So I was hoping it wouldn’t come to this…

Here I am, only a day or two into this Notebook and already I’m set to write about a relatively minor issue that has come up in every day drinking.  It’s the heart of “blogging”, which I had hoped to avoid with this broadly focused feature.  Anyways, I was perusing the selection at Downtown Wine and Spirits here in Somerville yesterday and came across a beer I thoroughly enjoyed last year, the Mendocino Winter Ale.  While I’m not generally drawn to Mendocino products, last year’s Winter Ale was a tightly packed Double IPA smartly priced at around $6.99.  So I grabbed a six-pack and decided I wanted a malty companion, so I also selected the excellent Smuttynose Winter Ale. 

After getting home, I was a bit concerned that I couldn’t see through the bottle for sediment.  My suspicions were confirmed when I poured the beer into a glass and it came out pitch black.  My Double IPA had transformed itself into an oatmeal stout.  By all label appearances, this should have been the Double IPA.  A closer inspection revealed a new neck label that in the world’s tiniest letters noted the beer was an 7-percent ABV oatmeal stout.  Putting aside the issue of why anyone would brew such a ridiculously high-alcohol oatmeal stout, I feel a bit cheated.  The stout is perfectly fine, but I wanted and expected the IPA.  It’s clear that Mendocino is simply reusing leftover main labels and six-packs containers (lamely and vaguely “celebrating over 20 years of brewing excellence) and just adding new, hard to distinguish neck labels.   Shame on them.  I want my DIPA.

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One thought on “So I was hoping it wouldn’t come to this…

  1. Mendocino changes the Winter beer each year, with little indication to stlye on the labels. Thankfully they do show the year clearly. To years it was also a big stout/porter.

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