have some dark chocolate, dried fruits, and Brie-style cheese around to snack on when you open it.
Which long-lost beers do you wish you still had in your cellar? Which beers are you wary of opening, knowing once you do they’ll be gone? Let’s hear about them in the comments. Until next time.
Today’s Listing of the Day is a 3 BD/2 BA condo with a balcony and direct views of the Washington Monument.
A few hundred parents say Arlington Public Schools should prioritize recreating pre-Covid normalcy in the classroom and evaluating the use of electronic devices. That’s according to a recent informal survey…
The Barnes & Noble store in Clarendon was the scene of an alleged armed robbery today. Police responded around noon to the bookstore at 2800 Clarendon Blvd, in The Crossing…
The Arlington County Fire Department is reviving a door logo last seen on county vehicles more than 50 years ago. At the same time, the department is gradually upgrading its vehicles…
Now you can have fun with your family and friends when deciding where to eat!
Just hop aboard The Lunch Train and set the destination for: breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, or nightlife!
– No app necessary. Simply go to the website if you’d like!
– No account necessary
– Use your current location or a desired location
– Add restaurants you’re interested in, invite your friends, and play the game!
Lyon Park & Ashton Heights’ biennial home & garden biennial tour is back. The tour will include contemporary custom homes, older historic bungalows as well as renovated properties. One of the stunning homes on the tour is pictured above. In addition to beautiful & unique homes, the Villa & Vistas ’22 event will conclude with a festive reception at the Lyon Park Community Center at 414 N Fillmore Street, Arlington VA 22201. What could be better right?
All proceeds from this event will go to the Lyon Park Citizens Association (LPCA) towards our neighborhood jewel & hub, the Lyon Park Community Center (LPCC).
When: Sunday, October 2nd, Noon – 4 PM.
Where: Meet to get your tickets and the tour map at the Lyon Park Community Center (414 N Fillmore Street) We will have a table with information outside.
Join us as we explore Vini Franchetti & their two sister vineyards Passopisciaro (Sicily) and Vini Franchetti (Tuscany) for our Sicily/Tuscany Wine Dinner!
Sunday, Oct 9 @ 6pm
Special Guest: This wine dinner we will be hosting the wine maker